T Nation

Official World Cup 2007 Thread

Ok, so we’ve got a month left before the start of the world cup. We’ve all watched the summer tours, tri-nations, etc… Warm up matches are getting under way (can’t wait for Ireland Scotland on Saturday). And I’m getting antsy. Well, fuck antsy, I’m downright excited (partly due to the fact that my own club season practice starts tomorrow).

So what’s everyone think? Will New Zealand roll over the competition and take the cup with ease? Or will France take advantage of home field and fans to stop the mighty all blacks? Perhaps South Africa or Australia learned a few things from the tri-nations and will surprise us? Or will Ireland take vengeance on France for the six nations and take the cup?

Maybe an even bigger and more surprising upset? Argentina? England to repeat? (ok, the last was a joke). I’m personally hoping and praying for Ireland to take it in glorious fashion, but I think New Zealand and France both have phenomenal talent and strategy, possibly too much for O’Driscoll and the boys to overcome. What’s everyone else think?

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
Maybe an even bigger and more surprising upset? Argentina? England to repeat? (ok, the last was a joke). [/quote]

It was a fairly funny joke in fairness, I lol’d :slight_smile:

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
I’m personally hoping and praying for Ireland to take it in glorious fashion…[/quote]

Woohoooo!!!

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
but I think New Zealand and France both have phenomenal talent and strategy, possibly too much for O’Driscoll and the boys to overcome. What’s everyone else think?[/quote]

They do. As optimistic as I’d love to be about the Irish boys (and I do hope I’m going to be proven wrong) I just don’t think they have the consistency to beat the French side at home. We’ll go into the quarter finals as runner-up, get beaten by the Kiwis, who will in turn choke in the Semi’s as has been their habit for a while now =)

[quote]g’em wrote:
m0dd3r wrote:
Maybe an even bigger and more surprising upset? Argentina? England to repeat? (ok, the last was a joke).

It was a fairly funny joke in fairness, I lol’d :slight_smile:

[/quote]

why thank you.

I don’t know, the Irish only lost to France at Croke Park earlier this year because of some bad refereeing and a momentary lapse in concentration at the very end of the match. And I can only hope they’re out for blood going into group play in the cup.

I think I’m going to make a bold prediction and say Ireland takes group D with France as runner up. Although Argentina scares me a bit after the summer tour (admittedly it wasn’t Ireland’s starting side). I’m hoping France doesn’t take Argentina seriously enough and gets trodden all over by their pack.

Well, while I’m making predictions, I may as well go all the way.

Group A:
South Africa wins, England runner up (although I will be pulling for the Eagles, I’m not a complete idiot).

Group B:
Australia wins, runner up in this group is really up for grabs. Wales has been absolute shite lately, Canada looked solid in the NA4, but that’s not saying much, and they were trounced by NZ and Italy over the summer. Fiji really ought to stick to sevens and I haven’t a clue about Japan. I’ll go with Wales just because they’re really the only rugby playing country left in the group, but damn, Australia got off easy.

Group C:
New Zealand wins, runner up is a toss up between Italy and Scotland and I’m going to hold off on my prediction until after this Saturday to see how Scotland holds up to the Irish. I have a feeling I’m going to go with Scotland over Italy for the runner up spot though.

Group D:
As I already stated, Ireland wins it, France takes runner up but only after a close call against a strong Argentinean side (though I may want to change this if France completely embarrasses England on Saturday).

I’ll save my later round predictions for another time as they may be crazy enough to have me locked up. And I don’t want to miss any of the action.

I hold to my earlier prediction of a France-NZ final. There is no coach like Laporte to bring a whole national team to its peak at the right moment. Whether that is enough to beat the world’s presently best team, I don’t know. OTOH New Zealand has a history of choking,so who knows?

On a more personal level, I have just had to sell my RWC tickets:-(. My daughter insists I take her to uni! I should have planned this better 19 years ago.

