Silver Haired Silver Ferns

Hansen, so hot right now. Hansen.

Hansen, so hot right now. Hansen.

The Sydney Bledisloe cup game pitted the reigning world champions NZ against, as always, Australia. NZ enter every RWC as favourite and this time round is no exception, they’re 13/10 with my turf accountant, taking up 43.5% of the book. Australia’s price is now 8/1, in from 9/1 after winning at the weekend, which is about 11% of the same book. Continue reading

Match Reaction: New Zealand 42 – 10 Ireland

Israel Dagg didn’t bag a hat-trick of tries, but he was just as damaging to Irish hopes. His much-anticipated match-up with Rob Kearney was a blow-out.

Ireland started their three test series against New Zealand with enterprise and verve, but the All Blacks were able to stand up well to the twenty-five minute onslaught, bought a lead with a couple of long-range Dan Carter penalties and then utterly took over, wrapping up the game before half-time. Continue reading

Match Preview: New Zealand vs Ireland, First Test

Ireland are facing into a tough test match a long way from home on Saturday. They should park it at that and forget about everything else surrounding the game. It doesn’t really matter that the Kiwis are world champions: they always turn out top quality teams … and besides, they’re missing a significant number of the team that won the trophy. Continue reading

Report Card: The Inner Peace Gang [New Zealand]

The report card, and indeed the history books will show one thing: New Zealand won their second World Cup in 2011 and there won’t be an asterisk beside that fact. The rest of us will remember that New Zealand basically didn’t lose the World Cup, a World Cup that was theirs to win, played at home with a final where the referee lacked the bottle to spoil the party. Continue reading

Just Who is this Colin Slade?

Colin Slade is the Other Guy

Slade has the unenviable task of filling Dan Carter’s shoes for the remainder of the tournament. Seeing as that’s a difficult task, the onus of responsibility will pass to other Kiwi senior players, notably McCaw, Smith and Read. Continue reading

Stress, Injuries & the Pivot

Dan Carter’s groin injury has disappointed just about everyone. Allowing for the fact that it allows all the remaining teams a far better chance of winning the World Cup, it’s not the way you’d want it to happen. Carter has the skills and the marketability to be the sport’s poster boy. His play during his career puts him among the greats of the game and a World Cup would have been the crowning glory. Continue reading

Marge, You Made Me Miss Joe Theismann

The great Dan Carter is in doubt for the quarter-finals

Frans Steyn is apparently out of the World Cup. Steyn’s return to the No12 jersey during this World Cup was a revelation. It’d be obviously incorrect to say that the centre partnership of de Villiers and Fourie lacks physicality, but the strength that Steyn brings to the role, the amount of go-forward ball he generated and the unorthodoxy of his ridiculous gamut of skills gave the Springbok midfield something the Mole didn’t even realise it was lacking. Continue reading

It’s a Knockout

Excuse me, can you tell me the way to final please? Oh no, it's OK, I remember now.

Scotland v Argentina marked the beginning of cup match rugby is this year’s World Cup. The laws and the balls are still the same but the game changes from here on in. The stakes are higher and the drops are steeper. Games become less attractive from a try scoring point of view but far more compelling. Continue reading