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invisibleman18
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Rugby League World Cup 2008 « on: October 25, 2008, 06:23 AM »
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Starts tonight with England vs Papua NewGuinea.
Anyone else interested? Hasn't been much interest when I've started League threads before but it is a World Cup this time.

Bit of a strange format. Pool A consists of the top 4 ranked teams - Australia, NZ, England, PNG - and the top 3 go through to the semi finals. There are 2 other pools of 3 of which the winners of each play each other for the 4th place in the semi final. Australia, NZ and England are so far ahead of the rest and being at home, Australia are unlikely to be beaten. They will win the group and play the winner from the other 2 groups (likely to be Samoa or Tonga) in the semi final while NZ and England will be 2nd and 3rd (doesn't matter which order although of course a win in the group would give 1 side a mental boost ahead of the semi final) and play each other again in the other semi final. I think NZ are beatable. We did beat them 3-0 at home in a 3 test series last year under the name of Great Britain with virtually the same team and the same coach. Although NZ are a much better team this time and will be more suited to the conditions. A place in the final is obtainable but beating Australia would seem highly unlikely. Anything could happen though.

There hasn't been a World Cup since 2000 - the last few years have seen a tri series between Australia, NZ and Great Britain or just a test series between 2 of the teams instead. So they've made this strange format in an effort to have competitive games from the start rather than the top 3 not having a real match until the semi finals. Bit of a farce with some of the team selections though with most of the best Tongan and Samoan players in the NZ and Australia sides. In fact, when a player pulled out injured a week or so ago, Australia even pulled someone (who had played for Australia before) out of the Tonga squad and into their's! Even we have a Samoan guy. Half the Scotland team (6 in the starting 13 plus another 2 on the bench for their game tomorrow) are Australians who have managed to find Scottish blood after not being good enough for Australia while most of the other teams also include Australian or Kiwi rejects.  
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 10:48 AM »
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Sigh. Different sport, same old England. 16-12 down at half time against the supposed easy beats. We look terrible, especially in defence and on the basis of that half I was very wrong - we have no chance against NZ and the scorelines against them and Australia could be quite embarrassing. Then again, the rugby side were sh*te in the group stage last year and still went onto somehow make the final so it could get better.

In fairness though, PNG have looked pretty good. Certainly much better than anticipated.
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Neil
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 11:29 AM »
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Erm.... I thought it was GB that played in Rugby League? Doesn't seem like much of a world cup......
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 11:57 AM »
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Indeed it's usually Great Britain (and Ireland) in the annual internationals with NZ and Australia (although it's really just England under a different name and the same coach with the occasional Irishman - Brian Carney was a regular for years before changing to Union) but for the World Cup it's split into England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. England, Scotland and Ireland are there with Scotland having unexpectedly beaten Wales in a qualification playoff.

Anyway, better 2nd half gets us out of jail with a 32-22 win effectively securing a place in the semi finals. Defence was poor in the first half and we were diabolical under the high ball - I think we lost every single one. The same performance next weekend against Australia will not be fun to watch. Especially when they kick out wide to Israel Folau (fantastic winger) who never gets beaten in the air.

