RWC2019: Day 12 Update

Tadhg Furlong

Georgia 10-45 Fiji
Nearly 30% of people on Superbru predicted a win for Georgia, but Fiji were comfortably superior winning by 35 points.

To be fair, in the early stages, Fiji looked a little reticent to play and Georgia’s scrum was dominant, but once Fiji had scored their first try, there was no stopping them as they put together some great running and handling. Semi Radradra scored two lovely tries, and actually Fiji could have scored a few more had they taken all of their chances.

Georgia looked pretty limited in ambition and ability, and as a friend remarked, there has been no real evidence at this World Cup to suggest that they deserve a place in the Six Nations.

It’s Wales up next for Fiji, and this will have given them a confidence boost at just the right time. Should Wales be worried?

Ireland 35-0 Russia
It was a comfortable scoreline for Ireland, recording the essential bonus-point win, but it was another match with plenty of errors and missed opportunities.

The main thing that struck me watching Ireland is that neither South Africa nor New Zealand will be too worried about facing them in the quarter-finals, and I think a first-ever semi-final appearance is unlikely.

This was a second-string side for Ireland, and Johnny Sexton has been used sparingly as Joe Schmidt keeps him wrapped up for the more important matches to come, but there doesn’t appear to be much confidence in the Ireland camp.

What do you think of Ireland so far?

Day 13 Preview

South Africa v Italy
Alongside England, Italy is the only team to manage a maximum 10 points from their opening two fixtures, and they temporarily sit atop Pool B ahead of South Africa and New Zealand.

I think Italy have been made to look good by Namibia and Canada so far, and the order should be restored in this pool by the final whistle here.

I have South Africa by 28 on Superbru, and that’s exactly the bookie handicap, so I’m still undecided whether to big or small.

14 thoughts on “RWC2019: Day 12 Update

  1. Funny isn’t it really, sounds like Ireland’s performance was much like Scotland’s against Samoa and whilst Scotland’s has incorrectly been lauded and them jumping for joy at nilling a never before nilled Samoa, a team very much in decline from its glory years,the response about Ireland is very much more downbeat and on the money.

    Could it be down to expectation, Ireland not living up to theirs with Keystone Cop like performances and Scotland surpassing their own in beating a team a pale comparison of itself, with a jolly good score but not very good performance, their pudding will be proved against Japan.

    1. Surely the reason for that is simply that Ireland were playing Russia and Scotland were playing Samoa? Samoa beat Russia by 25 points… nilling Samoa is a far better achievement, even if this is not their best ever side, than nilling Russia is

  2. As an Irishman, I’m objectively fearful we will not get out of Pool A – the weakest pool at this tournament. Samoa were more convincing against Russia and seemed to be resting against Sco. They need to win and in the heat of subtropical Fukuoka I think Samoa will have the edge.

    They play more dangerous, expansive rugby when they do play and Ireland may once again tire badly against them. If they follow the solution other teams have woken up to against Ireland, smashing them in the centre defensively and taking them on out wide, Ireland may come up short.

    Samoa were very good against NZ Hearltand XV only a month ago. It could end up as a 3 horse race between Samoa, Japan, and Scotland for who gets out of pool A.

    Ireland have flattered to deceive and beat a poor unprepared NZ a last year. They have been pumped up with hype but in reality they have been going backwards for the last 3-4 years. They were at their peak when Joe Schmidt was attack coach, and played more expansive innovative rugby, but things just didn’t go their way.

    Having said that, if they can beat the Samoans, they are capable of an upset against the big boys waiting for them in the QF’s. I still feel the southern hemisphere teams are playing the best rugby and are best suited to these conditions.

    1. I was called a Clown on a different post the other day for suggesting that Samoa had a sliver of a chance against Ireland. After their thrashing by Scotland, I’m still feeling a bit dopey, but you never know. And your point about the weather – humidity in particular – could add a significant dimension. Cannot see Samoa threatening to actually win the game, but it could be closer than most people expect.

  3. Ultimately there was too much hype around Ireland in 2018. Yes they won the Grand Slam that year but it wasn’t the greatest quality of a 6N. They scraped past an average French side with a last minute drop goal, beat Wales at home (who were not a strong as now) and beat an England side that were in a bit of a mess with injuries and were just not at the races that 6N. Now the competiton around them has stepped up it has just exposed them for the reality (again) that they are a QF team.

  4. Not sure about Ireland’s going backwards over last 3/4 yrs Biggles. Last yr they lost a couple & this yr’s been a bit wobbly at times, but prior to that didn’t they get a GS? NZ don’t usually do poor or unprepared. Only 1 try & 7 in it. Bit jaded away, at the season’s fag end maybe?

  5. To me, it looks like the Irish players are struggling with nerves. Is there some sort of disconnect between them and the coaching staff? Has the weight of expectation overwhelmed them? They have some terrific players and a first class coach and for me, they shouldn’t be looking as shaky as they do.
    There were times in the Russia game when Sexton looked slightly exasperated with what was going on around him, like a senior player whose been told to play with the kids. I hope they come good, find a rhythm and stay in the comp but they really need to relax.

  6. C’mon DMaul. Seems as if you’re just making excuses for yrs & others, but entirely denigrating Ireland’s wins. Most 6N teams do better if their tough 2 games are at home. Lack of a h & away basis distorts it anyway. And ok, I’ve stated that too much had been read into Ire’s 2/3 wins v NZ. I still think so. However, Eng only won in 2012, but before, since then? And at home! We can all be subjective to a degree, but surely you’re reframing reality.

    1. No Don I am not making excuses and i am not reshaping reality, I am stating THE reality. Ireland won a GS in 2018 and credit to them….however the quality of that 6N and competition they faced was not of high standard (at that time). See I don’t buy into the view Ireland have suddenly regressed since 2018, its pretty much same players and coaching set up so they didnt all just wake up one sunday and become lesser than they were last year. What has happened IMO is the competition around them has gone up a notch thus exposing the reality of their quality and surrounding hype of 2018. Ta daaaa!

      1. DM, the ta daaa reality is that Ireland, up to 2018, had worked their way up the w rankings culminating in that GS. Are you stating that this was an accident? That the wheels have come off somewhat since, may be down to other factors. Like Schmidt having lost the dressing room as per Zebo? I don’t know for sure, but no, they don’t become a bad team over night. You also need to compare England’s record, which you’ve ignored, after 17 on the bounce. All went south, esp in the 6N & SA for instance & THEY have not beaten NZ since 2012. Ireland have. Regards the 6N having gone up a notch? Well, the recent ‘warm ups’ belied that somewhat didn’t they? A few mixed performances, particularly away, to state the least, including Wales. Surely yr conclusions lack balance, objectivity & are too simplistic. Just as Ireland’s NZ wins have had a tad too much read into them IMO, you may have read too much into Ireland’s current situation. A word of caution, England’s recent home performance v the Scots’ & their current WC run against moderate opposition hardly indicates their having ‘gone up a notch’ either, again surely?

  7. This may be a bit contentious but I don’t think the Ireland management
    are keeping Sexton wrapped up. He doesn’t look anything like the player he was a couple of years ago, neither does Murray, and the combination of two highly rated half backs out of form plus the absence of O’Brien and Toner is having an effect.

    1. despite having some very, very good players, Ireland have also said goodbye to three true giants of the modern game in POC, BOD and ROG.
      Replacing such a wealth of talent, leadership and grit would be hard for any team and right now Ireland seem to be crying out for a talisman such as one of those three.

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