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Calculus Posted on 09/10/2019 12:59
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
 
There have been some cracking games in the first 2 weeks, but I think there are too many mismatches.

Does anyone really want to see Namibia, Canada etc getting spanked every game? I'm not sure what it adds to the competition other than prolonging it.

It's not like football where there is a slight chance of a giant killing, all these games are a foregone conclusion.
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bear66 Posted on 09/10/2019 13:05

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
It's about right. Gives lower teams a chance on a bigger stage. No team has been totally out-muscled in a dangerous way. As long as teams are relatively well physically matched, there's a chance lower sides will learn and develop.
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Sortie Posted on 09/10/2019 13:07

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Japan 19-12 Ireland

Made a killing on that bet then
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Londons_Moggie Posted on 09/10/2019 13:09

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Rugby's a joke. One of the main reasons why I don't bother with it. It's hard to call it a World Cup when most of them are just making up the numbers or are countries like Fiji, Tonga, somoa etc
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FrozenHorse Posted on 09/10/2019 13:10

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I suppose the counter argument is that it can't be a closed shop if they want to grown the game: any WC is more than just an elite tournament.

Japan would be a case in question: having been tonked for tournament after tournament, they've now beaten SA and Ireland in successive tournaments.

Canada? Well they may get humiliated by the big boys, but they've beaten the South sea Island nations often enough in the past. Uruguay have caused an upset this time around, and Georgia have put in good showings in the past.
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bear66 Posted on 09/10/2019 13:11

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
You don't understand much about the game then? Both Samoa (Western) and Fiji have beaten Wales in the past. Tonga are physically very strong and northern hemisphere (England) conservative in their style of play.
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wilkos_perm Posted on 09/10/2019 13:16

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
You used to get team getting hammered in the football world cup, and it still happens (England vs Panama for example). The smaller nations will improve.
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jam69 Posted on 09/10/2019 13:19

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
you get that in any world cup, be it cricket, football, rugby, team sports in the Olympics too.
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Calculus Posted on 09/10/2019 13:24

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Japan have been competitive for a while in fairness. They are capable of giving anyone a game these days.

The pacific islands are also usually entertaining and can hold their own. No issues with that.

I don't think it'd harm the tournament to trim a few teams and make the qualifying more competitive for the lower tier teams.



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bear66 Posted on 09/10/2019 13:28

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Russia wouldn't be there if another team hadn't bean disqualified. Russia do look weak in most aspects of their game.
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CardiffDaffs Posted on 09/10/2019 13:37

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Itís true of course that there are a lot of uncompetitive games in the group stages but unless you allow these countries to gain experience on the big stage then you wonít improve it. Same in football years ago when African teams were cannon fodder in the World Cup. Now they have improved immensely.

Japan were an emerging nation 16 years ago and they came of age in 2015. Fiji are getting better and Tonga and Samoa have given a good account of themselves. Canada and USA are disappointing in this World Cup and as has been said above Russia is a stand in team.

Itís been a fantastic World Cup so far. The Japanese have hosted an amazing tournament and all bodes well for the Olympics next year.
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FrozenHorse Posted on 09/10/2019 13:42

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I do get the sense there is a very established hierarchy in rugby.

1 The big 3 Southern hemisphere teams

2 The 5 main European nations and Argentina

3 Italy and the South sea islanders

4 The minnows.


Anyone is capable of beating a team in the tier above, but when a tier 1 or 2 team meets a tier 4 team, the result does seem inevitable.

While thrashings take place in football, there have also been cases of the highest profile teams being shocked by minnows

Where Japan fit at the moment I don't really know.
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Steer Posted on 09/10/2019 13:45
Edited On: 09/10/2019 13:46
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Fiji just ran Wales very close.

Japan beat Ireland.

Yes, there are mismatches, but that is where Rugby Union is at. There are around 10 or 11 good teams, of which 5 or 6 have some kind of chance of winning the competition.

It's going to get better when the knockout stages start.
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Calculus Posted on 09/10/2019 13:49
Edited On: 09/10/2019 13:49
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"1 The big 3 Southern hemisphere teams

2 The 5 main European nations and Argentina

3 Italy and the South sea islanders

4 The minnows."

Mainly agree but currently would have ;

1. New Zealand

2. Australia, SA, Wales, England, Ireland

3. Scotland, France, Argentina, Japan
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Edis_Pilf Posted on 09/10/2019 13:53

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I disagree frozenhorse, about the big three southern hemisphere teams being at the top of the tree.

