Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I haven't been watching any rugby!

God, I really hate to admit it but I didn't watch any rugby at all during Super 14. Not even Ewen McKenzie's last turn out with the Waratahs ... nada, zip, rien.

I think the World Cup overdosed me ... and I've been in a bit of an anti-rugby fog for a while. Have been focusing on other things, other interests ... and am not currently dating a rugby player! Always helps to have a vested interest.

Had better try and find something interesting rugby-wise to read about and write about, otherwise this blog will disappear into the ether! But, then haven't been blogging very much this year either.

Off to read Rugby Heaven ...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Pumas to join the Tri-Nations ... eventually.

The IRB has agreed to allow Argentina to join an expanded Tri-Nations competition, but it may take a decade for them to be ready.

By far the majority of Pumas play for Northern Hemisphere teams during the year; hence the state of domestic South American rugby is relatively weak. It could take ten to twelve years for a strengthened Argentinean competition to become attractive enough to keep their best players at home. Any Pumas joining a Southern Hemisphere competition whilst still playing for their Northern Hemisphere teams would contravene the 10-week rest between seasons rule.

So, whilst the prospect glitters in the distance, there's a great deal of work to do before a 4-nations competition below the Equator can become a reality.

Shame really.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

IRB World Rankings ... some changes in the Top Ten

South Africa leads the IRB World Rankings after their victory in the RWC. New Zealand has slipped to second place whilst Argentina has moved up from 6th place to number 3! England has moved down to 4th and the Wallabies round out the top 5.

Even more reason to create a Four Nations competition in the Southern Hemisphere :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rules changes to be proposed.

The IRB intends to change to rules of rugby so as to increase the incentives to score tries and to reduce the influence of penalty kicks.

About time, I say!

A host of proposals are on the discussion table, including a plan to allow penalties for only two offences in the entire game, foul play and offside. This would reduce the number of penalties being kicked and stoppages of play.

I vote for reducing the value of penalty-kicks and drop goals as well. Rugby should be about scoring tries. It will speed the game up and make it more interesting!

England arrive home empty-handed whilst the Boks take care of their new trophy ...

The South Africans have arrived home in Jo'burg with the cup, whilst the English landed back in Blighty after a night on the tiles drowning their sorrows.
Ol' JW looks positively chipper!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A rugby banquet

Noticed this fun article in The Times this morning .... for the cooks out there :-D

What's worse than losing a RWC Quarter-Final?

Losing the Final :-)

The English media provide some interesting perspectives on the RWC Final, but I'm glad The Times has reported support given to Australian video referee Stuart Dickinson by the IRB international referees manager.


The international refereeing chief said last night that the television match official had made an “absolutely brilliant decision” in disallowing England wing Mark Cueto’s second-half “try” in the World Cup final.

Stuart Dickinson, the Australian television match official, consulted replays for about three minutes before ruling that the touchdown by Cueto at the start of the second half should not stand because he had put a foot in touch. South Africa were leading 9-3 at the time.

Paddy O’Brien, the referees manager for the International Rugby Board, said: “It was an absolutely brilliant decision by the television match official, and there is a great photo of his [Cueto’s] foot just on the line prior to grounding the ball. There is no issue, there is no doubt. People may criticise officials for taking time, but it is better that it is correct.”

Cueto reckons he scored it and is quoted as saying he will declare it to all and sundry a legitimate try. You do that Mark! The English fans are crying foul and I have to say I love it :-D. To all those English fans who carried on about the All Blacks' supporters after the French try-creating forward pass can suck it up, just like the Kiwis had to :-D

Sunday, October 21, 2007

And the 2007 World Champions are ... South Africa!

The Springboks have emerged victorious after a try-less match against England.

The match came down to a penalty-kicking battle between Percy Montgomery and Jonny Wilkinson, with the former coming off the better. JW also made two unsuccessful attempts at drop goals -(the scourge of rugby union :-)).

A try to England's Mark Cueto was disallowed by the Australian video referee when Cueto was judged to have been in touch when the ball went down. I wonder how the English fans will respond to this, especially after the grief they gave unhappy All Blacks' fans over the truly forward pass in their match against the French :-D ? There was much defending of the referee etc etc ... I bet the same defence is not given to the Australian ref (who is undoubtedly right anyway :-D).

How did South Africa do it? They had fewer injuries throughout the competition, kept key players rested during the Tri Nations (to which they sent an arguably 2nd-string team), played consistently well, and tightened up their discipline when it counted. They had a dream run through the knockout rounds once the All Blacks bit the dust against the French. They deserved to win, being a better team both on paper and on the field.

So, congratulations South Africa and thank you for bringing the cup back down south (where it belongs ;-D).

Commiserations England - we Australians know what it feels like - but look forward to 2011 in New Zealand.

RSA 15 - Eng 6

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The big event is almost upon us ... the Final of the Rugby World Cup 2007

The pinnacle of all this rugger playing is finally here - the Final between South Africa and England.

The Springboks will need to be tightly drilled and very disciplined - their captain Smit admitted it himself today in the international media. The English try to stop their opponents playing rugby. They like to see them make errors so JW can score penalties. The Boks will need to play the most disciplined game of their lives to win. Once JW gets the ball his kicking boot takes over.

May the best team win.

The Argies win the bronze!

The Argentinians have defeated the French in a spirited match at Parc des Princes in Paris. The scored 5 tries to France's one, and showed they are as good in the backs as they are in the forwards.

