T Nation

Official World Cup 2007 Thread

OK, now that we got the round ball out of the way, we can perhaps concentrate on the real World Cup this year.

What are your predictions? Is New Zealand unstoppable? Can Ireland pip them at the post? Can the UK and Australia rebuild in time. Can the reborn bokkie team surprise us again? Will the old fox Laporte deliver?

Is there even a chance for the US to BEAT England in Lens? (I hope so as I’ve got tickets, but would realistically put the odds at 25-1 against). Bring on your views!

TQB

The REAL World Cup!

Will it be broadcast here (USA) so we can watch the Americans dominate?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Will it be broadcast here (USA) so we can watch the Americans dominate?[/quote]

Wow, you are way more optimistic than I am. Keep praying!

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Will it be broadcast here (USA) so we can watch the Americans dominate?[/quote]

‘Gotta’ love HeadHunter on a World Cup thread.
He is ruthless.

Remember the soccer thread?..

: D

New Zealand will be tough to beat, but have they peaked too soon (again)? It would be sweet to see them fall over again at the semi finals, LOL!

England seem to have lost their way at the moment.

Ireland could be a dark horse, playing well at the moment.

France will always be hard to beat at home.

As for us Aussies, our forward pack, although improving, will need to make huge improvements to become a dominant team, although with the awesome backline we’ve got they just need to stop going backwards to let the backs do their job. We need to have the backline settled and stop all of the moving around of positions that has been happenning last season.

Cheers,

Ben

Right now the Kiwis and Irish look to be the teams to beat, but I wouldn’t write off the French at home either.

Aus and RSA have a chance, but as of the end of year tours I will put them down as longshots.

[quote]Ren wrote:
Right now the Kiwis and Irish look to be the teams to beat, but I wouldn’t write off the French at home either.

Aus and RSA have a chance, but as of the end of year tours I will put them down as longshots.[/quote]

I would not sell the Springboks short. I saw some of the games here in Europe last autumn and they had a lot of potential. A bit young perhaps?

Wow, I didn’t know that many people on here followed cricket?

I’d love to see a Ireland -v- NZ final. With Ireland winning of course!!

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Wow, I didn’t know that many people on here followed cricket?

http://www.cricketworldcup.com/[/quote]

Wrong World Cup, we’re talking rugby union here, it’s being held in France later this year. The cricket World Cup is also being held this year in the West Indies, or a bunch of Carribean nations that are combined to form one cricket team.

bump to let the discussion continue…

After the six nations finish this weekend, I’d say Ireland and France are definitely the powers of the Northern Hemisphere. England’s lack of consistency in the tournament, despite their victory over France, leads me to believe they won’t be making a repeat of 2003.

From the southern hemisphere I think it’s New Zealand all the way. I don’t expect much from the Aussies, and RSA’s fall tour play didn’t impress me overmuch.

I’d like to say I think the US will do well, but I doubt it. Maybe if England shows up the team that lost to Wales, and not the team that beat France, we’ll have a chance. I really don’t see us getting out of group play though.

Last I checked, we only had a handful of players coming from overseas professional leagues. On the other hand, Thorburn has brought in some of his Kiwi coaching buddies from the All Blacks, so maybe they’ll teach our side a thing or two and we’ll surprise the world.

Whatever happens, I can’t wait. I’m trying to figure out right now if I can afford to make the trip over there for a week or two to see some of the matches.

The All Blacks go into every World Cup as favorites, or near favorites, only to fall over. I’m going to stick my neck out here a little and say they’re gonna do it, and in style, this year.
Most of the ABs have been out of Super 14 on a conditioning program, specifically with the cup in mind. They return this week. It’ll be interesting to see how they perform, once they get some game time in.
The South Africans are looking good, atleast at Super 14 level. Some skillful players coming through. How they will gel at national level is still to be seen. The Tri-Nations will be a good test for them.
Australia are in trouble. A huge injury list at the moment, but they still have time. I don’t discount them, but I can’t see it being their year.
As for the Six Nation’s teams, only France and Ireland stand a realistic chance, based on form. Wales has gone backward over the past 12 months, Scotland, well…, and England have never recovered from the loss of Martin Johnson and Co. They won’t pose a serious threat, and Italy…no!
As for the rest; Argentina always play a solid game, but lack of a serious competition for their national side, won’t help their chances. Canada and the American Eagles, while always improving, still have a fair way to go, for obvious reasons ( competing sports).
Tonga, and more so Manu Samoa, can give most teams a fright, but again have not been in the best shape the past few years (blame the ABs and to some extent the Aussies).
I’m counting the months. Nothing like the Rugby World Cup, atleast for me.

