Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

20,000 female rugby players

November 24th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

• 150,727 players – small increase of 163 from 2014
• 80,978 Small Blacks (5-12 years) – increase of 549 (1 percent) compared to 2014
• 42,072 teenagers (13-20 years) – decrease of 242 (0.5 percent) compared to 2014
• 27,677 players aged 21 and over – decrease of 144 (0.5 percent) compared to 2014
• 19,792 female players – increase of 1967 (11 percent) compared to 2014
• 12,109 coaches – increase of 396 (3 percent) compared to 2014
• 1851 referees – decrease of 33 (2 percent) compared to 2014

Almost 20,000 female rugby players is cool – around one in seven players are female.

When I was a kid, 90% to 95% of rugby spectators were men. Now at big matches I reckon close to half the audience are women. Rugby has gone from just being a male sport.

Anyway those stats got me wondering what the gender breakdown is in other sports in NZ? How many netball players are men? How many cricket players are women?

Anyone got data on other sports?


McCaw retires

November 19th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby.

The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time.

Not just the most capped All Black of all time, but the most capped rugby player ever.

“I am heavily involved in the Christchurch Helicopters company, they are great people and I’m excited about the opportunities there. Aviation is something I’m passionate about, I’m going to carry on flying and work towards getting my commercial pilot licence.

Great to do what you love.

McCaw said he’d love to be involved in the game in the future. He never considered taking up a professional contract overseas after his international days were over.

Riche would be a great referee! :-)

Some McCaw stats:

  • 131 victories for the All Blacks (32% of their total victories since 1903)
  • Won 131 out of 148 tests
  • Scored 27 tries
  • 10 Bledisloe Cups
  • Four tri-Nation titles
  • Three Rugby Championships
  • Two World Cups
  • Win 59 out of 61 tests in NZ
  • World Rugby Player of the Year three times

14 years of test rugby is an incredible effort, especially as a flanker.

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Russia suspended from athletics 24-1

November 15th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

CNN reports:

The International Association of Athletics Federations voted Friday to provisionally suspend Russia as a member amid a doping scandal, the IAAF reported on its website.

The action will keep the All-Russia Athletic Federation, the nation’s leading athletic association, out of international competition for an indefinite period that may include the2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

“This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.

“Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” Coe said. “But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world.”

The 24-1 vote was taken by teleconference. Russia was not allowed to vote

This is the right call, as noting short of this will convince the Russian Government that it needs to take action over drug cheating, rather than cover it up and facilitate it.

Very sad for the clean Russian athletes. They need to hope that enough changes occur so that they can compete in the Rio Olympics.

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A very well paid slave

November 15th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

USA Today reports:

Caddie Steve Williams said he had no idea using the word “slave” in his new autobiography to describe his relationship at times with Tiger Woods would trigger a storm of controversy that has spanned the globe.

After a New Zealand newspaper published an excerpt from his book, Out of the Rough, 10 days ago in which Williams said at times he felt he was treated “like I was his slave” while working for Woods, Williams has been heavily criticized.

It is estimated that Williams earned US$12 million while caddying for Williams. That’s not bad for having to pick his clubs up off the ground occasionally.

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Will Russia be banned?

November 10th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

An international anti-doping commission recommended on Monday that Russia’s Athletics Federation be banned from the sport over widespread doping offences – a move that could see the powerhouse Russian team excluded from next year’s Rio Olympics.

The commission, set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), found a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics. But it also identified what it called systemic failures in the global governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The international police body Interpol said it would coordinate a global investigation into suspected corruption and doping in athletics.

The commission said in its report that the London 2012 Olympics had been “sabotaged” by the widespread inaction of international and national anti-doping authorities.

“For 2016 our recommendation is that the Russian Federation be suspended, in fact one of our hopes is that they will volunteer that, so that they can take the remedial work in time to make sure that Russian athletes can compete under a new framework if you like,” Dick Pound, president of WADA, told a news conference in Geneva.

Russia finished second behind the United States in the medal table at the 2012 Olympics, with 17 medals, eight of them gold, and has long been one of the chief players in track and field.

Russia really is regressing to the old Soviet Union, which of course was world leaders in doping.