This is the best ever result for the South American side - well done! I vote that the Argies be allowed to join an expanded Tri Nations competition.


Arg 34 - Fra 10

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lining up for the bronze medal round: France v Argentina

The teams have been announced; all that's left is the match.

Can the French salvage their pride with a win at Parc des Princes on Friday, or will the Argentinians finish on a high with their best ever performance at the RWC?

I'm a bit torn on this one as I like both teams. So, I shall simply enjoy seeing the match unfold and the result created. Viva Rugby!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not about rugby .... the Princess Grace exhibition at Sothebys New York

Princess Grace was a beacon of chic. She is one of Chic Girl's most important role models. This wonderful exhibition in New York is on for 2 weeks in October - sigh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Bokke carry the hopes of the Southern Hemisphere ...

The Springboks did what was expected - crushed the spirits of a spirited Argentinian side in the 2nd Semi Final. Well done Argentina - it'd be great to see you in a Four Nations competition very soon!

I was at my Pilates class last night and one of my pals laughingly suggested inciting the fans at the Final into some biffo. He also wants to see an all-in brawl on the pitch! With the bitey Boks and the fat English forwards it could be on :-D

I want the Boks to win (go Southern Hemisphere), however I suspect the English will do it off the back of JW kicking penalties - the Boks are not the most disciplined of teams and their forwards are notorious for their biffo. The South Africans need to be tight and well drilled, and not get carried away into putting the boot in. I predict a couple of send-offs!

On another note, the young English fans on sites such as Facebook have become ugly in their online behaviour. It makes me laugh that public schoolboys from Harrow and Rugby Schools etc are so proficient in profanity. I'm sure their parents are paying for a different type of education ;-D I taught in a boys' school many years ago and I know what teenage boys can be like; however, some of these boys on Facebook are just plain toffy-nosed gits.

By all means be proud of your team's accomplishments, and engage in cheerful, teasing banter to irritate your South African pals at work etc, but be a supporter not a foul-mouthed, dim-witted hooligan.

That's what soccer (sorry, football) is for.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Drat those French ... NOW who am I going to go for?

I can't bring myself to barrack for JW and the English in the Final. I'm sorry English readers, as a die-hard Wallaby supporter, with a thing for a certain All Black, I'm left with South Africa as my Southern Hemisphere team - aaagggh! It feels so unnatural!

The silly Frogs got themselves beat by JW and his damned kicking boot. I HATE DROP GOALS! Bloody Jonny should join the English soccer team. The French were winning 9 - 8 with 5 minutes to go, and then JW kicked a penalty and a drop goal with virtually seconds to spare.

William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it all those years ago. This is how he invented rugby!

What does a rugby fan do when she has no teams left to support in the RWC? Get her beauty sleep!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My new red dress

I've just spotted a new frock to add to the Chic Rugby collection, and it's in a rather patriotic red to support France. A navy handbag and a white hat and I'll look like the tricolour!

I can't upload the image to - instead click here to go to the Country Road website. The dress is red silk with shoulder-straps (for the determined fashionistas out there it's creatively called 'silky drape dress').

I shall in fact be wearing it to a wedding (the weekend after the RWC Final - phew!).

Refereeing at the Rugby World Cup

The IRB has come out with a statement today in support of the referees appointed to oversee the knockout stages of the RWC. This is in response to criticism of Wayne Barnes' refereeing of the France v NZ match, notably the missed forward pass that lead to a French try in the 2nd half.

I happen to think he wasn't that bad - I've certainly seen worse reffing over the years. Certainly, if I was a Kiwi I'd be cheesed about that forward pass, and I'm not sure why the video ref didn't disallow the points given he can access replays during the game ....

Anyway, the IRB aren't backing down and the Frogs are in the Semis ... nice for TV ratings en France!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fiji take it to the Springboks, and Argentina defeat Scotland to secure their semi place.

Fiji played with dash and flair in their match against South Africa. Despite the 37 - 20 scoreline the Fijians really took it to the South Africans and had them rattled. The Fijians scored two tries whilst one of their players was in the sin-bin - how's that for determination?
Some ill-discipline worked against them, especially in the 2nd half; however, this 2nd tier rugby nation showed they could match it with a rugby giant. Well done little islander brothers!

Argentina defeated an inexperienced Scottish team 19 - 13 in a closely faught match. The Scottish team is young but shows potential - watch them with interest in the next Six Nations tournament. Argentina will play South Africa in the second semi-final.
I'm barracking for France and for Argentina :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Match preview: Fiji v RSA

I'm sitting here watching the previews on Channel 10 ... gosh I want the Fijians to take it to the Springboks! It's a huge job, and they'll probably go down by a big score, but if they can injure a few of them - beaut :-D

The vitriol on the Net over the first two quarter-finals has been plentiful today - the 'Boks fans especially are arrogantly asserting their certainty to win the RWC. Be careful fellas - pride comes before a fall. Viz, the ANZACs :-D

Go Fiji!

Another cute player ...

Jean-Baptiste Elissalde , the French half-back, is quite cute! He's the one who kicked the ball into the crowd in Cardiff at the conclusion of the France v NZL match.

Cute commentators

Now, I've always been a big Gordon Bray fan (I was once kissed on the cheek by the Voice of Rugby) but I'm thinking that Ben Darwin (far right) and Rupert McCall (far left) are pretty fanciable ... Rupert's voice reminds me so much of Nick Farr-Jones'. Ben has the most beautiful eyes!