Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It all starts tomorrow. RWC

A look a pool B today with assistance from Keeping Stock

  • Argentina
  • England
  • Georgia
  • Romania
  • Scotland

  • This is one of the more fascinating pools, where three doesn't go into two, and a very good international team will miss out on the post-section phase of the tournament. Logic suggests that it will be one of Scotland or Argentina, but we have seen logic go out the window at previous World Cup tournaments.

    I really want Scotland to get through but of the big three in this pool, the Argentina Pumas are a bit like the French they can be brilliant or hopeless and I suspect all of them play professionally in Europe and mostly in France. The Pumas will join the Tri Nations  ( Australia, South Africa, New Zealand ) next year and I am guessing it will no longer be the Tri Nations.  

    Pool B gets right down to business this week, with what should be one of the highlights of the pool; England versus Argentina at Dunedin's new Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin should go off this weekend, and the outcome of this match will have significant consequences for the progress of the pool. The winner will be well on the way to qualifying for the quarter-finals; for the loser, the sudden-death phase of the tournament begins early. This match kicks off at 8.30pm on Saturday night, and is in our must-watch category.

    A couple of points here, Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh, why the hell the organisers based the Scots in Auckland is beyond me, from memory the English are based in Dunedin it was a poor decision and will not help the Scots. Forsyth Barr Stadium   sorry the RWC  rules prevent it being known by its sponsors name fucking ridiculous, but no more rediculous than the fact that the new stadium cost $200 million and Dunedin the city I grew up in is just about bankrupt because of it. Why the hell the good people of Dunedin had to buy Sky Sport a new stadium is beyond me.

    Later matches to excite in Pool B will be Argentina versus Scotland at Wellington on 25 September, and one of rugby's most historic fixtures, Scotland versus England at Auckland on 1st October. Although the Calcutta Cup will not be at stake in the latter match, it should be a thrilling last-round clash between the Six Nations rivals

    Georgia and Romania make up the numbers, and both sides will be looking for credibility. The Romanians were among the darlings onf the inaugural RWC in 1987 whilst the presence of both Georgia and Russia suggest that rugby is gaining a following in Eastern Europe. That has to be good for the game, and their participation here will be more than welcome. We might even pop over to Palmerston North to watch the Georgia versus Romania match on 28 September.

    Predictions: Hmmmm. England will be tough, Argentina will bring a formidable forward pack, and the Scots have been the Six Nations improvers in 2011. We'll sit on the fence just for a couple of days; Pool B is too close to call.

    To be brutally honest I think my beloved Scots the team I love most after the All Blacks are not going to make it. I will look at ticket availability and price for the Scotland  England match and if they are reasonable and available I will  get out my kilt and head down to Eden Park.


    1. Yes Hamish - i think you are right. i always had the Socts to come third in this group. However, I was v unimpresed with England this weekend and the Argies are now down a couple of key players so they could yet spring a surprise.

      Johnno seems to have decided that if England can grind and kick their way to the semis he will have done well. The lack of any sort of pace other than Croft in the pack and the inability to win the ball on the ground means that he is probably right.

      Shame because the back 3 have some get up and go and Youngs is a class act at scrum-half.

      I didn't get to watch any other group games but was genuinely torn about the SA v Wales game. i'm not sure i could ever bring myself to actually support the Welsh but the Boks test that severely.

      My prediction - NZ v Aus in the final with the ABs to throw away a first half lead. sorry.

    2. I think you might be right on the finalists but you have forgotten the Eden Park factor

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