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England knocked out of home World Cup by outstanding Wallabies

Hopefully all these tits singing Swing Low at unrelated matches will now shut the hell up. But I doubt it.

I suppose if Wales pull off the unthinkable and end up in a final with Australia, (not sure if that even works draw-wise, just thinking back to England & SA in 2007), the RFU will claim that it gives a different perspective to England's abject failure - losing only to the best teams and all that sort of nonsense.

3 Days, 21 Hours ago

England knocked out of home World Cup by outstanding Wallabies

So, does this mean there will be cheap tickets becoming available for the knockout matches?

I realise this is a dull thing to say, but I very nearly put some cash on Australia to win by 11-20 last Thursday. It was about 7-1 at the time too. Couldn't bring myself to do it, but it might have sweetened the bitter taste of defeat.

Main observation I have is that of skill over size.

Hard to imagine Hooper and Pocock being selected in the same back row for England. Despite them being awesome both individually and as a unit along with Fardy, some clown would be insisting that we just had to have more ballast.

In the midfield, Australia had Foley, Giteau and Beale, (who I include because although nominally on the wing he was involved in creating the try-scoring opportunities in the inside channels, in a playmaking sense too, rather than the old blindside wing crashball option). These are all relatively small, creative playmakers. OK, Kuridrani at 13 is a beast, but he still has a lot of skill to offer. These lot offer so much invention and create opportunities in attack and I didn't see them embarrassed in defence, yet it would be unthinkable for Bomber and Farrell Sr to pick such a lightweight backline. My suspicion is that Catt would dearly love to do exactly that.

What sticks in the craw is that players of this type are available to England. Ford, Joseph, Slade, Cipriani, Eastmond and Daly spring to mind. Not saying they're definitely as good at their Australian counterparts, but given a bit of trust, confidence and experience, and if they're allowed to play a bit rather than being coached to death, they could be devastating.

3 Days, 21 Hours ago

Friday Funnies - Dan Biggar's bizarre kicking ritual, the Biggar Shuffle

This bloke used to be a bit of a knob didn't he? Can't remember what he did to incur my displeasure now. I find I admire the guy quite a bit these days. Aside from this comedy routine, he's playing some nice rugby and seems quite modest with it. As for the kicking set-up, it's hilarious to watch someone look so much like he's absolutely bricking it, then calmly slot 8 kicks from 8. Not that I was exactly pissing myself laughing the other night.

6 Days, 15 Hours ago

France win comfortably despite Canada scoring some great tries at Stadium MK

Brilliant by Cudmore! Love that. Not many people can get away with trolling a whole pack of forwards like that...

6 Days, 21 Hours ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

Agree. Slammin Sam makes hard yards AND puts other players in space. I've had enough of Barritt "heroically" tackling people with his face. The only reason he's there, supposedly, is for defensive organisation, yet it was his disorganised defence (rushing out of the line) that created the gap for Wales's try. On top of that, Burgess has kudos in Australia for his brilliance in the other code. Not selecting him disregards a potential psychological advantage.

I don't like to complain about refs, but Lacy was really shit. I was banging my head against a brick wall yesterday trying to explain to a Welshman how the ref pinged Fiji more, so I'm relieved to see your first line here. And, yes, I'd caveat that he was shocking against both teams, but the balance was in Wales's favour.

Players you highlighted were indeed excellent. Chapeau also to Warburton who got through a lot of work and North looked his old dangerous self when he got the ball in hand.

6 Days, 21 Hours ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

Well done to Wales for getting the job done, but the most exciting part of the game for me was first ten minutes of the second half, where they allowed themselves to be lured into playing Fijian style rugby - and Fiji got the better of them for a while. Unfortunately, Wales got a grip after the Goneva try and reverted to throttling Fiji, rather than taking them on at their own game. (On that note, I know England have Joseph back in now to hopefully spark something for the back three, but I hope they don't try to play too much like Australia; if England are going to have any chance they need to play to their (relative) strengths and smash it through the middle).

I was again impressed by Fiji, their forward pack has dramatically improved over the past couple of years. You know you're going to see exciting shit from the backs and yesterday was no exception. Their offloading is just beautiful; if they could have just protected the ball a bit better when taking it into contact I think we could have been looking at a very different result.

1 Week, 1 Hour ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

The "Rugbydump" moment doesn't seem to be in this clip. That for me was the moment where Bradley Davies tried to rip off the Fijian player's head at a ruck, quite early in the game. If Nadolo copped a suspension for a "head-roll", even when the judicial officer himself said he did nothing of the sort, unjustifiably missing this very game, then BD's had to be worth yellow at least, and by the letter of the Nadolo report red.

I would like to have seen how Wales coped with 14 men for the majority of the match.

Based on the precedent set with Nadolo, Davies must be cited and the book thrown at him. But that of course does nothing to help Fiji, who should have had the benefit (of playing 15 v 14) during the game.

1 Week, 1 Hour ago

Arizona Wildcat's pre-match Haka has angered rugby fans

Gettting a bit youtubey on here all of sudden...........

1 Week, 19 Hours ago

Nemani Nadolo banned for dangerous David Pocock clean out

Mate, even on that slow-mo video, you'd have to be pretty one-eyed to say that's a deliberate kick to the head.

1 Week, 21 Hours ago

Jamie Mackintosh elbow earns him red and a one week ban

Looks like a cartoon character. With a comedy high-pitched voice.

Good spot by the ref.

What a dirty bastard. Don't get how he felt he could protest against this.

1 Week, 23 Hours ago