I don’t usually post anything about rugby, but as the World Cup has just finished I will make an exception. As someone brought up in the Scottish Borders, rugby is part of my DNA. Obviously any direct interest I had in its outcome ended at the group stage when Scotland lost to England.
The final was a compelling game of rugby. From the moment that the French lined up in a ‘V’ to advance on the All Black Haka to the last, very relieved, kick to touch, the game had me gripped. At no point was either team on top. I think that The All Blacks just about deserved to win. They were the best team in the tournament. The best player both in the final and in the tournament overall was Thierry Dusautoir. He was named Man of the Match in the final and today was justly named the IRB Player of the Year.
Some would argue that low scoring and only two tries makes for an uninteresting game, I would argue that a seventy point try feast may be entertaining but has more to do with basketball than rugby. Some of the best games of rugby that I have seen were low scoring forward dominated games, usually played out in the mud at Mansfield Park between Hawick and Gala.
What Else did I learn from the World Cup?
- ITV are keener to cut to an advert than to stay with the event.
- Nick Mullins is not the new Bill McLaren (I already knew that)
- The minor teams got a raw deal from the organisers.
- The tournament goes on a bit too long , I can’t see an easy way of shortening it.
- It would be good to have a “Bowl” competition in 2015 (similar to what happens in Seven-a-side tournaments..)
- No game is ever lost if you are playing Scotland.
- By the next World Cup Russia and Georgia could well be up with Scotland and Italy.
- A Pacific Island team might not win the World Cup, but one of them will always produce an upset.
- Hayley Westenra is very pretty and can also sing a bit.
- Israel Dagg reminds me of Andy Irvine, without the worry about what is going to happen under a high ball.
- Before he was crocked Dan Carter did enough to convince me, and possibly other Borderers of my generation, that he could be a better No 10 even than ‘Rud’.