Opening Matches of Rugby World Cup: Potted Summary
A potted summary of the opening two days games of the Rugby World Cup (we watch so you don’t have to).
New Zealand 41 - Tonga 10.
All Blacks dominant in the first half, a bit rattled in the second when Tonga attacked with real venom. There were flashes of magic hands from Williams, who looked really annoyed he didn’t score a try. One of the biggest cheers when he took off his shirt. Result never in doubt.
Scotland 34 - Romania 24.
Scotland given a real fright by Romania. End score flattered the Scots. Both sides showed they liked to attack and it was a fun game, Scotland had some really tall blokes. Game notable for a funny miskick. Match could have gone either way
Fiji 49 - Namibia 25.
Namibia played very good rugby and were able to score points easily, but Fijian power and pace just too much for them in the end. Result never in doubt.
France 47 - Japan 21.
Japan could have won this game despite the final scoreline. New Zealand born James Arlidge collected all of Japan's 21-points before France woke up and realised they would have to work to win the game. Match could have gone either way with Japan missing a few chances to put France to the sword.
England 13 – Argentina 9
A game for rugby aficionados. Hard fought and brutal tackles from England taking out some of the South American’s key players. Wilkinson missed lots of kicks but managed to get two over in front of the posts to put England ahead at the end of the game. Referee a bit officious, but Argentina squandered the chances offered. A knife edge game.
International rugby is a three tier competition. We all know there are only a few sides that can win the World Cup – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England and France.
Then there are the second tier sides who have a chance to beat the first tier sides on a good day, but are unlikely to do it twice in a row – Wales, Argentina, Scotland etc. These sides should be able to easily beat the third tier sides.
Third tier sides are meant to be there to make up numbers and show that rugby still aspires to be a global game. Namibia, Japan and Romania were the classic examples from the opening days. Each of them gave ``better’’ sides a real fright.
Rugby was the winner. Third tier sides
showed they could lift their game and scare the hell out of
teams who seem already to be thinking about the knock out