(in pain) tqb

[quote]TQB wrote:
I hold to my earlier prediction of a France-NZ final. There is no coach like Laporte to bring a whole national team to its peak at the right moment. Whether that is enough to beat the world’s presently best team, I don’t know. OTOH New Zealand has a history of choking,so who knows?

On a more personal level, I have just had to sell my RWC tickets:-(. My daughter insists I take her to uni! I should have planned this better 19 years ago.

(in pain) tqb[/quote]

Give her up for adoption. >:-o

I agree with you on France-NZ. I haven’t followed the international rugby scene in several months but I see the two hemispheres’ respective best teams playing each other. NZ won’t choke THIS time.

To answer Headhunter’s first question, you can subscribe to Setanta Sports on DirecTV. More info at http://na.setanta.tv/na_index.htm. I think the finals will be on pay-per-view like the Tri Nations annually, though. As for the U.S. dominating, it would be a major accomplishment if they can beat Tonga.

3 Sleeps then its on,

Argentina gives France a shock, USA keeps England Close, Canada gets the Welsh.

That would turn the Cup on its head.

Pool A
SA 1st England/USA 2nd
Samoans will give England a fright,points diff USA England for 2nd

Last Rep

OK, England is bad and only the deluded think of them as a serious contestant to defend their title, but the US holding them? I am happy if the US can hold the numbers down, but the US squad really hasn’t the depth to deal with a grinding match and that is what the English are good at.

I will wear the US jersey while watching and support them to the 81st minute, but we should applaud what they can acheive, not go in with excessive expectations.

PS can anyone recommend a good pub in Edinburgh for watching on Saturday?

TQB

[quote]TQB wrote:
OK, England is bad and only the deluded think of them as a serious contestant to defend their title, but the US holding them? I am happy if the US can hold the numbers down, but the US squad really hasn’t the depth to deal with a grinding match and that is what the English are good at.

I will wear the US jersey while watching and support them to the 81st minute, but we should applaud what they can acheive, not go in with excessive expectations.

PS can anyone recommend a good pub in Edinburgh for watching on Saturday?

TQB[/quote]

I don’t know, the US might just have a chance to beat England. With Barkley in for Wilkinson, the Brits lose a lot of leadership on the field. Not knocking Barkley, he’s a great young player, but he doesn’t have the same vision (or boot) that Wilko does. If the US can fix the mistakes we repeatedly made last week against Munster we might just have a chance. Not a good one, but a chance none the less.

keys for the US will be:
Ngwenya learning how to catch and hold onto a rugby ball.
Wyles tackling consistently.
Back line not drifting wide and pinching their own wings against the touch line.
More stable scrummaging and rucking from the pack.

What is the best way to follow the action on-line?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
What is the best way to follow the action on-line?[/quote]

setanta broadband has all the matches (most live, some with a delay). Only problem is you have to sign up for like a whole bloody year (which is not too expensive, but over 100 bucks), or pay per match (I don’t remember the price, under 10 bucks each I think, but not terribly cheap either). Also, the quality is not bad, but it’s still streaming video, so not great.

If you want to download the matches and watch them afterwards, AussieTorrents.com and diwana.org will be capping every one and offering them up on bit torrent, usually within 12 hours of final whistle. You need an invite to join (let me know, I’ve got a couple left I think) and you need to be familiar with bit torrent (and have a good broadband connection). These will usually be great quality (some matches even capped in HDTV) but again, delayed a few hours/days.

If you go to the setanta website you should be able to look up a list of local pubs that subscribe to setanta and will therefor be showing the matches. Or, if you already get directTV or one of the other satellite networks, it might be worth just subscribing to setanta for the month or two.

Lastly, if you get Versus through cable or satellite, they’re showing 11 of the matches, including all 4 US matches and a few of the other biggies. Unfortunately, most of them are on a 2 day tape delay.