It's a long time since they were regularly 1,2 and 3 in the world rankings.
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Steer Posted on 09/10/2019 13:53

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Yep, almost exactly my thoughts.

Japan, Frace, Scotland etc have little chance of winning the competition, but could knock out one of the more favoured teams on their day.

Link:
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Abel_Tasman Posted on 09/10/2019 13:57
Edited On: 09/10/2019 13:58
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
France as they are at the moment may not make it to the final but they are quite capable of winning the tournament in four years time having reached the final twice before and having knocked the All Blacks out of three World Cup tournaments.

Indeed donít write them off for this weekend.
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LeitrimBoro Posted on 09/10/2019 14:00

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I wouldn't underestimate the French. Reached the last final and were screwed by the ref IMHO.
South Africa and NZ are the teams to beat, but come the knock outs, who knows?
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Abel_Tasman Posted on 09/10/2019 14:02

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Leitrem I know what you mean but it was 2011 they reached the final not last time.
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bigtl_billingham Posted on 09/10/2019 14:08

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
It wouldn't surprise me if soon, Japan get invited to join the 'Tri nations tournament' along with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Canada were a lot better in the last world cup than they have been in this one.

Something needs to be done IMO with regards the Six nations, as it can't be much fun for the italians to be the whipping boys each time -

they are improving, but they simply cannot compete with the rest of the nations as they don't have a competitive league in place in their country -

i'd like to see it be extend to two leagues, with promotion and relegation each season,- Georgia would probs me one time I would invite to this - the others possibly Spain, Germany, Portugal
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jam69 Posted on 09/10/2019 14:08

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
the French have looked under par so far, as for tiers I think I would have new Zealand, followed by england, Australia, Wales Ireland and south Africa fighting out 2nd place
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Bergeracois Posted on 09/10/2019 14:11

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"France as they are at the moment may not make it to the final but they are quite capable of winning the tournament in four years time having reached the final twice before and having knocked the All Blacks out of three World Cup tournaments.

Indeed donít write them off for this weekend"

Rumours of unrest in the camp between the players and coaches ..... but that's normal for France. Boudjallal the owner of Toulon stirring it as well, but that's what he does

I think they'll be the team to beat in 4 yeaars time - they're the current U20 World Champions and many of that squad are either in or on the fringes of the current team, they're the hosts, and surely they'll have sorted their coaching staff out by then
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FrozenHorse Posted on 09/10/2019 14:13

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"i'd like to see it be extend to two leagues, with promotion and relegation each season,- Georgia would probs me one time I would invite to this - the others possibly Spain, Germany, Portugal"

Quite like that idea, Romania have been ok in the past too.

The Italians have beaten everyone except England in the 6 nations though, they might feel the deserve their place
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LeitrimBoro Posted on 09/10/2019 14:17

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Oops sorry Abel. This getting old is a boll ox.
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LeitrimBoro Posted on 09/10/2019 14:21

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
The tri nations is no more. Argentina joined a while ago. The 6 Nations wouldn't agree to a relegation. The gap at the moment is too great.
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Abel_Tasman Posted on 09/10/2019 14:22

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
No worries Leitrem 😀

Big TL donít forget we already have four teams in the Rugby Championship not three. (Argentina were added in 2012!)
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bigtl_billingham Posted on 09/10/2019 14:29
Edited On: 09/10/2019 14:30
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
LOL[:D] - you know as soon as i typed this i thought i was wrong, :- my bad,

and of course it is no longer called the Tri nations, it is now the Championship - (not to get confused with the huff and puff football league that Boro find themselves in)

totally forgot about Argentina - i think it is because it wasnt played in the four team format this year, - where each team played each other

Argentina quite rightly deserve their place in this
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BigmetsBoro86 Posted on 09/10/2019 14:58

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I dont follow rugby or watch it. That said I look at the scores and some of the nations in it and it frankly seems pointless.

I don't think it's remotely going to get going until the 1/4s. A bit like the champions league[;)]
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bear66 Posted on 09/10/2019 15:11

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Rugby scores and football scores aren't the same. A dominating 2-0 win is probably a 15 points difference and a 3-0 win 35+ points difference. The 'best team' usually wins in rugby as a "deflection off a defender past a goalkeeper" type try isn't likely.