As a sidenote, Ireland have a player call Wayne Kerr. Is it immature of me to find that name hilarious? roflmao
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 08:52 AM »
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France have just beaten Scotland 36-18 which most likely ends Scotland's chances of winning the pool and making the semi final qualifier.
The big game tonight is Australia-NZ kicking off in about 10 minutes.
And Wayne Kerr has not made the Irish lineup for their first game tomorrow. Frown
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 11:13 AM »
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And Australia win 30-6 confirming that noone will touch them in this tournament. Far too good and the only contest of any note now is whether us or NZ will make the final. Australia will smash us by a similar scoreline next weekend but on the basis of this game, I think NZ are beatable. Perhaps a bit hard to judge them though since they never really got hold of the ball in Australia's half. Too big a gulf in quality rather than NZ not being any good.
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Allan
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #6 on: October 26, 2008, 12:18 PM »
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No chance of winning but go Scotland! cmon yeah
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #7 on: November 01, 2008, 11:01 AM »
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NZ have just destroyed PNG 42-6 with worrying ease. I really hope last week was just a terrible day for us and we're capable of a heck of a lot better. If we really aren't much better then we've got 3 quite humiliating drubbings coming up against Australia tomorrow then twice against NZ in the final group game and again in the semi final.
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2008, 10:57 AM »
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52-4, about as expected. To be fair though, while there's a huge gulf in quality, there wasn't a 50 point gulf between those 2 teams. 25-30 maybe but we were a lot better than the score sounds. We just have a terrible defence and they scored every time they got the ball up our end by simply running straight and hard. We had 10-15 minutes in the first half where we had all the ball, got a try to get back to 12-4 and we were camped on their line for 5 or 6 consecutive sets and just couldn't break through. Then inevitably as soon as they got the ball they got a penalty and got up our end and scored and that was the end of any hope of a fight back. We didn't get the rub of the green with the decisions either. First 2 tries came from penalties that didn't seem to be given for any reason and 1 of them also had an illegal play the ball on the try scoring play, 2 came from forward passes and 1 from a knock on, although not that it really would have mattered. To be fair, our try awarded by the video ref was never a try either.

I think we can give NZ more of a game but the defence is just not strong enough to win. Something like 30-12 to them seems a reasonable bet. Whole thing's a waste of time though when there's only 1 team. It's even less competitive than the Rugby World Cups. At least they tend to have 3 or 4 teams.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 November 02, 2008, 11:01 AM ] IP Logged
invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 09:10 AM »
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Ireland have scored a major upset by thrashing Samoa 34-16 to win the group and go through to the playoff for a place in the semi final. They will play Fiji, unless Scotland do something even more unlikely and beat Fiji by 30 points.
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Allan
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 07:18 PM »
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Scotland did win!  cmon yeah But only by 2 points...
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 05:38 AM »
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Surprising result that one too. Thought Fiji would smash them as they thrashed France who beat Scotland. The two "minor" groups have been the only interesting part of this World Cup with both of them resulting 3 teams each winning 1 game. I fancy the Irish to beat Fiji in the semi final qualifier. It hardly matters though. Australia won't have any trouble scoring even 100+ points against either in the semi.
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #12 on: November 08, 2008, 04:11 AM »
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England - NZ tonight. Game doesn't mean anything, just perhaps a bit of a psychological boost ahead of the semi final rematch next week. An opportunity to rest a couple of players and give some time to players who didn't get any involvement in the first 2 games. I think we'll give NZ a good game but our defence just isn't good enough to win. We'll give away too many penalties and soft tries, but it could be a good game.
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Allan
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 11:21 AM »
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England lost 36-24 after being 24-8 at one stage in the first half.

Scotland got destroyed 48-0 against Tonga. Frown
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invisibleman18
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Re: Rugby League World Cup 2008 « Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 11:35 AM »
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We were brilliant in the first half. Absolutely all over them and scored 4 fantastic tries. Then in the 2nd half we couldn't even get the ball, let alone get out of our half. Some really awful defending to let in some really soft tries too. Still, we have a lot more key players to come back next week than they do as they barely rested anybody. So I think we can win the semi final if we put in an 80 minute performance next time. It doesn't really matter as neither team will trouble Australia, but it would be nice to be in the final.

Game stopped for 10 minutes in the first half due to a terrible injury to NZ's Steve Matai. Got carried off in a neck brace and all that. It was always going to happen though. He looked absolutely dead after the NRL semi final a few weeks ago with a neck and shoulder injuries, then played in the grand final the next week and again looked in a bad way. Then he was told he would need operations on both shoulders but put them off to play in the world cup. Taken such a ridiculous risk to play and I reckon he's probably finished. It wasn't even a big tackle. We were up 24-8 at that point and after the stoppage it was all one way traffic for them.
[ Last edit by invisibleman18 November 08, 2008, 11:40 AM ] IP Logged
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