Rolling Rugby Thread

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
you can only legitimately enjoy rugby if you have nz or welsh heritige. fact.
otherwise you are a cunt.
well done wales/
mind you aus. missing half their players but a good result all the same. they're not mugs anymore.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
disappointingly, ricky stuart aside the australians were rather pleased to see the kiwis pull it off in the final.
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
2011 Rugby World Cup draw:
Pool A - New Zealand, France, Tonga, Americas 1, Asia 1
Pool B - Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe 1, play-off winner
Pool C - Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe 2, Americas 2
Pool D - South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Oceania 1, Africa 1
Pool D - tasty!
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Scotland 13 - Wales 26.

Flattering score line for Scotland, I think.

Can't wait for next week.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
That was the least tense I've ever felt watching Wales play; even with the last minute pull-out of Ryan Jones, a potentially devestating blow in those circumstances, and minus Gavin Henson and without Hookie, for the most part Wales were beautifully dominant. Only when they relaxed and got sloppy towards the end of the match, did it get at all edgy.

This is a weird experience for Welshman of my age and a bit older and anyone younger, those who grew up in the late 80s and 90s watching the Welsh rugby nightmare unfold, with our elders reeling and regaling us with the genius and beauty of Welsh Rugby in the 70s. And only in Wales was is it so important, so tied to national culture and character, to an almost disturbed and damaging degree. (Welsh football is a fairly squalid affair, cf. Cardiff City.)

It meant that every time Wales played well, it was a slightly uneasy surprise, and inevitably undone by subsequent destruction at the hands of, most gallingly, England, the most soulless rugby nation and earth, and bitter rivals. (I don't like this side of Welsh rugby, actually. Mere disdain would be more elegant.) So, for our generations, to expect a commanding Welsh side to perform with confidence and falir and gusto is a joyful and surprising thing. I don't think any of us believed it was real until we beat France last year and took that second Grand Slam. The first still felt like a fluke, or just luck and guts and imagination bound to fade out. (Which, without Gatland and Edwards stepping in, it would have been.)

It created a ongoing sense of deflation and detachment in the nation's psyche, punctuated by brief moments of absurd euphoria and over-confidence every time we did well. Anyone who remembers the embarrasing false dawns of the Graham Henry era (and heard the radio phone ins on Radio Wales at the time) will know what I mean.

I think Gatland is superb, however, I'm a big fan. He's marshalled a good bunch of players into an almost-great team, and yet kept the players egos tied to terra firma. They have a sense of humility and a keen perfectionism and at their best now, play as a team: for example, today's first half, and the amazing and exciting defence play against France last March (overseen by a low-key and effective Gavin Henson to give him his due).

I liked what Flanker Haskell said today:

"The atmosphere [at the Millennium Stadium] is incredible," said the Wasps man. "When people ask if I notice the crowd in the game, I usually say no, but in Cardiff you do, especially when Wales are going forward because it's so loud.
He's right. I remember when the Arms Park was pulled down, it was an unpopular thing because there was so much history and sentiment attached to the stadium, and, in fact, it was a really hideous concrete block with no real atmosphere. The Millenium Stadium looks awful from the outside, but inside it's one of the greatest stadiums I can imagine being built. I've been inside once and it's so steep and deep that any Welsh game is an intense experience: the noise of Welsh fans, the hymns and arias, ricochet around it: the acoustics are amazing. And when Wales are on the kind of form they have been for the last few years, it can only be intimidating, even for the All Blacks. That pre-match stand-off late last year is a good example.

Another thing about the Welsh squad, is that in the late 80s and 90s we always looked fat and ugly and lumbering: missing teeth and full of beer and chips. No we have handsome, swarhy backs and charismatic forwards. The 70s backs were like Iberian hunks and the forwards were rude bulldozers: we're getting back to that, at last. A good-looking, hungry team.

Henson needs to sort his shit out, because as an old man he will regret missing out on so many matches at this time, with this team, and its superb coach.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Scotland 13 - Wales 26.

Flattering score line for Scotland, I think.

Can't wait for next week.
Wwll, great sex, love and astonidhing music are the only things better tahn beating England, as every Welshman knows. Hope we bury the c*nts. Apologies to all English readers....
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
And yes, watching this Welsh team is the first time in living memory that it has been possible to be comfortable and slightly blase when following Wales. The defence is astonishing for anyone brought up on 1990s Wales. Millennium Stadium is pretty great, too.