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Disagreeing with Roughan

November 10th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

John Roughan writes:

What a strange thing it was that Sonny Bill Williams did. All the previous strange things in his career have been blamed on his manager but there was nobody in Sonny Bill’s ear when he decided to give his Rugby World Cup winner’s medal away.

It was his own spontaneous gesture to a lad who had run out to the All Blacks during their victory lap and had been tackled by a Twickenham security guard. The kid was not hurt and probably not surprised to be tackled. Williams and Steve Hansen picked him up, put an arm around him and Williams steered him back to the fence where on a parting impulse he gave the kid his medal.

A trifle excessive, I thought. Also a bit demeaning for the prize the All Blacks had just won, and I wondered what his teammates thought. I also hoped the boy’s parents would realise it was a needless gesture, probably made in a moment of excitement when the man was not thinking clearly, and one he would later regret.

I hoped they would later offer it back, which indeed they did, Williams has said. But he told them, “Nah, better he has it than it hang on my wall”. Was he modestly depreciating his generosity or did he really not want this thing?

I think it was a spontaneous gesture with the best of motivations. It was a realisation that to a young fan, the medal would have perhaps a lifetime of impact, which was greater than having it was to Sonny Bill.

This doesn’t mean he doesn’t value it, but that what he values more is the actual achievement of helping win the Rugby World Cup, rather than the medal that goes with it. The memories, the photos, the actual event are what mean the most to the players. The medal is a tangible record of it, but is not the end in itself.

He is not alone among top sportsmen is having little interest in keeping memorabilia – but it is fairly unusual to give it away a moment after it has been draped around their neck. Insulting too. His teammates might never say whether they found it insulting but as a fan, I did.

It felt like a betrayal of our enthusiasm for their achievement and the exquisite agony of those early mornings on the couch.

I don’t know whether I’m more disappointed in Williams or the many who see it as an utterly admirable act of generosity.

I’m one of those. I think it was a reflection of the All Black culture we now have about being role medals, and inspiring young people. There should be no expectation ever that any sportsperson should do what SBW did, but when it happens as it did, let’s just celebrate it in an uncomplicated way, rather than psychoanalyse it.

Most human beings get pleasure from giving other people pleasure. It can be as simple as that.

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Richie’s records

November 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Some Richie McCaw stats:

  • Only four other players in history have played as many international tests as Richie McCaw has international victories
  • 132 All Blacks have debuted for NZ since McCaw did in 2001
  • Only three of the 15 games McCaw has lost for the All Blacks were by double digit margin
  • NZ Player of the Year  – 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012
  • IRB Player of the Year – 2006, 2009, 2010
  • NZ Sportsman of the Year – 2010, 2011
  • 10 Bledisloe Cups
  • 10 Tri Nations or Rugby Championships Cups
  • Two World Cups

His playing record for the All Blacks:

  • Argentina 10/10
  • Australia 29/36
  • British Lions 2/2
  • Canada 2/2
  • England 12/14
  • Fiji 2/2
  • France 12/13
  • Georgia 1/1
  • Ireland 14/14
  • Italy 3/3
  • Japan 1/1
  • Namibia 1/1
  • Romania 1/1
  • Scotland 7/7
  • Samoa 1/1
  • South Africa 20/26
  • Tonga 2/2
  • Wales 11/11

Overall has won 131 of 148 test matches for a 89.2% success rate.

It is near impossible to declare someone the best rugby player of all time – how do you compare McCaw and Meads, when the game now is so different to the game then. Both are legends. But I think I can safely conclude he is at least the best player in my lifetime.

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Sonny Bill is all class

November 1st, 2015 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

This is beyond cool. The kid gets tackled by security for running onto the ground, and ends up with Sonny Bill giving him his World Cup Medal. Have you ever seen a bigger grin on a kid?

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It’s ours!

November 1st, 2015 at 6:50 am by David Farrar

I thought it was Dan Carter’s last two kicks that won us the World Cup but that awesome last minute try was the icing on the cake.

What an awesome game and worthy World Cup Final.

The 34-17 score doesn’t reflect how very close it was in that second half until the very end. I got very nervous after the second Wallaby try.

Kudos to the Wallabies for an great match, but well done the All Blacks for retaining the World Cup led by the greatest rugby player of them all – Richie McCaw.

A nation celebrates.