A few changes to a team can make a big difference at the top level as well. Wales lose 33-19 to England one week and beat them 13-9 the next week.
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Steer Posted on 09/10/2019 15:20

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"The Italians have beaten everyone except England in the 6 nations though, they might feel the deserve their place"

Italy have lost 22 6N games in a row and counting. Their last win in the 6N was 4 years ago.

You can see that they are trying, but they not progressed significantly since they joined. To me it always feels like they are about to turn the corner, but they actually have not.

There are good reasons why relegation is not in place for the 6N. Not least the fact that if one of the home countries got relegated, the loss of revenue would cripple or even bankrupt the governing bodies who rely on the 6N revenue.

I think there are talks about mixing things up with the 6N. My own thoughts are that any country need a good strong and deep domestic club structure in place before they are ready to step up. That is a big challenge.
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bear66 Posted on 09/10/2019 15:42

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Nice little feature on Glenn Webb at the end of the match. Played in the first WC in 1987 for Wales and got a hat trick of tries; the third after he was told to stay on after getting knocked out and the allowed two subs had been made. He doesn't remember the excellent third try! He was the first Wales black player and got a lot of racial abuse. He should have played more games for Wales than he did.
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asredastheycome Posted on 09/10/2019 15:47

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
All of them for me. Not watch one second of it. [;)]
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boro19 Posted on 09/10/2019 21:36

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
In order for a nation to become good at rugby it has to be represented on the world stage so youngster's in say Canada play rugby as have a world cup dream if they make it. It like means they all don't just play Hockey so it's more long term vision. In the future I expect USA will get alot better as young people choose to focus on Rugby instead of American football
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jiffy Posted on 10/10/2019 10:58

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I hav been disappointed at how far Tonga and Samoa have slipped behind the big nations. Not so long back they gave as good as Argentina and Fiji but are way below those 2 even now.

The commentators frequently are asking how did Fiji lost to Uruguay? thats one game I never saw but the answer lies in the stats. Fiji scored 5 tries and converted just 1 no pens 27 points, Urugauy scored 3 tries, converted them all and landed 3 penalties 30 points. If ever a game was won and lost by the goal kickers this was it.

Even at halftime against Wales Fiji trailed 14-10 2 tries apiece all scored in the corners but Wales converted theirs and Fiji missed theirs.

If they had a goalkicker Fiji would have been very dangerous for Wales and Australia in their group and might have caused an upset.
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LeitrimBoro Posted on 10/10/2019 11:20

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Fiji played a lot of second string players against Uruguay. Not enough respect shown. Also Uruguay were seriously up for the game.
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Small_town Posted on 10/10/2019 11:55

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Apart from football, I can't think of a single sport where a world cup has so many competitive teams. I honestly don't urgent people thinking to the contrary.

Yes there are going to be heavy defeats for some teams but what do you do? Exclude them from the world cup so they can never play the top sides and never improve?

Namibia have gone from losing in 3 figure results to keeping the score respectable against everyone but south Africa. Who have the distinct advantage of being in fire and knowing everything there is to know about namibian rugby, they are even coaching them.
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jiffy Posted on 10/10/2019 12:53

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I fear Namibia might still have shipped 100 points had the bonus point system been thought out more. A point for just 4 tries is ridiculous unless you offer a second one for another 4. 4 is just too easy for the tier 1 nations against the minnows. In most games the bonus point has been acquired before halftime. If the big team had the incentive to keep piling on the points and gain another bonus point we might have seen a 100 point margin. But then again do we want that to happen?

Obviously more bonus points would mean more than just 4 for the win. And maybe if the losing side get 4 tries they could have a point for that and not just for a narrow defeat whichis a dubious reason fo a point in any case.

You could end up with a dull game ending 5-3 and the losing side getting a point.
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boromike85 Posted on 10/10/2019 13:25

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Going to preface this with a "I'm not a rugby fan" so I'm not going to comment on the rugby. I am interested in the whole elite v minnow issue.

I don't think minnows playing top level teams benefits them at all. The World Cup should be the pinnacle, it shouldn't have minnows in it. That's what qualifiers are for. We have seen the same thing in football, especially UEFA qualifiers where the worst teams like San Marino and Faroe Islands just being perpetually hammered. It was doing them no good. They would be far better playing each other. It gives them a chance to win and to improve and then the best of the bunch play the next tier and has a chance of holding their own. You then look to establish them as improved teams once they have got better. It seems a bit of a farce to have no-hopers and such big mismatches on the biggest stage.

