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Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

For all those wondering why Wales is now ranked lower than England...the IRB ranking system is pretty clearly laid out.

Because Wales was ranked higher than France last week, by France winning, they gained more points than what would've happened had Wales won.

(The pre-match points difference was x=0.53 in favor of Wales, so with the IRB ranking calculation for the points change: y = 1/10x + 1, that means the change would be 1.053 points by France beating Wales. Had Wales won, the change would've only been 0.047 points).

Then, because it's part of the WC finals stages, there's a 2x multiplier, meaning that Wales ended up losing 2.11 points, and France gained 2.11 points.

Because England didn't play, having been knocked out, their points remained unchanged. Notice, though, how they lost almost 3 points by losing to France in the QF.

Even though they're now below England, by having made it to the semi-finals, they're still higher in points than they were at the end of the pool stages (up 3pts by beating Ireland, and then down 2pts by losing to France).

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - All Blacks outplay the Wallabies

Unfortunately, it wouldn't have.

Berrick Barnes still would have kicked the ball almost every time he got it, giving up possession; Australia still would have had no one who could compete at catching high ball; and they still would have been slightly worse than NZ in the scrum. The only place Australia seemed better than the ABs - and not even consistently - was the lineout.

Did Joubert miss out on (many) opportunities to ping the Kiwis in the breakdown? Yeah. And staying up late to catch the game, I was pretty pissed every time he did (especially because he managed to blow the whistle most of the times Australia were infringing).

But don't kid yourself. That's nowhere near the reason Australia failed to compete with New Zealand. The Wallabies looked like they lacked ambition and didn't seem able to adapt and change things up when what they were doing wasn't working. No team really seems to have the drive to stop NZ's dominance, and, for me, it's all become a bit boring.

The one plus side from the match, though, was Quade Cooper getting smashed in some tackles. He did well to regain some confidence later in the match, but I enjoyed seeing him get rocked and looking insecure. Too bad Deans is so in love with Cooper he failed to bring any backup who may have instilled a bit more solid tactics in the side.

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Quade Cooper - Public Enemy Number One in New Zealand

I wonder if anyone on the Wallaby coaching staff regrets not having Giteau for the bench?

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Sam Warburton red card in Rugby World Cup Semi Final

It was definitely in the second half - I want to say sometime around 60 minutes, but I can't be certain...with all the ping-pong kicking going on, time all sort of blended together. I'd have to get a copy of the match for say for sure.

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Sam Warburton red card in Rugby World Cup Semi Final

What defensive performance?

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Sam Warburton red card in Rugby World Cup Semi Final

I disagree. Wales played almost the same (minus a slight disadvantage in the scrum department) without Warburton. They were the only side to score a try.

Had Hook not missed two penalties, or Jones a conversion, they'd be the side going into the finals.

Would things have been different with that 15th man? Yeah, sure. But you can't say definitively that they would have done any better, I don't think.

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Sam Warburton red card in Rugby World Cup Semi Final

Red was fine. It was a bit harsh, but it was Rolland's call, and he made it.

I'd like to see Clerc cited for his soccer dive later in the match after he kicked a clearance and went down like a heap of potatoes. Sorta makes me wonder if he was really all that dazed from the Warburton tackle after all. But that doesn't change the fact that, at the time, red looked to be the option.

On a final note...I can't help but think this year is going to be yet another SH triumph - especially when all we've got going into the final is a team who barely beat out a 14-man side - a team that even with an extra player for 60 minutes of game time couldn't score a try. Thanks, France.

3 Years, 6 Months ago

The Rugby Club Plays of the Week - RWC Quarter Finals

Which was what?

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Friday Funnies - Keep your eye on the ball, and the beer

Excellent in-depth analysis there in the write-up, RD.

But how does one comment on a post of a humorous incident in the Aviva Premiership? Does one comment on the surprise that there is interesting rugby being played outside of the World Cup?

No. Instead, we should quip about how the real victim is the guy, given how expensive that beer probably was. Or there's the joke "Well, that's one way to deal with the haka!" (see the shirt).

Baseball may not have much on rugby in terms of athleticism and entertainment, but looks like rugby fans could learn a small lesson in priorities from guys like this:

3 Years, 6 Months ago

Radike Samo's big hit on Bryan Habana in RWC Quarter Final

Haha, that's a pretty funny gif. I had missed that during the match. Just for his own sake, Burger ought to keep his hands away from people's heads. Better safe than sorry.

I imagine he was a little frustrated with Pocock there...seeing as how the whole match the Aussie 7 kept disallowing the ball to be played. There's a difference between being the first man at the tackle and therefore being able to play the ball vs. not allowing the tackled player to place it and then release it.

Either way, I think for the most part, you're right about Bryce Lawrence being equally poor for both sides - especially at the breakdown. The Boks never seemed to enter on their feet, and the Australians never seemed to let the ball be played. And Lawrence just let it all go by.

3 Years, 6 Months ago