RWC2019: Day 11 Update

Sonny Bill Williams

France 33-9 USA
France were given a bit of a fright by the USA as they left it very late to put the result beyond doubt. On 64 minutes, AJ MacGinty knocked over his third penalty to make the score 12-9 to France, and for a moment it looked as though we might be treated to another huge upset.

But then France got their act together, scoring three tries in the last ten minutes to secure the bonus-point win as expected.

Whilst it wasn’t France’s first-choice lineup, the performance was generally very poor, with lots of errors and little cohesion in attack. There didn’t seem to be much that would concern John Mitchell as England’s defence coach ahead of their crucial meeting in 10 days’ time.

Perhaps they were keeping everything in reserve, given the limited opposition in front of them, as they did all that was required to get the win and the 5 points on the table.

What did you think of the French performance?

New Zealand 63-0 Canada
The All Blacks were in ruthless form as they smashed Canada in the second match of the day. All three Barrett brothers scored tries, and it was also notable that Richie Mo’unga knocked over every single conversion.

It’s the highest score of the tournament so far, and further confirmation that New Zealand is the team to beat.

What was also notable was that there were so few handling errors for most of the match, although a few crept in towards the end. It wasn’t raining, but we’ve heard all the about the humidity and greasy conditions, and some sides have been looking like the U10 B team throwing around a wet octopus. Not the All Blacks though, whose basic skill levels are significantly higher than everyone else.

Day 12 Preview

Georgia v Fiji
Fiji currently sit bottom of Pool D, despite their pre-tournament ambition of qualifying for the knockout stages. That surprise defeat to Uruguay has left them all but out of the tournament, and Georgia will have their eye on third place and automatic qualification for France 2023.

I’m expecting a much better performance from Fiji, and they can’t be as poor and disinterested as they looked last week, whilst Georgia could struggle with such a short turnaround time between their matches.

I have picked Fiji by 13 on Superbru, and I have Fiji -7 on the handicap.

Ireland v Russia
There is barely time for Ireland to lick their wounds before they are back in action, and that could be a blessing. Johnny Sexton starts at fly-half, whilst the rest of the team is mostly the second string players but they’ll be easily good enough to beat Russia.

Russia’s attack has been very limited so far, scoring just 19 points in total against Japan and Samoa, and Ireland shouldn’t give them many opportunities. You’d think Ireland’s attack should be capable of scoring at least 8 or 9 tries, letting out a bit of frustration against the Russians.

I have Ireland by 48 for this one.

15 thoughts on “RWC2019: Day 11 Update

  1. “What was also notable was that there were so few handling errors for most of the match”
    Eh? Were you watching the same game?
    The ABs had a 20 min period in the second half when they managed to not drop anything. Other than that it was handling errors everywhere. Barrett S dropped the ball over the line, Barrett B missed a certain try by dropping the ball while under no pressure at all. Ioane looked like he couldn’t catch a cold for most of the night. According to ESPN scrum they conceded 24 turnovers!
    I saw a performance that was no better or worse than England’s vs the US. Similar errors (England gave away 23 turnovers), some nice tries and the only difference being that the ABs shut the Canadians out, while England should have done the same to the US, but didn’t

    1. I actually wrote that with 10 minutes to go and then watched all the calamities in the closing moments! For 60 minutes, the All Blacks looked pretty slick and executed everything pretty well, and I would think in a tighter game, some of those 50/50 offloads wouldn’t have been thrown.

    2. Totally agree for all the slick handling from the AB there was plenty of unforced errors yet the commentary continued to suck off that All Black errrr NZ team

  2. Yes, can we all stop the self flagellation at the altar of all things AB?
    Just to add some realistic assessment, the AB’s have done nothing yet that they were not expected to do. Hammering Canada, so what? in essence.
    I am much more concerned about the French performance. We all know how in and out they can be and this was clearly very much an “out” day up until the last fifteen/twenty.
    My big fear is that come the 12th the other France, the identical twins of the players that took the field today will turn up and make life very difficult for us indeed.

    1. I agree with you about commentators and the like genuflecting before the ABs for performances that are much the equal of other teams.
      However, it is worth remembering that they have also beaten a decent SA team – and although it may just be in the pool stages, that’s a pretty decent marker and one far more deserving of respect than today’s blow out.
      As for the French, it seemed to me that the only time they were effective is when the game broke up and the Canadians were pretty much out on their feet – almost literally so in the last 10. They certainly can’t rely on England running out of energy in the last throes of the match.
      On that evidence, Eng have little to fear but also as you point out, ‘you don’t know which French team is going to turn up’ is not only the most overused cliche in rugby, but also the most accurate.
      Fingers crossed and all that! Need to beat the Argies first…

        1. Seems like it’s been a long life! All this putting the boot in can be pretty tiring don’t you know?!

  3. Just to add, i really hope the Shamrocks rock against Russia. To see them go out at the group stage would be a great shame.

  4. Well, apart from all those turn overs, dropped balls & the BB’s butchering a couple, the AB ‘B’ team ran up the tourny’s highest score & which seems to have gone unnoticed, attacked the blind side, thus, by & large, negating the rush ‘D’. Even the useless Ioane scored a couple. No major injuries as far as I know & Retallick’s on the mend. Aside from all that, the mentioned SA win, Mounga’s kicking 100 & the dual fly 1/2 system bedding in, it seems that they’re not much of a threat, so their opponents can all breathe a sigh of relief can’t they?

    1. I am concerned with your literacy levels Don. Who exactly said that the ABs were not a threat? Or are you off building straw men again?

  5. No need for concern on my a/c. You only imply it almost every time you get yr pinkies on a keyboard. You know. AB’s not a patch on, what they once were etc theme. 2/3 v Ire, Lions draw, beaten by & only drew at home to SA, Oz & so on. if not all, mostly, indicative of yr hoping that the AB’s fail bellyaching blather? It’s yet to be seen as to whether they are, as you often postulate, on a bit of a slide. If they win it, as they might, then all rhetoric to the contrary is rendered meaningless. If they don’t, then they should at least go close. Better to wait & see before you become even more tiresome than you’ve already oftenbeen. May be better wondering if England could draw any short straw men?

    1. The only thing tiresome in these comment sections Don, is your inability to accept any opinion on the All Blacks that doesn’t involve outright worship.
      It may hurt you to hear this, but it is entirely possible to hold the opinion that this AB side are the best in the world – and yet AT THE SAME TIME believe that they are not as good as the team that won the last RWC – or the one before that.
      I often wonder how you cope with the massive chip on your shoulder. The weight of it must be so very tiring.

      1. AB Worship? That’s some commentators’ stuff innit? Are you sure it’s not just your being a tad defensive & reframing Pab? Why would I need to defend NZ with their record? Yr opinion is too personal & subjective to be taken seriously. I mean it’s you who has just pointed out their recent SA win isn’t it? Besides, what have I stated about yr drip feeding on NZ’s ‘wane’ over the last few that you yrself haven’t actually stated? I’m endeavouring to point out that yr ejaculations may be premature that’s all. Hold yr water & see. Wiser than to continuously speculate maybe? Perhaps there’s a whiff of sour grapes in there somewhere. And I’m tiresome. Please. Look back on yr own same old, same old. Ho hum.. but g’luck v Arg on Sat. Fingers xxed?

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