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  1. #41
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    They didn't play 'badly' at all really, and defended well the whole game. They just weren't clinical enough to blow Wales away, and that gave them hope.

    Wales actually looked very like England for most of that first hour but not being dead and buried allowed them to grow, cut out the errors, and turn it around.

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  2. #42
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    OK so who do we have - Wales, Ireland, or England?

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  3. #43
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Strangely, England. I think Ireland will do one over Wales, but not enough to overcome the bonus points that England have mustered. I still feel overall, Wales have been a tad lucky, but then again their story is of one where they make great comebacks in the second half. I think England have been very good for 7 'halves', with the only bad half taking place in Cardiff.

    Have Ireland peaked too soon ahead of the World Cup? Can't say I've been mightily impressed by them this tournament.


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  4. #44
    I think the same almost exactly.

    They either peaked too soon or they can't handle the pressure of being fancied.

  5. #45
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by For the love of Terry Funk View Post
    ... or they can't handle the pressure of being fancied.
    This is closer to my thinking. Seems they didn't like the favourites tag. But if that's the case, actually having this kind of setback might be just what they need heading into the world cup.

    I have a funny feeling Wales are going to do the underwhelming grand slam, though full credit to them if they do turn over two more fancied sides.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #46
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Well done to Wales today. Ireland barely turned up though. Poor really, given their 2018.

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  7. #47
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Yeah, arguably (well, not really... pretty clear actually) Wales's finest performance of the tournament. That's got to have moved them up the odds come September.

    In any case, regarding Ireland, they certainly appear on the downturn at the worst possible moment.

    England vs Scotland was straight up weird. No idea how to even dissect that match and what it means for later on in the year...


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  8. #48
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    England vs Scotland was the most fun I’ve had in ages watching rugby. Utterly relaxed and watching an exhibition. It was great.

    I still felt at halftime Wales could’ve lost to Ireland and they had some fight in them. I’m grateful I was wrong.

    My liver has taken a battering as a result.

  9. #49
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I can only assume that's because we're always more pessimistic about our own side. I said something to the affect of Ireland have to score next to even have any chance at half time, and when they came out and immediately starting making mistakes again, it struck me as it just wasn't going to be their day. Wales just don't concede enough points to give them a way back, something pointed out by Sam Warburton at half time. He's incidentally growing into quite a pundit, to go along with being a great player and probably the best northern hemisphere captain since Martin Johnson retired. Kind of irritating, really.


    So... lots for Wales to be positive about going into the World Cup. Plenty for England, too, if they can work out how to be consistently tighter in defence. If they can figure out how to play like they did in the Ireland game consistently, the only side who can turn them over would be New Zealand. But if they play like they did in the second half in the Wales or Scotland games, they'll be lucky to make it to the quarter finals of the world cup, let alone beyond it.

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  10. #50
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Wow, it is going to be a hell of a World Cup. So many genuine contenders this year and no completely clear favourite.

    Also I found this guy who does analysis of games that is pretty damn amazing:


  11. #51
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Sounds like Rugby Australia are about to sack Folau. Big move if true, he's arguably the best player in the world.

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  12. #52
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Yeah it is an interesting one. QANTAS are a major sponsor and threatened to withdraw support last year when a similar thing happened so there is undoubtedly a lot of corporate pressure.

    According to the ARU statement they couldn't even get in touch with him to hear the story behind the post so it seems he has just gone 'stuff it' posted what has probably been building up inside him for a while and then cut bait. I guess he probably has enough money to last the rest of his life, he has had a number of BIG contracts.

    Big old blow to the Wallabies of course but with the kind of public scrutiny he will no doubt come under now it could be a good move to avoid just having the issue hovering around the entire World Cup year.

  13. #53
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I think I agree with you there. Vunipola managed to get himself warned by England in the same incident, and I think that if it had been more than just a 'like' then we'd have had little choice but to follow your example. Good news for Nathan Hughes, but probably not for anyone else in the England camp. Still, your Union have set the moral high ground out early and so we'd really have to follow suit even though we're not always the same team without him.

    Madness to think Leicester Tigers are mired in a relegation dogfight. That's like Man United being in the same position. Pity Shinobi isn't around to give us the full rundown of Gloucester's season, too. He had nothing but misery to talk about in the years he was a regular here, and now that he's gone they start winning! Though I imagine fatherhood has it's compensations, haha.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #54
    Anyone heard these rumours about England approaching Gatland to replace Eddie Jones after the World Cup?

