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Sport is the winner
October 15, 2003 5:42 AM   Subscribe

USA surrenders to very small country which must mean it's Rugby Union World Cup time again! With four billion people watching, can England finally be good at something or will New Zealand prove too strong? For those of you whose only introduction to Rugby was from an episode of Friends maybe it's time to learn the sometimes complex rules.
posted by meech (19 comments total)

 
After defeating the All Blacks in Wellington in July, I think all England fans will be looking forward to seeing what we can do to them on a neutral ground.

Unfortunately we may not get to play them, since they're likely to face Australia in the other semi-final, who will have home advantage and always improve in the latter stages.

Of course, we have to put South Africa to bed first, and I think they'll be up for revenge after our 53-3 thrashing of them last time we met. Still, we have the best chance ever of a Northern Hemisphere team to finally win the competition.

Don't bet against Clive Woodward and the squad: we've beaten everyone on the way to this competition, and we're definitely the team to beat this time.
posted by walrus at 6:01 AM on October 15, 2003


It's an unusual position I'm in - being English, and having England as favourites for a competition. I don't know whether to think "Oh, it's as good as won", or, "We're going to get knocked out a la France at the football World Cup".

England's got a very very good side, and should hopefully go all the way, but there's no guaranteeing that.
posted by BigCalm at 6:10 AM on October 15, 2003


Well done to the Eagles for running Fiji so close. Us Welsh will just be happy not to become a laughing stock as usual.

England or NZ for the trophy, still undecided as to which one though. Will be good to watch the racist, violent thugs, otherwise known as the springboks, get a pasting by England.

An interesting game to play, try to make the best team for Tonga, Fiji or Samoa by taking all pacific island stars who play for other teams
posted by fullerine at 6:17 AM on October 15, 2003


Well done to the Eagles for running Fiji so close. Us Welsh will just be happy not to become a laughing stock as usual.

You certainly put Canada to shame over the weekend. You'd think Canada could at least take a few CFL players and teach them how to play rugby for the sake of not losing to fricking Wales.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:53 AM on October 15, 2003


With four billion people watching

Hardly?
posted by cx at 7:15 AM on October 15, 2003


Whence this "let's just coach some players who play a completely different game and then we'll be brilliant at Rugby Union" meme? Most recently at sportsfilter, where it was answered in depth by rogerd.
posted by walrus at 7:17 AM on October 15, 2003


I meant to say "I have seen this surface a couple of times this week", but obviously slipped somewhere betwixt cut and paste.
posted by walrus at 7:19 AM on October 15, 2003


cx: check the figures ... I assume that we're talking TV audience, and a figure of four billion looks more than possible to me.
posted by walrus at 7:24 AM on October 15, 2003


According the the blurb being bandied about by the IRB the Rugby world cup is the third biggest sporting event outside of football (soccer) and athletics.
posted by johnnyboy at 7:28 AM on October 15, 2003


But did you hear the one about the Namibian who fought off a lion with his bare hands to protect his sister's favourite baboon?
posted by biffa at 7:41 AM on October 15, 2003


You'd think Canada could at least take a few CFL players and teach them how to play rugby for the sake of not losing to fricking Wales

And obviously, change the rules to allow them a rest after every 10 seconds of play.

The 4 billion thing is done with some clever accounting for ad revenues. (like 4 billion people actually have a TV). I think it really means if you added up all the potential viewers for every match it would be 4 billion.
posted by fullerine at 7:47 AM on October 15, 2003


It sounds like they're getting TV numbers the same way Formula One does, where they count every repeat, and every time a clip is shown on the news, etc. And each time the same person sees multiple clips at different times he is counted. So you multiply that by the number of races, or games in this case, and you eventually get your astronomical numbers. (with F1 trailing only the Olympics and the Soccer World Cup in TV viewing)
posted by Space Coyote at 8:01 AM on October 15, 2003


I'm very impressed by the reigning Olympic Gold medalists' performance against Fiji.
posted by davehat at 8:05 AM on October 15, 2003


davehat: Yes, good to know that the team of 1924 is still in top condition.

What's that? They haven't played rugby in the Olympics in almost 80 years?

Oh.
posted by cheaily at 8:33 AM on October 15, 2003


cheaily: The fact remains.
posted by davehat at 9:30 AM on October 15, 2003


American football, for men who don't need armour plating.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:04 PM on October 15, 2003


American football, for men who don't need armour plating.

umm................yeah.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:03 AM on October 16, 2003


Here's hoping England lose.

Yours, etc
An Englishman.
posted by vbfg at 6:06 AM on October 16, 2003


regarding the American football analogy -- as rogerd pointed out, it's pure fantasy. I played rugby in Canada for four years and continued playing when I went to university in the States and one of our biggest challenges was retraining American football players. Besides the fact that football players are trained for burst performance rather than endurance, and that a rugby offense is more than just "a football running game w/ kicks" (an analogy that's always guaranteed to draw sneers from veteran ruggers), there a lot of football habits that are incompatible with rugby (blocking, pocket containment, using the helmet as a weapon, high tackling) so, it's not even a matter of training them on new tactics, but breaking them of old habits -- so much so that a converted football player who is poorly trained is more of a liability than a your standard blank slate recruit.
posted by bl1nk at 9:06 AM on October 17, 2003


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