In Sanity We Trust
Left: Finau Maka
Tonga, weak on resources and funding were by far the the biggest surprise package in the world cup playing an all round game with pride and passion. Massive No. 8 Finau Maka has become something of a poster boy of the 2007 world cup with his distinctive fro and powerful charges down the field.
As expected Australia dominated pool B with only the Welsh putting up any real opposition. Japan displayed great speed and ball skills against physically much stronger teams, losing a tight contest with Fiji and managing a 12-12 draw against Canada scoring the equalizing points well into injury time. The draw was enough for some pundits to call for coach John Kirwin to be retained for life!Fiji managed the upset of the tournament in a thrilling match that would see them through to a quarter-final berth against South Africa and the Welsh eliminated from the tournament. When Fiji raced away to a 25-3 lead early in the game many would have sensed something special in the making. A Fijian player, sin binned towards the end of the first half allowed Wales back into the game but the Fijians persisted pulling off a major upset. Unfortunately for Fiji, inspirational first five-eighth and rugby world cup veteran Nicky Little who had so much to do with Fiji's success will take no further part in the tournament, leaving the field due to injury. Welsh coach Gareth Jenkins was sacked the following day.
In pool C New Zealand continued the trend of southern hemisphere dominance with few teams able to offer more than token resistence. Scotland battled it out with Scotland in the final pool match to see them into the next round where they will meet Argentina. Portugal were clearly the weakest team in the tournament with only a handful of professional players in their squad but they won the crowds by playing with pride and passion. Romania have slipped from their heyday in the communist era when they were a force to be reckoned with. They notched up a hard fought win against Portugal, tested the Italians and their pushover try against the All Blacks after sustained pressure in the forwards was a highlight of pool play.
Pool D has been dubbed the "Pool of Death" with Ireland, France and Argentina all in line for higher honours. The opening match of the world cup saw the home team go down 12-17 to Argentina in a match they were expected to win. Ireland were disappointing. Going into the final match against Argentina they needed to win with a bonus point to go any further in the tournament, a task which they fell well short of. Georgia notched up their first win in world cups against Namibia and went close to a major upset losing 10-14 against Ireland. They along with Tonga were among the most improved teams at the 2007 world cup.
So at the end of pool play the quarter finals look like this:
Australia Vs England
This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint....it goes like this:
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.
Test your rugby knowledge:
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The latest doggerel from the hordes.....
Subject: [ .*:.-[+ +!-!*] :.*:. ]* )+[!-. :(
Ti.ck[eeer F D E)G
Ta rg et 0.12
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From Fact Library
Result: France 12 Argentina 17
The rugby world cup kicked off in Paris' Stade Francais with a loss for the home side against Argentina. France asserted dominance in the forwards but were let down by poor handling in the backs. The Puma's staunch defense was carried them through for the win in what many will consider an upset. "The Pool of Death"
also includes the All Ireland team whom France will probably need to beat to have a chance of going through to the next round.
France 12: David Skrela 4 pens.
Argentina 17: Ignacio Corleto try; Felipe Contepomi 4 pens. Ht 9-17.
IRB world rankings
Rugby World cup 2007