Playing to not get beat too heavily doesn't improve you. Playing against similar strength teams, or slightly better teams would be much better for development. It must also be incredibly demoralising knowing each game is going to be a pasting. I like what the UEFA Nations League has done in putting poor teams in a group together.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 13:30

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Well, let's have a 4 team football world cup then. One of those 4 may change every few years.

There are more minnows in football, starting with national leagues, than in rugby. As long as teams can safely meet the physical side of the game, long live an open Rugby World Cup (with competitive league levels below it).
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boromike85 Posted on 10/10/2019 13:45

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
The rubbish teams in football don't make the World Cup (some confederations are still weaker than others which is why we don't have an even number from each one). The really weak teams don't make it through the qualifiers.

I could safely meet the requirements to run the 100m at the olympics but it doesn't mean I should be allowed to compete.
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jiffy Posted on 10/10/2019 14:25

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
The football world cup finals now has 16 or 17 teams from Europe - thats about one third of all European footballing nations.

There is no way that quality extends down that far through Europe.
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Small_town Posted on 10/10/2019 14:28

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I would; disagree with that Jiffy, for the simple point that Namibia were shipping hundred before any bonus points.

I still canít think of another sport with as much strength in depth as rugby. With the exception of football.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 14:28

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"The rubbish teams in football don't make the World Cup"

Same with the Rugby World Cup with a qualification system in place.

The major rugby sides play each other regularly in hemisphere leagues and Summer / Autumn international. The World Cup allows other teams to get involved in the sport to a greater degree.
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Nero Posted on 10/10/2019 15:15

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Rugby is developing slowly but surely. 20 years ago Argentina were not playing regular top class games, but they are now.

One of the biggest issues rugby has in my opinion is player drain. The Pacific Island Nations have outstanding players now representing NZ, Australia, England, Wales and to a lesser extent Ireland. South Africa has also seen quality players like CJ Stander leave - he's now playing for Ireland too.

As for the World Cup. It's similar to Cricket. You have the Six Nations teams plus the Rugby Championship. Outside of that there is talent, but it's not consistent enough.
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atypical_boro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:21
Edited On: 10/10/2019 15:21
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
I made a similar point a few weeks back and the rugby fans weren't happy.

It isn't the same as football; in football you have teams like Holland, Italy, England and reasonably strong teams like USA not qualifying. In rugby, if you dedicate any resource whatsoever to playing the sport you qualify every time without fail, then there's the real minnows, most of whom are teams from countries that probably don't even know what rugby is or that it exists and certainly aren't professional.

Sorry but 16 teams should be the absolute maximum, and they should have at least 2 games every day in the group stages and get it over with quicker and build momentum.

I don't think this long drawn out approach with mostly one-sided games helps anyone, in fact you'd be forgiven for not knowing the Rugby World Cup was happening at the moment such has been the (free to air I might add) coverage. And this in a country that invented the sport and is second favourite to win it!
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:30

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Takes up about 4 pages a day, every day, in my paper. Even more today with the Typhoon story.

Football Holland, Italy and England are the Rugby Argentina / Scotland. Scotland and Argentina got to the quarter finals last time.
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atypical_boro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:33
Edited On: 10/10/2019 15:34
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
No idea what that means bear. I don't read hard copies of newspapers either.

Scotland and Argentina have been at every RWC, so don't understand your point.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:39

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Lots of media coverage and excellent ITV coverage.

Holland, Italy and England are lower tier footballing nations (after Italy had a bit of glory 13 years ago). There are lower and lower tiers below them at the World Cup just as there are lower tiers below Argentina and Scotland, some of those tiers not qualifying.

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LeitrimBoro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:41

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Well Rugby only became professional in 1995. The first World Cup was in 1987. Its a relatively new professional competition.
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atypical_boro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:43

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Italy have won 4 world cups. 'lower tier' - you having a laugh?

My point was that even good footballing nations, like Italy, may not qualify for the football world cup. In rugby, if you can cobble 15 players together you're a shoo-in to qualify every time, virtually.

