North v South really should be a cracking game!
Congratulations to the All Blacks on their second win of the Rugby World Cup, but I think there are some sobering facts for you.
* you only won by 1 point
* against a team that lost 2 pool games (the first team to have such a poor pool record and still reach the final)
* against a team that arguably did not demonstrate it should really be there.
* on home soil
* you failed to make the game yours.
I was \”off the grid\” today, and tuned in to the intertubes to find it was only 5-0 at half time, so had to make some alternative arrangements to find a way to see the last 10-20 minutes as I'd expected NZ to be 20-25 ahead by then.
So I don't think the choker tag has been dispensed with, NZ really need to win the cup away from home (better still Northern Hemisphere) and by demonstrating a really powerful and distinguished team all the way to the win. I just don't feel that they did that this time.
Whatever your view of the tackle that led to Sam Warburton\’s red card after 17 minutes in yesterday\’s first Rugby World Cup semi-final; there is one clear fact. It unambiguously changed the game.
Whether for better or worse, Wales played their socks off and the tackle count (France 126, Wales 56) clearly shows who was making the game.
But whether you agree with the red card or not, whether you think the tackle was dangerous or not; it is clear that this decision likely caused a change in the game\’s progress more than any try could have.
It is deeply ironic (to me that is) that when there is barely any room for doubt, and both touch judges have agreed with a referee that a try has been scored that the ref can still ask the TMO to adjudicate with a clear question \”any reason not to award a try\” or \”can you confirm that he was not in touch before scoring\” or \”can you confirm he was in control of the ball when it was grounded\” etc etc.
So why on earth can a referee pull out and flash his red card in a few seconds without reference to touch judges or TMO and set a team back by 1 player for the remainder of the match.
It is clearly unfair.
I propose that for all red card decisions the referee should be compelled to get the TMO\’s agreement that the alleged offence justifies the largest sanction on the field.
How could anyone object?
Wales were robbed of their chance, and an unimpressive French side will meet New Zealand and, I hope, get thoroughly thrashed. Although New Zealand getting a second world cup result without having to play hard in the final would devalue the trophy, and not clear the Kiwis of their \”chokers\” tag; I\’d much rather New Zealand won having had to play out of their skins – unlikely to be necessary on the evidence seen so far.
Yesterday I was Welsh, next Sunday I will be a Kiwi. I had hoped to be wearing and waving the cross of St George, but 30 uninspiring plonkers put paid to that…