  15. #55
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Hahahaha I heard rumors about Garland and the Wallabies after the World Cup.

    My guess is that he'll be linked to every single under performing major team until he signs somewhere.

  16. #56
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Well he's now coaching the Lions again in 2021, quite the U-turn, but I wonder what effect that'll have on his national job prospects.

    My bet is any major nation that has a bad world cup will still take whatever time off he wants for that as part of the deal, much the way Wales have always gone to Rob Howley for a few months.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  17. #57
    Exeter beat my Saints. That means that they finish top. Reckon they might lose the grand final to Sarries again though

  18. #58
    Big news, Marler is coming out of retirement for England, gives them a huge boost in the front row going into the rwc

  19. #59
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    England just beat Wales fairly comprehensively in the Quilter internationals. Ends their winning streak ahead of the world cup.

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  20. #60
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The Wallabies actually bet the All Blacks in a pretty comprehensive way for the first time in a long time. We may even have a chance of winning the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since we lost it in 2003 although we have to win at Eden Park where I don't think we've won in quite a while either.

    Still things certainly look a whole lot rosier than they did even just a few months ago.

  21. #61
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The Australians are always a dangerous side on paper, because the talent there is ridiculous, and the question mark is what happens if you can get the right 15 on to the field and if things click. 2015 shows that the Aussies don't need to do a lot in order to go very deep in a competition. Everyone will take a big lift out of the All Blacks having their first struggles for a decade but no one is going to get more of a lift than the Australians.

    In short, no one in England will have been writing you off, and any realistic Welsh fans (all five of them) will be thrilled if they beat you at the Pool stage in September.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  22. #62
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    If it wasn't for the popularity of Rugby League down here boy would we have some players.

    Australia does tend to come good in the World Cup, we've had quite competitive runs every year since we won in '99 except for the dismal 2007 campaign despite remaining fairly unconvincing in the years between Cups.

    Seems like it is going to be one of the most competitive world cups in quite some time, there are a number of teams that have very strong chances (NZ, SA, Ireland, Wales, Eng) and a few that given the right circumstances could give things a real shake (Australia, France, even Argentina). In the leadup to most Cups I can remember there has been a clear favourite who has won it more often than not.

  23. #63
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    New Zealand still have to be clear favourites, but for the first time in two tournaments they are not prohibitive favourites anymore. But they are still less than 3/1 with anyone you want to look at. Looking at the odds, the next two back are England and South Africa, though I think both might be slightly inflated looking at them. Ireland and Wales round out the top five and then Australia are the last team priced as a competitive option.

    Big drop off then to France at best 26/1, and Scotland and Argentina both at best 34/1.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  24. #64
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Safe to say that so far it's sort of... as expected, in the world cup? Can't think of anything that's really surprised us.

    Was bloody impressed with the ref in the England game though. Paul Williams, I think they said his name was. We've heard a few 'bad' refereeing stories so far so thought it was only fair to flag up that he barely put a foot wrong in that game.

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  25. #65
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Just me now, eh? No biggie.

    So the news is that a typhoon has changed course and now the England/France and Japan/Scotland games are under threat. Both will be scoreless draws in the event they can't be played.

    Good news for England. Bad news for Scotland who'd presumably be out.

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  26. #66
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    I'll probably follow it more closely come the Quarters. Having said that, the Japan/Ireland game was stupendous, so too the Wales/Australia game.

    I think NZ are there for the taking to be honest, but I can't pin point a team to do it as no-one has been entirely convincing. England look like they are just missing a gear at the moment, France are unpredictable, Australia have already lost once, Ireland are unconvincing and Wales tend to choke. Could be South Africa this time round, it's not easy having the All Blacks for your first game, perhaps they'll push on from that.


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  27. #67
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I've heard a few people say South Africa, y'know.

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  28. #68
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Yeah I think they've got a shot.


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  29. #69
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Confirmed - England and France is off because of the typhoon. England will win the group, France go into the other half of the draw and presumably play Wales (assuming they don't fuck it up against Uruguay which I just don't see happening). England meanwhile get Australia.

    Here's my take. Wales should breeze past France to set up a tie with South Africa in Yokohama. But England are there for the taking for Australia, and haven't had anything like a challenge so far. They could come in soft, and get turned over. Winner gets the pleasure of losing to the All Blacks, and I don't think I've seen enough from either to believe they can turn them over.

    Final looks like either NZ vs SA or NZ vs Wales. But either of those finals could go either way, though I imagine the South Africans would have a mental advantage against the All Blacks that the Welsh wouldn't have because they are more used to getting the W against them.