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Was Dempsey bribed?

October 30th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Former German football federation president Theo Zwanziger believes Swiss court documents indicate US$250,000 was paid to Oceania official Charlie Dempsey on the eve of the vote in July 2000 in which Germany won the right to stage the 2006 World Cup.

A court document in a trial of executives from the collapsed Swiss sports marketing company ISL show the sum was transferred to an anonymous recipient marked only as E16, according to a report in Germany’s Bild newspaper.

Zwanziger has presented reporters from Bild with the document in which it is suggested that former FIFA executive committee member Dempsey, the then Oceania confederation president from New Zealand, received the money as a bribe.

Zwanziger has written “Dempsey!” next to the payment made on July 5, 2000.

Next to a further transfer of $US250,000 dollars made a month earlier in a list of payments from ISL, Zwanziger has again written “Dempsey?”, but with a question mark instead of an exclamation mark, according to the document from 2012 published by Bild.

In the final round of voting for the 2006 World Cup on July 6, 2000, Dempsey, who died in 2008 at the age of 87, ignored the reported Oceania confederation instruction to vote for South Africa and abstained, allowing Germany to win a 12-11 vote against South Africa.


Possibly not enough for a conviction in court, but pretty  damning.

Can bank records find out who the money was transferred to? Or was it a cash withdrawal?


An amazing Richie stat

October 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Of the All Blacks’ 412 victories since 1903, McCaw has been on the field for 32 percent of them. 140 wins in black to be exact.

That’s an incredible stat. Hopefully he’ll make it 141.

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They made it!

October 25th, 2015 at 5:42 pm by David Farrar

I was at Twickenham for the NZ semi-final and for most of the match it reminded me of the 2011 final against France – terrified we would lose.

It wasn’t the best game in the world to watch. I grew to hate the referee as he dished out nine penalties almost non-stop to the All Blacks in the first half.

The Springboks never got ahead by more than seven points, so was always optimistic NZ would come through, but the South African defence and tackling was very impressive first half – so much so NZ started kicking as they couldn’t break through most of the time.

Dan Carter’s conversion seemed the turning point. To only be two points behind had us within striking, and then the second try. But it was only around minute 78 when the Springboks were nowhere near the halfway line, that the All Black supporters in the crowd started to relax. The nightmare of scoring two tries to zero but losing against six penalties and a possible drop goal receded. And much celebrating and just relief at half time.

The All Blacks performance didn’t seem that impressive at the time, as the scoreline dominates your thinking, but looking at the match stats does indicate that it was a strong, even if undisciplined, performance:

  • 387 metres vs 149 metres
  • 20 defenders beaten vs three
  • Only three missed tackles vs 20
  • 96% rucks won vs 90%
  • 100% lineouts won vs 77%
  • However 14 penalties vs six

Did I mention how much I disliked the referee again?

Great to see the All Blacks make the final – the first time since 1995 away from home.. In fact we have never won the Rugby World Cup away from NZ, so this is NZ’s chance to do so. I’m hoping Argentina beats Australia of course. In a NZ vs Argentina final we’ll have the entire English crowd cheering for us :-)

So was great to see an All Black victory, but also to see them play at Twickenham. They have moved the entry gates to include the area next to the stadium so there was great pre-game hospitality with tents and entertainment.

Impressed with the overall organisation. Getting to the game was a tube to Richmond, then shuttle to a few hundred metres from the stadium. Hundreds of volunteers to guide you. Did get soaked after the game, but by then didn’t care. And the tube trip back into London saw great conversations between All Blacks and Springbok supporters – no sore feelings, lots of congratulating both teams, and lots of hatred for the referee from both lots of supporters!

Can’t wait for the final!

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Is this the left view of sport?

October 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

An author at The Standard writes:

1981 marks the point where – for good reason at the time – the left ceded the idea of sport to National.

We still begrudge it. We begrudge it even more than the flag debate.

We hate it because it’s full of mean-old competition, winning and losing, and injuries.

We hate it for its pervy sexism, male media dominance, and macho muscle over mind.

We hate it for its self-glorification, commercialization, and wealth focus.

We hate it for its patriotism, corruption, and taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies.

We hate its regulated violence, alcohol dominance, and sheer meaninglessness.

