Just as is the case with Ireland, group opponents Italy aren’t firing on all cylinders in the run-up to RWC11. Grand, we’ve lost four in a row, but sneaking a home win over Japan? Is that really any better? Continue reading
To most, the Pumas were the surprise package of the last world cup, beating the hosts France [twice] and a highly-touted Ireland along the way to a third-place finish. They were magnificent in that tournament, playing a pretty limited but extremely physical brand of rugby that was occasionally lit up by some fantastic performances from their talented backs. Continue reading
“Clouseau is the bumbling and incompetent police inspector of the French Sûreté, whose investigations are marked with chaos and destruction that he himself largely causes. Regardless of his rather limited ability, he successfully solves his cases and finds the correct culprits, even if this success is achieved entirely by accident.” Continue reading
In the 2007 Super 14 season, the Queensland Reds were brutal. They finished ten points adrift at the bottom of the table with two wins, the lowest in the competition, the second lowest points scored tally and the worst defensive record. In the final match of the season, the Blue Bulls beat them 92-3. Amidst all this mediocrity, James Horwill ran about the place making tackles, hitting rucks, carrying the football and sticking out like a sore thumb. Many of the Reds squad mentioned him as their favourite team mate, highlighting his enthusiasm. He earned the soubriquet ‘Big Kev’, named for an Australian entrepreneur who promoted his own cleaning products with the catchphrase “I’m Excited”. This season, the Queensland Reds, under Horwill’s captaincy, finished top of the log and beat the Crusaders in the final. James Horwill is a champion.
Samoa are coming into this competition on the back of a dominant win against a half-strength Wallaby side in Sydney, a defeat that ended a lot of Australian players’ world cup hopes before the Tri-Nations had even kicked off. Continue reading
There’s a Bennett, four Jones, three Williams and two Davies; yes, that Samoan team is full of familiar names. Ho ho ho – that’s funny! Continue reading
Graham Henry has named his squad, and the most striking news is that neither Sitiveni Sivivatu nor Hosea Gear are in it. As mentioned in the match review of the recent SA vs NZ test from Port Elizabeth, New Zealand have an absolute rake of top-quality wingers who would find a place in the starting line-up of many other teams in the world cup – the two lads join ‘Walk Away’ Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko and Lelia Masaga at poolside, or possibly in one of those big Auckland bars like the one that’s in the start of Once Were Warriors. If Uncle Bully tries to do a runner again, he’s not going to get very far. Continue reading