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  30. #70
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Well, they got Japan and Scotland on, and it's certainly delivered.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  31. #71
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Some important changes in the centres for England and Australia. Young Jordan Petaia is to start for Australia, while for England Farrell moves to 10 and Henry Slade comes into the midfield. Ford to the bench.

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  32. #72
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quick Predictions from me:

    England beat Australia, but only just.
    South Africa beat Japan in a competitive game, not one sided.
    New Zealand thrash Ireland
    Wales defeats France comfortably.

    EDIT: 1 for 2 so far. England were impressive against a lackluster Aussie outfit. Getting a bit embarrassing for Ireland though, All Blacks are scary.
    Last edited by Gooner; 10-19-2019 at 08:05 AM.


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  33. #73
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    That game could have been a lot closer but Australia made some errors when behind - trying to run it back was not a great strategy. The most impressive thing, for me, is that England didn't panic when Australia got within a point, but recommitted themselves to the task and were worthy winners. Bossed sixty minutes of the eighty. Will need to be better next time out though, as New Zealand looked imperious at times.

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  34. #74
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    New Zealand certainly favourites. even today, they looked like they could have gone up another gear, but they didn't need to.

    England may not have that luxury, but if they play the same way as today they at least have a shot. Especially if Farrell keeps the kicking percentage at 100%.


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  35. #75
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Oh yeah that kicking display was immense. The majority were tough to make, too.

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  36. #76
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Wales were rubbish against France. I’m glad. They do better when they’re rubbish early on.

  37. #77
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Gotta up their game against South Africa, but they can win that one if they turn up.

    Oddly, New Zealand are favourites (odds-on), but England are still lower than Wales in the betting. I don't know if that's because bookies are hedging and England are always over backed, or because they think that if England get past NZ they will be basically evens with South Africa and favourites against Wales - whereas Wales will be underdogs against both South Africa and New Zealand.

    I'm not sure I can see past a Southern hemisphere final after the performances in the quarters. Though there's more appeal in all of the other three possibilities. England vs South Africa would probably be the 'best' final in terms of the match-up. Wales vs New Zealand would be epic, not least for the Gatland connection, but also because it's the two most 'Rugby' nations in the world. And England and Wales... well, that'd the biggest match in the history of the game.

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  38. #78
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Surprisingly I've watched all four quarterfinal matches this past weekend. It's been a lot of fun. I'm still a rugby newbie - I watched my first match ever when this World Cup started - so I'm far from knowledgeable. But I still thought I'd join the discussion here so I can learn some more.

    They haven't shown a lot of games from Wales on TV here so I haven't seen much of their play. They weren't very impressive in my opinion last weekend. But I feel that they'll have a much better showing against South Africa. South Africa was good against Japan, but they really just exposed Japan's weaknesses in a big way and manhandled them. It wasn't really all that competitive. It should be a good game, and I'm giving the edge to Wales to go to the finals.

    At this point I really can't fathom anyone beating New Zealand. England was solid against Australia but every single New Zealand game I see, they just feel like a juggernaut. They're my pick to win it all. Sorry, 'nony.

  39. #79
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Good to have you here, Deg!

    Wales weren't very impressive last weekend at all, I'd agree with that. What you won't know, though, is that was an off-colour performance for them. They hadn't lost a competitive game in a long time (they did drop a couple of warm-up games just before the World Cup). They are the reigning six-nations champions, so they're unofficially the best side in the Northern Hemisphere, and at the start of the tournament were ranked second in the world. But they play Rugby a particular way now, so even if you see them play well... it isn't the most obviously impressive style of play. It's just very effective. So they might not seem like they do a lot, and then win. It's actually very out out of step with their history and that can be a source of displeasure to some Welsh people, but that's going deep into the social side of the game.

    The big news for them is that Liam Williams has been ruled out of the semi-finals. Very few sides could lose a player of that quality and when you're already an underdog losing one of your best backs is a hammer-blow. South Africans will be rubbing their hands together in anticipation.

    The only way anyone beats New Zealand is to beat them physically. The intriguing thing is that the three sides left in the tournament are probably the best three to try and attempt that. New Zealand are still favourites though, against anyone. Doesn't matter who it is, if anyone else beats them it'll be an upset.

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  40. #80
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Half time, 10-0 up.

    Starting to believe. All Blacks haven't turned up... yet. England having their best game so far. Recipe for a win, so long as we keep at it.

    Also, nice haka response. Nothing over the top, just a "we're ready" response.


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