And we still have easily the most rousing national anthem in the world (sorry, France, it's close but no cigar).
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
wonderful post Ollie!

and Baboon, that's quite alright. i saw your boys beat Ireland at Croker last year with a Port Talbot pal and it was wonderful.

my, weren't Italy woeful.

dispiriting for an admirer such as myself.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
i saw your boys beat Ireland at Croker last year with a Port Talbot pal and it was wonderful.
Ah, that piece of magic from Shane. Very close game, as I recall.

The injuries have got to be a worry for Wales next Saturday though. But we'll never underestimate an English team.

And can someone do something about Stephen Jones?!? Wasteful.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I adore Stephen Jones, and he's usually a top-notch kicker; it was painful to see him miss all those kicks on Sunday. One reason for that flattering score line. Scotland were lucky not to be humiliated on home ground. (Though I still think they were.)
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
i didn't watch France-Scotland

Bravo Wales!

Cymru am bith!

better from England than i was expecting.

in the opening ten or so Wales could've driven bulldozers through English spaces and then the start of the second, what a wonderful Welsh move.

nice tries all around, and i am glad England demonstrated some moves now and again, as well as the discipline to tighten up after initially being caught cold at the start of both halves. much better than against Italy.

immediately after being sinned Goode looked suicidal on that bench.

two random thoughts:

Shanklin reminds me of the Aussie Latham somewhat: fierce creature.

i watched the BBC1 coverage with BBC1 commentary (you can switch to BBC Wales or R5 on digital but i didn't), but - blow me - Moore is a one-eyed twat isn't he?

much of his praise for Wales was essentially either a back-handed compliment or damning with the faint stuff. i don't mean picking Worsley as his MoM or anything like that, (Tait was anonymous i thought and afaic tell from Hartley coming on, most of what he did after being brought on was row), just in general, the entire 80.

still, i've been shaking my head for some time that the Telegraph got rid of the odd genuinely fine sports writer to make way financially for his well-paid columns, in which he regales us with inanities.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Didn't see all of it, due to stress-related cigarette breaks (watching at a pub) and drink-related comprehension problems late in the game, but bravo England. I don't think many Welshmen would've begrudged them the win on that performance. And they were killing us in the tackle at certain stages.

That all said, it's the mark of champions (cf Man United, New Zealand, Brazil) to play badly and win. Which is a strange feeling for a Welsh rugby fan.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I thought England were pretty good on Saturday, actually; but what was nice, was that they were good against the odds, and good because Johnson had the intelligence to sort out a decent defence game, by effectively marking out and neutralising our two most dangerous players on Saturday: Jamie Roberts and Andy Powell. (Sorry, should mention the mighty Martyn Williams too, such an amazing player, and lovely human being. It's nice to like so many of your player personally: Ryan Jones might be the most adorable and sane Captain of any rugby team in history.)

And they scored two good trys, to our one, so good defence and good trys makes them look good, and us bad. Then again, we didn't field Shane or Gav or Hook. And we still won. And that's nice, that's good, because we have depth: not putting on three of our best players no longer cripples us.

It's still down for a Wales vs. Ireland Grand Slam face off, fingers crossed, because that would be magnificent. I am admiring the Irish side right now. It would be good to beat them, superb to get 3 Grand Slams within 5 years.

I said "Grand Slam". Of course, that means it won't happen. Welsh pessimism is so strong, you can never mention this shit.

Jamie Roberts is a handsome, brilliant bastard, isn't he?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
The anthem, to stir baboon the Swansea boy!

Although, as baboon knows, none of us Swansea boys speak Welsh!

Dylan Thomas, the most famous Welshman and non-Welsh speaking Welshman, from the Uplands!
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
It's still down for a Wales vs. Ireland Grand Slam face off, fingers crossed, because that would be magnificent. I am admiring the Irish side right now. It would be good to beat them, superb to get 3 Grand Slams within 5 years.

I said "Grand Slam". Of course, that means it won't happen. Welsh pessimism is so strong, you can never mention this shit.
Being a Welsh pessimist, I must say that I think France away is a huge potential banana skin for us. The French have a tendency to cut loose when their backs are against the wall, asthey surely are now after two shaky performances. But that doesn't mean that the championship isn't there for the taking, even if we do go awry in Paris.
 
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