I would have to agree with NZ being favourites. One thing us NH people forget during the test tours is that those matches are played during late autumn, which is freezing cold by SH standards. The World Cup is September-October and barring a “Murrayfield special” is going to be much more close to the SH norm.

TQB

Based on the Super 14 form of the Aussie teams, with the exception of the Western Force, I would officially like to say that Australia is in trouble and my expectations of their world cup performance have been lowered. I will love it if they can turn it around (and they have in the past), but it’s not looking good, especially with a reduced Tri-nations series. This will limit the amount of game time all of our top-line injured players like Chris Latham and Phil Waugh will have to get back up to peak form.

On the plus side, having the extra Super 14 team (the Force), has exposed more players to the top level rugby, and some of the backs are really starting to shine who could fill in the gaps where the incumbent players are not playing well or injured.

A question for those in the know. I just checked the IRB rankings, and the US is ranked 12th, with Canada 13th. What’s the deal with that? Canada POUNDED the American team (56-7) in the Americas qualifying round. We’ve got a fantastic record against the US. So who are they beating that we aren’t? What goes into consideration for the rankings?

[quote]lurker26 wrote:
A question for those in the know. I just checked the IRB rankings, and the US is ranked 12th, with Canada 13th. What’s the deal with that? Canada POUNDED the American team (56-7) in the Americas qualifying round. We’ve got a fantastic record against the US. So who are they beating that we aren’t? What goes into consideration for the rankings?

[/quote]

Not sure, but i wouldn’t sweat it. Canada have a chance of winning 2 pool games, the USA will be doing exceptionally well if they win 1 as Tonga are no pushovers. I hope both nations are successful as I’d love the game to be embraced more in said countries.

[quote]supermick wrote:
lurker26 wrote:
A question for those in the know. I just checked the IRB rankings, and the US is ranked 12th, with Canada 13th. What’s the deal with that? Canada POUNDED the American team (56-7) in the Americas qualifying round. We’ve got a fantastic record against the US. So who are they beating that we aren’t? What goes into consideration for the rankings?

Not sure, but i wouldn’t sweat it. Canada have a chance of winning 2 pool games, the USA will be doing exceptionally well if they win 1 as Tonga are no pushovers. I hope both nations are successful as I’d love the game to be embraced more in said countries.
[/quote]

USA Rugby actually looks to be trying this year. There have already been one or two camps for the national team. A number of coaches have been brought over from New Zealand to help prepare the Eagles for the world cup (several all black and former all black coaches I believe). And several American players who play in foreign professional leagues have already committed to coming back for the NA4 matches and training with the Eagles. Then again, we’re in a pool with England, South Africa, Samoa, and Tonga. As Mick said, not exactly a bunch of pushovers there. I just hope our rugby world cup performance is a bit better than our soccer one was.

Canada I can see doing alright in their group, especially if Wales play like they did in the six nations. But I still don’t expect to see any North American team make it out of group play.

Anyone else actually going to the tournament? Any Americans/Canadians making the trip over? I’m hoping to get over for a week or two if I can afford it (and if I remember to get my bloody passport soon enough).

Jay

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:

Canada I can see doing alright in their group, especially if Wales play like they did in the six nations. But I still don’t expect to see any North American team make it out of group play.

Actually, if the Welsh don’t bring it, we have a shot at making it out of the group. It’s a really really small shot, but still. If we mannage to beat wales, it’s hard to see Fiji and Japan taking us out. Wales destroyed us back in November, but we were missing a few key players. If they underestimate us… well, a guy can dream.