17 Jun 2007

The All Blacks Machine Keeps Rolling On

I hate to be a pessimist, but it's not looking good for New Zealand's rivals for the 2007 RWC. They steamrollered France 61-10 last week and defeated Canada 64-13 yesterday.

The manner of the victory over Canada was laboured and disjointed for large parts of the game, but rather than giving Australia, South Africa or even England some hope, this is just another sign that the All Blacks are going to take some beating.

Even when not at their best, they still scored 10 tries and captain Reuben Thorne's comments that "It was just messy, wasn’t it? The guys are aware of that and we have quite a lot to work on really." should have the other major rugby union powers more than a little fearful.

I don't even want to mention Daniel Carter's comeback from an ankle injury : 29 points is quite a haul for one man, even if it was against Canada.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Who Really Needs a 47 Man Squad

England rugby coach Brian Ashton has put together a 47 man squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. That's right: 47.

Seems an odd sort of number, that. Not as odd as recalling Lawrence Dallaglio, but odd nevertheless. What is even odder is that Ashton admits he only knows five of his starting line up.

Um, the World Cup starts in a couple of months. If you don't know who your starting fifteen are now, Brian, then I would humbly suggest you've left it a little late to try to find out.

This does not bode at all well for England's chances of retaining the title. I'm willing to bet the bookies are rubbing their hands with glee and counting the cash already.

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