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ljkeane

Rugby: Building up to Japan

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South Africa definitely does not fit into that exotic, open style you mention regarding the tri nations sides. In fact the English style you descibe is pretty similar to how SA have always played. The bedrock of our rugby has been a big, physical forward pack that looks to bulldoze the opposition and a game plan that hinges on kicking for territory and then looking to regain possession through forward power. 

Edited by Consigliere

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11 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

As an Irish supporter, I’ve always like the ABs as my first foreign option, mainly because they played such incredible rugby and succeeded as a much smaller nation than Australia or South Africa.  And the Wallabies and Boks would have followed next.  But that AB affinity has waned over the years as they seemed to rely more and more on constantly pushing the boundary of dirty play, just daring the referees to rein them in.  It was ugly to watch their revenge on Ireland after losing in Chicago— such a dirty, cynical game.

Funny you should mention that. My father (a Scotsman) likes to mention that when he was young (1960s/1970s) he always thought of the All Blacks as a dirty team, dull but effective. In contrast to the brilliant Welsh teams of the era.

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16 hours ago, Consigliere said:

South Africa definitely does not fit into that exotic, open style you mention regarding the tri nations sides. In fact the English style you descibe is pretty similar to how SA have always played. The bedrock of our rugby has been a big, physical forward pack that looks to bulldoze the opposition and a game plan that hinges on kicking for territory and then looking to regain possession through forward power. 

That's what will make this semifinal against Wales intriguing, if not all that exciting, to watch. Wales will be relatively happy with an attritional/territory/kicking game as well, so we might see the ball fly back and forth quite a bit. What will be interesting is if they decide to try and break out of it, knowing that the South Africans are probably gearing up for that sort of game.

Edited by Jeor

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-7597991/Premiership-Rugby-delay-Saracens-salary-cap-ruling-avoid-derailing-Englands-World-Cup-bid.html
Quote
Saracens salary cap ruling delayed until after Rugby World Cup as Premiership clubs don't want to disrupt England's bid for glory
Premiership Rugby have deferred announcing the results of the inquiry into Saracens' alleged breach of the salary cap due to fears of derailing England's World Cup bid. 
Sportsmail has learned that Sport Resolutions, the independent disciplinary panel charged with assessing whether Saracens' investments with players constitute a breach of the £7million cap, have concluded their investigation but their findings will not be made public until after the tournament.
Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) informed a meeting of club executives last week that a decision on Saracens will be announced 'within the next four weeks' and Sportsmail has been told that a desire to avoid overshadowing the World Cup is the main reason for delaying an announcement that was originally due in the first week of October.
 
Article Continues...
Talk is that the punishment is expected to be huge - and appealed
Edited by Which Tyler

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The England and New Zealand teams have been announced for Saturday's game. Both teams are a little surprising to me. England going back the Ford, Farrell and Tuilagi midfield after them playing so well against Australia, it really does seem to be a horses for courses situation, and, personally, I'm a bit surprised Kruis hasn't come in with the lineout being a potential concern. New Zealand have dropped Cane for a lock/flanker hybrid is Barrett. There's certainly logic to it, they really started to get a foothold in the recent Twickenham game after they started to disrupt England's lineout, but it's a bit of a gamble to sacrifice Cane with England essentially playing two opensides in their backrow.

Looking at the game I do think some of the praise of the All Blacks after the Ireland win has gone a bit over the top. They were really good but Ireland helped them by being pretty bad independent of what New Zealand were doing. They still aren't the team of four years ago and I feel like the South Africa game at the start of the World Cup is a better measure of where they're at. South Africa were able to get on top for large parts of the game but New Zealand were strong in defence and clinical in attack and came away with the win.

I think we'll probably see something similar on Saturday. For various reasons Ireland's physicality has really fallen away this year and they're quite predictable in how they rely on Sexton to do pretty much all their creativity in attack. Neither of those things are true of England. The combination of Tuilagi in midfield with all their big carriers in the pack is a lot to handle for any team. 

New Zealand to just edge a tight game.

South Africa have lost Kolbe from an otherwise unchanged side. It's a bit of a loss for them because Kolbe's been really good but Nkosi's a really good winger too so it's not the end of the world.

Wales haven't announced their team yet but apparently they do think Davies will be fit. That's a big issue for them, I think they're staring down the barrel a bit anyway but the difficulty they had with handling the French ball carriers in midfield without him really wouldn't be a good sign for their chances against the Springboks.

Overall looking at recent form there's not a lot of reason to expect a Wales win. They got very lucky against France while South Africa steamrolled Japan. The only question mark for me is that Wales have had a habit of looking like they should lose against teams and then putting in ferocious defensive performances to win, including their most recent game against South Africa.

Still, I think they've had a few too many injuries so I'm going for a South Africa win.

ETA: I jumped the gun a bit apparently. Liam Williams is now out, I think they've definitely got too many injuries to frontline players at this stage.

Edited by ljkeane

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Too excited, can't sleep.
Finally got up about an hour ago, took the dogs out.
Wish I hadn't as I don't have time to watch an old match before the frying pan goes on.

Is a RWC semi-final a good enough excuse for a breakfast beer?

I think it might be.

Edited by Which Tyler

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Unexpectedly jittery start from NZ, with England scoring a relatively straightforward try in the first 2 minutes. Could have been even more with an intercept chance but was not to be. England are making some decent line breaks here and the AB defence does not especially tight.

I reckon England lead at halftime but All Blacks take it in a squeaker at the end.

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Good first half from England but they’d have liked to have taken a bigger lead from how much they’ve been on top.

The lineout’s been interesting. There’s been a lot of talk about the All Blacks targeting England’s ball but having four jumpers doesn’t make a huge difference defensively, you’re only ever getting two at most up, but it should help on your own ball. It’s not worked out great so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get Cane on sooner rather than later.

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Bloody hell, I wasn’t expecting that. I thought England had a chance but if they did pull off a win I expected it to be a nail biter. They were comfortably the better side and there’s an argument it should have been a bigger margin with the decision to disallow the Youngs try certainly debatable.

There are a couple of guys at my rugby club who played against the Curry twins in school and it wasn’t even that long ago. It’s crazy how good Tom Curry has been.

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Wow. Brilliant performance from England. They completely dominated from minute one. It's a rare sight indeed to see the ABs being outclassed in that manner. 

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2 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

I need a rewatch - has anyone uploaded it to the internet?

Pornhub probably the best place for it!

Hey, not all of us are BDSM enthusiasts.

(Seriously. The media here is going to go bananas for the next few weeks).

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Amongst all of this, can we please spare a thought for Wayne Barnes - he really deserved to go out on a high with a RWC final

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49 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

Amongst all of this, can we please spare a thought for Wayne Barnes - he really deserved to go out on a high with a RWC final

God no.

 

Anyway. Awesome performance by England and clear favourites for the final whoever they play. Underhill was immense.

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"Generations from now they will still be talking about some of those tackles. The All Blacks’ grandchildren will still be telling their kids to behave or else Sam Underhill will come and get them."

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2 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

"Generations from now they will still be talking about some of those tackles. The All Blacks’ grandchildren will still be telling their kids to behave or else Sam Underhill will come and get them."

And the English children will be told "When you tackle, tackle as Mr Underhill".

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