Cheers,
Jay

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:

Lastly, if you get Versus through cable or satellite, they’re showing 11 of the matches, including all 4 US matches and a few of the other biggies. Unfortunately, most of them are on a 2 day tape delay.

Cheers,
Jay[/quote]

Thanks. I get Versys so I will be watching those matches. I had no idea they were carrying them.

The Opening Match:
France 12 - Argentina 17

WOW!!! Un-bel-ievable game!! The French home side beaten by the Argies in the first game of the competition, and what a win - a spectaculalry physical game dominated right from the whistle by the Argentinians, they commanded the ball with perfection, didn’t give the French any opening, played to their weaknesses and took advantage of French lack of commitment and faults (of which there were many, looked like they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery). Even bringing on Chabal mid-second half wasn’t enough of a boost to bring them back up to par.

Good God I hope that’s an example off the excitement we have to look forward to for the next few weeks…

Jebus though, that’s really going to piss the French off - the Irish boys better be on top of their game in two weeks’ time! And looking at the size and strength of the Argentinian pack - are they too much for the Irish side to handle? Or was it more a win thanks to French weaknesses? The Argies’ stamina was failing them in the last 15 mintues…

haha damn. I wasnt the first.

Argentina deserved that win. They fought hard and kept strong in the last 15 min. Woohoo!

[quote]LastRep wrote:
3 Sleeps then its on,

Argentina gives France a shock, USA keeps England Close, Canada gets the Welsh.

That would turn the Cup on its head.
Last Rep
[/quote]

Friday 21st

Ireland Takes France

That would be even better.

Any Way we should play them “France” in the Quarters now if it goes to plan, could be the Irish tho.

LR

[quote]LastRep wrote:
3 Sleeps then its on,

Argentina gives France a shock, USA keeps England Close, Canada gets the Welsh.

That would turn the Cup on its head.

Pool A
SA 1st England/USA 2nd
Samoans will give England a fright,points diff USA England for 2nd

Last Rep
[/quote]

Good start.

holy shit. canada are winning at the half!

U.S. put up a good fight against England, I was impressed, rucked and tackled really well. Convinced me to just buy a flight to Montpellier, even though I can’t really afford it, will be over there Wednesday for the Tonga game. Really hope we can win that one.

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

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

[/quote]

Ruthless or retarded? They’re not the same thing.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
U.S. put up a good fight against England, I was impressed, rucked and tackled really well. Convinced me to just buy a flight to Montpellier, even though I can’t really afford it, will be over there Wednesday for the Tonga game. Really hope we can win that one.[/quote]

I’m proud of our boys. It could’ve easily been 28-28 if not for two knock-ons in both halves. My only complaint is that they played like chickenshits offensively for the first 10-15 minutes. Their defense looked great, but getting sinbinned near halftime allowed England to pull away. England didn’t look like they had just won after the final whistle, which I found amusing.

I still can’t believe Argentina won. I knew they were improving, but to beat France in their own turf in the first match?! Wow.

South Africa is relying on Habana and Montgomery to get the points, but both men are durable anyway so it’s a workable strategy.

I’ve never heard of a rugby game with as many points scored as Australia managed yesterday.

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
setanta broadband has all the matches (most live, some with a delay). Only problem is you have to sign up for like a whole bloody year (which is not too expensive, but over 100 bucks), or pay per match (I don’t remember the price, under 10 bucks each I think, but not terribly cheap either). Also, the quality is not bad, but it’s still streaming video, so not great.
[/quote]

Good post, Jay. I agree with everything you wrote. I’m a teacher and I often work in my classroom after school, so it’s nice to be able to work and watch 3 PM matches instead of beating traffic and going home. It’s also Mac-friendly, a frustration unresolved by other streaming sites.

150/year is worth it if you follow all the major tournaments. Many tournaments offered by Setanta TV pay-per-view the final matches (such as Tri-Nations) but a full years’ broadband allows you to watch it live and free. You can also watch archived soccer, rugby, and Gaelic matches. I hope they add NRL matches eventually.