So they hate sport, competition, winning, losing, muscle, commercialisation, wealth, and patriotism!

But there is hope:

It’s 34 years since those dark days. Time to figure out how to complain about sport less, and learn to win with it more.

We could love it for the proud communities that sustain the clubs.

We could love it because it’s something we do well.

We could love it for the wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and children that help them up there.

We could love international sport as a good substitute for war.

We could find who among the athletic elite are also Progressively inclined.

We could love it as we can our country.

We don’t have to cede the whole enterprise of sport to the right.

And now, in the middle of Rugby World Cup, we can grind our teeth watching the apotheosis of Key with Saint Ritchie into the global heaven of sport.

Or we can get out to the nearest RSA, to the televised bars. Be with the people. Yes, sink pints.

Recognize that actually sport is as good as education for class mobility.

Actually, sport can be a unifying community force for good.

Sport can focus male teenage energy away from petty crime: into sport, out of court.
Sport is where the common people are, as well as the elite.

Until the left learn how to love sport as well as the right, we will continue to cede massive territorial ground before the game has started.

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Scotland were robbed

October 20th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Rugby World Cup bosses have officially confirmed South African referee Craig Joubert blundered in awarding Australia a penalty that handed them victory over Scotland. …

World Rugby said in a statement said they had conducted a full review of match officials’ performance and clarified Joubert’s decision, finding he had made a mistake and should have awarded a scrum to Australia for an initial knock-on.

They said Joubert had incorrectly applied law 11.7 penalising Scotland’s Jon Welsh, who had played the ball following a knock-on by a team-mate, resulting in an offside.

“On review of all available angles, it is clear that after the knock-on, the ball was touched by Australia’s Nick Phipps and law 11.3(c) states that a player can be put on-side by an opponent who intentionally plays the ball. 

“In this case, law 11.3(c) should have been applied, putting Welsh onside. The appropriate decision, therefore, should have been a scrum to Australia for the original knock-on.
Scotland have every reason to feel sore. They were robbed by a bad call.
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An all Southern hemisphere semi-finals

October 19th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Few people mourned England getting knocked out early, but it was a shame to see Wales, Ireland and Scotland all exit the World Cup as they put up spirited performances.

South Africa only scraped home 23 to 19 against Wales

Ireland were competitive with Argentina for a while but Argentina then piled it on win 43 to 20.

And a thriller of a match as Australia only won with a final minute penalty to beat Scotland 35 to 34. Scotland played an amazing games.

I’m actually looking forward to Argentina playing Australia in the 2nd semi-final. If both teams played like they did today, Argentina could win.

NZ’s chances are looking quite reasonable at this stage. We were the only semifinalist to easily win our quarter, and smashed France. If we play the next two games as we did against France, we should win.

But if we play below our best, and Australia, Argentina or South Africa recover some form then it can be all over in 80 minutes.

Current betfair odds are:

  • NZ 1.64
  • Australia 4.4
  • South Africa 8.8
  • Argentina 18
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Clark to head FIFA reform?

October 19th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark would be an ideal candidate to head reform of Fifa, a prominent whistleblower says.

Bonita Mersiades, who was part of the Australian bid team for the 2018 World Cup, has repeated her calls for someone of Clark’s stature to lead reform of Fifa.

Mersiades presented evidence to the Fifa corruption inquiry chaired by Michael Garcia and is involved in the New Fifa Now campaign.

In an interview with German website, she said only an independent person not involved in football could lead the overhaul of Fifa.

“An American would be inappropriate, because US authorities are investigating the Fifa. I think to Kofi Annan or Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and today head of the UN Development Programme,” Marsiades said, according to a translation of the interview.

It’s not a bad idea, as only a total outsider would have credibility.

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All Blacks 62 France 13

October 18th, 2015 at 10:25 am by David Farrar

The 2007 demons are dead, buried, beatified, and resting peacefully in heaven!

A stunning performance from the All Blacks who scored more points against France in a quarter-final than they did against Argentina, Namibia, Georgia or Tonga in the pool play.

Nine tries is an all time record for a RWC quarter-final.

South Africa’s narrow victory over Wales will have them very nervous for their semi-final against the All Blacks. But we’re in sudden death territory now, so one can only hope for another performance like today.