An equivalent of rugby Scotland/Argentina would have to be a football nation who always qualifies.
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BoroBen92 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:43

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"Holland, Italy and England are lower tier footballing nation"

England are ranked 4th in the World, and have been in 2 semi-finals in the last year.
The Netherlands beat England in that second semi-final, qualifying ahead of France and Germany.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:48

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
13 years ago the last one and 37 years the time before.

Just because you are good footballing nation doesn't mean you are a good team.
There is a difference in qualification. Holland didn't get through to the last World Cup but Iran, Saudi Arabia and Australia did.

The football world cup has minnows by the means of representation from all areas of the world.

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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:51

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"England are ranked 4th in the World, and have been in 2 semi-finals in the last year."

Wales and Ireland have both been ranked No 1 in the world in the last two months. Neither will win the Rugby World Cup (this time).
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atypical_boro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:52

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
That final sentence is a fair point, but, almost every football team at its world cup has to earn the right to be there and almost every team has messed it up at least once or twice.

In rugby, the tournament needs the teams as much as the teams need the tournament. That isn't the same in football.
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LeitrimBoro Posted on 10/10/2019 15:53
Edited On: 10/10/2019 15:55
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Alas I have to agree. Sigh. In regard to Ireland not winning it.
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BoroBen92 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:54
Edited On: 10/10/2019 15:59
Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"Wales and Ireland have both been ranked No 1 in the world in the last two months. Neither will win the Rugby World Cup (this time)."

Wales and Ireland are also top tier rugby nations.

As England, the Netherlands and Italy are in football.


Though I disagree with atypical on there being too many teams at this World Cup, he's not wrong that it's a virtual certainty that the big sides will qualify.
But that's bound to happen when far fewer countries take rugby serious.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 15:57

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
Rugby is different in that it takes nations a long time to develop into competitive teams. Football can have a "Gareth Bale" and get to a regional tornament semi-final

To recognise this, 60% of the teams will get to the next World Cup based on this year's results. The other 40% have to get there by qualification. Not long after coming third in the world cup, Wales had to qualify as a minnow. There is movement between the 60% and 40%, gradual but it happens and the strength of rugby as a whole increases steadily.

Canada and USA were equivalent to Argentina and Japan 20 years ago. The latter two teams are now competing with the top tiers, the former two aren't. Some will succed and get better, others, like Romania, will go backwards.
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atypical_boro Posted on 10/10/2019 16:02

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
That all sounds very subjective bear, especially your first sentence.

I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right, but I firmly believe the tournament would be better with less teams. This is obviously just an opinion.
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bear66 Posted on 10/10/2019 16:03

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"Wales and Ireland are also top tier rugby nations.

As England, the Netherlands and Italy are in football."

It would be great if one of those nations wins their respective World Cup to break the top tier mould. Just because Italy will beat Armenia, Finland and Liechtenstein doesn't make them top tier at the moment.

Rugby has made big advances by getting the top tier country coaches to coach them. That has had mixed results in football.
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Small_town Posted on 10/10/2019 16:17

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
The problem for me isnít the World Cup. Itís the stagnation of the regular top tier tournaments. I know they are played annually so itís not the same as the European championships or copa America but itís virtually a closed shop.

With the exception of argentina being added to the rugby championship thereís little movement there, which is why Italy have stagnated. Relegation and promotion to these tournaments would help. There is a second tier tournament in Europe so the winners of this should; either replace whoever finishes bottom in 6 nations or play off against them.

The Southern Hemisphere is trickier due to logistics. Maybe an Africa/South America tournament and one for the pacific islands? * the winners of each play off to fight for promotion to the championship?

Not sure how this leaves Asia:* They really have little interest in rugby. Iíve seen it played, and sevens tournaments in Singapore and Hong Kong but thatís more due to their empirical histories.



* for the pruposes of this post, Iím counting Japan as a pacific island nation. As itís kind if pointless them playing other Asian teams.
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FrozenHorse Posted on 10/10/2019 17:01

Too many non competitive matches in the Rugby World Cup
"Wales and Ireland are also top tier rugby nations."

I'd think it was a big deal for either of these to beat the All Blacks or South Africa, as it would be for England.

Conversely, for the Southern hemisphere teams, beating either of these would be a normal day at the office.

I do think it's possible for a second tier team to win the WC though: they can beat the top tier nations on their day, and they only need to win 2 of those matches to win the WC.

7 out of 8 WCs have been won by the Southern Hemisphere big 3 and in all liklihood, this one will be no different.
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