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The Rugby Thread, 2nd Tackle


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Missed the Rugby thread from the old board, but here's the new one:

 

USA Update:

 

Rugby Union

 

USA will be playing Uruguay in April over two legs to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. While the odds are good that the USA will win (over the last 24 years, the USA has won 11 out of the 12 meetings between the teams), there could be a bit of bother as the match dates conflict with the Heineken Cup/Amlin Challenge Cup (Rugby's version of the UEFA Champions League/Europa League) quarterfinals, so a couple key players may find it difficult to be released. The loser of this series gets one more chance to qualify in the Last Chance Qualifier.

 

Rugby League

 

Two huge results for the USA Tomahawks, as they beat fourth ranked France in a pre-tournament warm up game, and just won their first game in the Rugby League World Cup against the Cook Islands, who were prohibitive favorites to win the group. The USA still has games left against Wales and an intergroup game against Scotland. The top team in their group makes the quarter final. 

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Fucking ESPNscrum is really doing a fantasy game for autumn internationals, aren't they?

 

*bunkers down for an entire evening of player study the night before England/Australia*

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Got tickets to that one. Looking forward to it, although I'm hoping for a Wales win.Opening day was a good day out, too. First time I've felt bad for any England Rugby team, and Wales was robbed. Okay, so they were really outclassed, but they had the game within reach until two or three decisions went against them, and that [and Aiden Guerra] killed them.

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USA did it again, defeating Wales.. if Tonga defeats the Cook Islands the USA will qualify, if the Cook Islands win, it will come down to the final round of games where USA plays an intergroup game against Scotland and Wales (now eliminated) play the Cook Islands.

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Tonga beat the Cook Islands, so the USA win group D, no matter what the result of their upcoming Intergroup match against Scotland.

 

The good news is: As group winners, they advance to the Quarterfinals.

The Bad news is: They face the winner of group A, which will be Australia.. a real David (USA) vs Goliath (AUS) matchup, but the USA won't even be allowed a slingshot.

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Rugby League:

 

Quarter Finals in the World Cup set: Australia-US, Samoa-Fiji, England-France, New Zealand-Scotland.

 

Rugby Union:

 

USA fall to New Zealand Maori (the B team for New Zealand, would probably beat at least some of the Top 10 Rugby teams, but it was close all the way to the end.. looks like New Zealand's main team would be looking to play a game in Philadelphia next year.. if USA can qualify for 2015, could see a big spurt of growth...

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Kristian Freed, the USA's decidedly average sized Full Back was nearly perfect under the high ball, despite getting mauled at every opportunity by Australia's monstrous three quarter line. Well done, that man. It was probably the story of the game for the entire US team, but they played hard for the full 80 minutes, despite getting stomped by the best team in the world; and it was the best team in the world, the Aussies didn't look like they rested anyone out of their best squad.

I can pretty confidently say that Wales wouldn't have done any better.

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What a finish, New Zealand score a try in the final 30 seconds and kick the conversion to beat England 20-18.

 

It's a shame that England aren't in the final.. would've been a littlemore special in front of a home crowd

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What a finish, New Zealand score a try in the final 30 seconds and kick the conversion to beat England 20-18.

 

It's a shame that England aren't in the final.. would've been a littlemore special in front of a home crowd

 

What a finish when you're a neutral, not if it's your team. Didn't watch but heard what went down. Bugger.

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Extra Post: Anyone following the Heineken Cup "replacement" saga?

 

England and France clubs want to form a new version of the cup because A) they think teams not from England and France get too much representation and thus, too much money, and B )  Because the Heineken Cup is ran by the national unions, not them (and thus they can't get all the money they want)

 

The existing powers that be in the national unions point to the international rugby board's rules that such competitions have to be run by the national unions (noted conservatives in a sport that was dragged VERY reluctantly into a professional environment less than 2 decades ago), and besides, they like being in control of who gets the money.

 

So, it's a standoff right now.. something has to break, either the unions back down (and cede MORE of their power to the clubs), or the clubs accept something lesser (like a more "fair" set up of who gets into the tournament)

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Scotland looked like a different team yesterday than the one that was crushed by South Africa last week, going down 21-15 to Australia, excellent game of rugby and just the kind of performance we needed.

 

I don't normally pay attention to the other code but that England/NZ game was one of the best games I've ever seen.

 

The Heineken Cup thing is a situation that hasn't become fully clear yet I think, in terms of what the member clubs want to do. The IRB will start throwing their weight around on the matter soon though.

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Funnily enough, the All Blacks did what the other Kiwi Rugby team did.

Scotland brought the intensity against Australia, but it looks like they spent all the time preparing for that match on clobbering, and not on ball distribution. Only saw the first half, but they kept making the guy they were passing to jump for the ball. The most obvious case of that was Beattie's break which deserved a try, until Maitland held up Lamont with the pass and gave Folau enough time to cover across. I don't know if many other people could have shut that one down, but if Lamont doesn't have to stop to catch that, Scotland are ahead. They lost so much momentum with that nonsense.

In lower league news, the North Wales Crusaders sign Mark Offerdahl. Who signed who? My local semi-pro team signed the Tomahawks' massive #10. Wahey.

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  • 2 months later...

I never have any idea until after the first round of matches, don't really follow club rugby much. With that said, I think Ireland will play out of their skin to avoid a repeat of last year, as will France I suppose but my barely informed pick is Ireland.

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it was kinda funny how the commentators were surprised that Samoa didn't just kick the ball into the crowd up 28-0 with no time left.. Samoa went with the "we'll just score again, fuck you Portuguese" approach. It'd be like if Yokozuna just decided to repeatedly Bonzai Drop Aldo Montoya

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Nice to see all the Six Nations games are on BeINSport (at least for the first couple weeks).. means I don't have to watch dodgy streams (yes, I'm avoind you Premium Sports who want $30/game last time I looked)

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