This match, and the recent Eden Park match against Australia have both seen the All Blacks at near their best. Their best is simply hard to beat. The challenge is to keep the intensity up.

Julian Savea was simply amazing. Three great tries.

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Quarter-final odds

October 14th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

So what are the odds for the quarter-finals, according to Betfair?

  1. Australia 1.12
  2. NZ 1.21
  3. South Africa 1.37
  4. Ireland 1.56
  5. Argentina 3.0
  6. Wales 4.0
  7. France 6.6
  8. Scotland 10.5

The odds for making the final are:

  1. Australia 1.59
  2. NZ 1.60
  3. Ireland 3.8
  4. South Africa 3.9

And the odds of winning the final:

  1. NZ 2.26
  2. Australia 3.65
  3. South Africa 8.2
  4. Ireland 12.0

It’s NZ vs France

October 12th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A good victory to Ireland at 24 to 9, which means NZ will face France in our quarter-final.

The pools are not even, but still interesting to look at the net points scored by each team. The are:

  1. New Zealand +125
  2. South Africa +120
  3. Argentina +109
  4. Australia +106
  5. Ireland +99
  6. England +58
  7. France +57
  8. Wales +49
  9. Scotland +43
  10. Japan -12
  11. Italy -14
  12. Fiji -17
  13. Samoa -55
  14. Tonga -60
  15. Romania -69
  16. Georgia -70
  17. Canada -73
  18. USA -96
  19. Namibia -104
  20. Uruguay -196
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All eyes on France vs Ireland

October 11th, 2015 at 7:30 am by David Farrar

We now know the eight semi-finalists, but don’t yet know whether we play France or Ireland.

Another day of lower rated countries playing incredibly well, but not quite making it. Wales did great to hold the Wallabies to 15 points, and Samoa played a blinder to be only three points behind Scotland.

So the quarter-finals are:

  1. South Africa vs Wales
  2. NZ vs France or Ireland
  3. France or Ireland vs Argentina
  4. Australia vs Scotland

Meanwhile tickets for England’s last game are now on sale for two and a half pounds :-)

I think (hope) the first semi-final will be NZ vs South Africa.

The second one should be Australia vs either France or Ireland.

And hopefully a NZ vs Australia final. I’d take NZ vs Ireland also, but please not NZ vs France again!

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NZ 47 Tonga 9

October 10th, 2015 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

Now that was a great game.

Before it began I said I wanted All Blacks to get four tries, and not concede any.

They scored seven.

And Tonga played really well – best performance I have seen from them. The first 50 minutes saw them very competitive and they came damn close to scoring.

This is just what we needed. A performance that showed our quarter final opponents how formidable we could be, and no injuries (well maybe one). A bit undisciplined at times, but overall a very good performance.

Now all eyes on France vs Ireland to see who we play in the quarter-final. I hope it is France as I’d rather face them earlier on.

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Would the last honest man at FIFA turn the lights out?

October 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, the man who had been favored to take over as FIFA leader, were both suspended for 90 days late on Thursday, plunging football’s governing body deeper into crisis.

So that’s the President, and the likely next President.

Another presidential hopeful, Chung Mong-joon, was suspended for six years in a separate case and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was banned for 90 days.

And the top administrator, and a further presidential candidate.

Issa Hayatou, the longtime head of the African football confederation who was reprimanded in 2011 by the International Olympic Committee in a FIFA kickbacks scandal, will take over as acting president.

The Acting President does not have a clean record.

The interim leader of UEFA will be Spanish federation head Angel Maria Villar, who remains at risk of being sanctioned from the FIFA ethics committee in its investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.

And the acting European Head is under investigation!


Why Kiwis so celebrate England’s exit from the Rugby World Cup

October 5th, 2015 at 6:59 am by kiwi in america

You’d think after our own ignominious exits from various Rugby World Cups, that we’d spare a thought for the Poms; ejected unceremoniously from their very own RWC. Yeah nah. Not happening.

I was born in England and came to NZ as a young child. I have family there and a deep respect for English culture and history. Then there’s that famous aphorism seen on T shirts in NZ “I cheer for the All Blacks and any team playing Australia”. Whilst it was exciting to see England fight back in the second half and make a contest of it (if only for a portion of the game), I can’t hide the fact that I was rooting for Australia AND thrilled to see the Poms beaten. For most kiwis, this is a no brainer but when you have residual ties to England and I normally am quite pleased when anyone beats the arrogant Aussies, there is a special package of reasons why I personally was so pleased to see England out.

