Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011

This post is to all the Rugby fans out there. I'm here at home waiting for the first Semi-Final to kick off (01:00 AM Pacific Time). I have to admit, I've only watched the first game (New Zealand V Tonga) live. Work, family, and time-distance have conspired to keep me from watching more live games. Mercifully, you can now follow all the highlights online, and that's what I've being doing. I always enjoy watching the Pacific Islands teams (Fiji, Tonga and Samoa) and I've always had a soft-spot for the English (colonial sentiments). But this year was not the year for either the English nor the Pacific Islands teams. The French are in the semis, but this is not the French team of old, playing with Gallic flair. This team is more mechanical (less Latin, more Teutonic). Rather, it's the Argentines who have have been playing with what I would call "French Flair".

I no longer can roll off the names of Welsh and Scottish players off-the-top-of-my-head like I could as a schoolboy. I think Gavin Hastings was the last Scottish player I could recall. I wish the Welsh all the best in their semi-final game against France. I feel sorry for the Japanese. They always play with heart, but rugby is a physical game, and they're just too small of stature to compete. I do wish that they would "borrow" some players from the Pacific Islands just to make up for their lack of size.

I've never been a fan of the Springboks, despite the gallery of Zimbabwean players they always exhibit. I wasn't sad to see them lose in their quarter-finals against the Aussies. This leaves us with the All-Blacks, who I presume will beat the Aussies tomorrow and then go on to win the final next week. They've hosted a great tournament. Too bad it's bang in the middle of a packed sporting calendar-year. It's been a great tournament, and a great showpiece for the great sport of rugby.

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