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2007 Rugby World Cup

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Think you'll find Ramar started it, not me.


Wales v South Africa next month!! That'll be interesting for sure!

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great article and something I agree with.




It's Bok to basics and the future of rugby is doomed

Monday, October 22, 2007


By Peter Bills


England were brave and courageous, South Africa disciplined and dedicated to defence.


So was this a World Cup final to put before the planet via global television? You must be joking.


What South Africa and England churned out in Paris on Saturday evening mirrored the 2007 World Cup.


In a technical sense, poor, unadventurous, defensive-minded rugby, littered with aimless kicking.


But this isn't rugby as we know it. Nor is it the rugby most people want to see played now or in the future.


Sure, the South African nation will celebrate and claim all is well in their land now the mighty Boks rule the rugby-playing world once again. They'll be deluding themselves if they believe that.


South Africa have now played in two Rugby World Cup finals, won them both and not scored a single try in either.


We are surely entitled to ask not only what that tells us about the Springboks' approach but also about what is wrong with the modern game.


Do people pay anything up to €1,000 or even more to watch a match of penalty goals, as well as interminable kicking up in the air?


This was one of the most boring Rugby World Cup finals in history.


Neither side wanted to risk anything; consequently, they kicked the ball away and invited the opposition to make mistakes with it. England did, conceding five penalties in the first hour that were all translated into points. Those acts of transgression decided the game.


And that was all it took to win the 2007 Rugby World Cup.


No attacking-minded play, no inventiveness, little skill behind the scrum, scant originality in the play. The formula was dire and depressing.


Only Mathew Tait of England and perhaps South Africa's Frans Steyn offered a glimpse of back line creativity and cunning.


So is this what rugby union has come to, circa 2007?


Never mind the product; sure, that's garbage and we all know that.


But throw in a few fireworks after 80 minutes of mind-numbing boredom and hope the pundits will go home happy. The fools might have done; any with a brain would have known that what they saw was complete rubbish.


About 12 months ago, All Blacks coach Graham Henry told me frankly: "If winning a World Cup means we have to play defensive rugby, we have to kick the ball away and not play, then I'd rather not win it."


I believe Henry was dead right. Why would you want to win a World Cup playing no rugby, just focusing entirely on defence and keeping the other lot out?


If this is what it takes to win a World Cup, New Zealand is better off without the tarnished trophy.


This glittering World Cup is no trophy of excellence. It's been dumbed down to a trophy of the basics?..who can deny longest, who can strangle the opposition, who can stop opponents playing, who can force mistakes from their rivals?


That is what is required to win a World Cup in the modern game. The fact that a side as limited as England could reach the final, spoke volumes for the dearth of real quality in this tournament.


This once great game is at a crossroads, post the 2007 World Cup.


Unless serious steps are taken to reward attacking play, to negate the incessant kicking and find some way to marginalise those who just don't want to play, we can forget all about rugby union as it once was.


Saturday in Paris in front of 80,000 people gave us a foretaste of what this game will become in the future unless urgent action is taken to address the failings.


Frankly, if this was a vision of the future, it was frightening.

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The above article is merely testament to how far forward-play and defence have come in the past decade. If you want to see rugby devoid of those elements then League is obviously more your game. Personally I found the forward-play in this world cup from the likes of Andrew Sheridan to be as enthralling and inspiring as any great piece of attacking play. New Zealand and Australia would love to see forward-play neutered to cover up for their own inadequacy in those areas, but in doing so part of the very fabric and essence of Union would be destroyed.


It is undoubtedly significant that the author of the article above is Irish. There seems to be general consensus that this world cup has been the best ever - but considering how dismal Ireland performed this inevitably would not be the view of many an Irishman. It is also plain stupid to point to the final as a precedent for the entire tournament. Finals of competitions in all sports are usually fairly restrained, conservative affairs. Take football world cup finals for examples - they're rarely ever thrilling, or a reflection on the entertainment value of the rest of the tournament.


The article is nothing more than the alarmist rant of a bitter Irishman.

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The article is nothing more than the alarmist rant of a bitter Irishman.


The alarmist rant of a bitter Ulsterman...


Don't tar us all with the same brush ;)


I agree with what you said tbh tho.

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