The English players, coaches, selectors and media went into a frenzy when England beat the All Blacks so comprehensively at the end of the Northern Hemisphere tour in December 2012. Steve Hansen gave the hysteria more legs when he opined that England were 2015 RWC title contenders. Since then, the inevitability of England hoisting the Webb Ellis trophy has been the arrogant assumption of English rugby at every level. By the time the tournament started, we were all sick of the smug arrogance of Lancaster and his players who talked about their chances at Fortress Twickenham and of their 2012 victory over New Zealand as if they’d beaten us 5 times in a row!

But it goes deeper than that. Australia rugby writers love the Wallabies and Aussie TV commentary is suitably and typically one eyed – but amongst those who commentate knowledgeably on rugby in Australia, there is a deep and abiding respect for the All Blacks. Not so with the Pommy media scribes. Not only is there far less respect but there is the persistent drum beat of vituperative attacks on key All Blacks the most obvious being the oft repeated claims by English rugby writers that Richie McCaw is a cheat.

As I analysed my glee at seeing what was effectively my own countrymen going down, I reflected on the boorish English crowds. I was at the fateful semi final game in Sydney for the 2003 RWC. I had an All Blacks shirt on so I was fair game for the mostly Australian spectators as I left. There was virtually no taunting or mocking – elation for sure that Australia was in the final, but belying this attitude was the respect Australian rugby fans have for the ABs. Not so English crowds. I’ve never been to Twickers but a good mate now resident in London goes there often to watch internationals and he says the crowds are awful to visiting teams and most especially to New Zealand.

Part of my ambivalence to English rugby is borne of the stultifying, sluggish forwards dominated style of rugby that prevails in England courtesy of their sodden muddy fields which has given us decades of ugly English rugby. But it goes further – it’s the whistle happy pedantic refereeing style that emanates from England and, via England’s historical dominance of the IRB, spills over to almost all the northern hemisphere referees. I’ve come up hard against that as a referee here in the US where English style whistle happy pedantry is the cultural norm among the US raised referees.

Finally, at a gut almost visceral level, we in New Zealand love to see our former colonial masters, the mother country who brought us our national game and who still arrogantly influence the governance of the game internationally, finally not just beaten but utterly humiliated. Roll on a great Australia New Zealand final!!

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Likely quarter-finalists

October 5th, 2015 at 6:05 am by David Farrar

Pool A

Australia and Wales both on 13 points with a game to go. Have to favour Australia in their head to head.

Pool B

South Africa 11, Scotland 10 and Japan 8 all with a game to go.

South Africa should get bonus point vs USA and finish top.

Scotland should beat Samoa so likely 2nd.

Pool C

NZ 14 and Argentina 10 with a game to go each.

Pool D

France 14 and Ireland 10 but Ireland has two games to go. They are currently just ahead vs Italy though!

Assume France beats Ireland and Ireland beats Italy.

So the four QFs still look like:

  1. South Africa vs Wales
  2. NZ vs Ireland
  3. France vs Argentina
  4. Australia vs Scotland
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NZ 43 Georgia 10

October 3rd, 2015 at 2:50 pm by David Farrar

Well thank goodness we’re not in the pool of death, or we may be dead.

Three games down, and all pretty scratchy. One against a mid-level country, and two against minnows. And they all scored tries against us, and we never looked dominant.

Credit to Georgia for playing so well. I do love how the World Cup inspires the less ranked countries to put in their best performances.

Tonga could push us quite hard next weekend.

The pools are looking interesting.

Pool A – Australia probably to top and Wales may come second unless England beat them. The two bonus points for England should see them through if they do.

Pool B – South Africa should still top followed by Scotland

Pool C -All Blacks and probably Argentina

Pool D – France followed by Ireland

So quarter-finals may be:

  1. South Africa vs Wales
  2. NZ vs Ireland
  3. France vs Argentina
  4. Australia vs Scotland

Possible semis are:

  1. South Africa vs NZ
  2. France vs Australia

Not even going to predict the final!

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