Fun facts

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    Some interesting fun facts, courtesy of the Irish Sunday Independent.

    New Zealand have won 7 of the last 9 Rugby Championships/Tri Nations, guess what years they didnt win ? 2011 & 2015, when they went on to win the World Cup.
    South Africa finished last in the Tri Nations in 2007, when they went on to win the World Cup. So will this year’s Rugby Championship be a slow bicycle race, with everybody trying not to win it ?
    In terms of the Six Nations, England winning the Grand Slam in 2003 on the way to winning the World Cup the same year is the exception rather than the rule. France were wooden spooners in the 6N in 2011 & went on to lose the World Cup final by a point. In 2007 Ireland won the Triple Crown & but for a sloppy performance against France would have won a Grand Slam, we had our worst ever World Cup, not even making it out of the group stages.

    This suggests that it just isn’t possible to maintain peak form over an entire season, so the smart teams will be the ones who sacrifice their annual competitions to delay peaking until the World Cup. England might get away with it because the 6N finishes in March & the Welsh game is the only hard match they have left anyway. So long as they don’t spend the rest of the Premiership season knocking lumps out of each other. Be interesting to see if Billy Vunipola & Manu Tuilagi make it through the season injury free.

    Belson Keating

    Perfectly, I prefer to make up my own facts…but I think the favourites for this year’s RWC are, in the following order:
    1) NZ
    2) Ireland
    >> These two are almost neck and neck
    3) Wales
    >> Wales stands alone here
    4) England
    4) SA
    5) Australia
    >> I’d say these three are almost neck and neck


    I wouldn’t put Wales above England, Wales are flattering to deceive a bit at the mo & England are looking awesome. England are finally starting to get their best players fit & to play them in their best positions, if Jones can keep them injury free they will be a serious force to be reckoned with.

    You’d know best about South Africa, they seem to blow hot & cold as far as we can see over here. When they’re hot they’re hot but when they’re cold they’re shite. They know how to peak for a World Cup though, something Ireland have yet to learn to do.


    Well noted Eamonn. NZ & SA indeed have rested/rotated players in recent RWC years. A luxury OZ do not have, being so lacking in depth. As always we hear how lacking in quality the RC is compared to your (admittedly improved) 8N but a ‘fun fact’ often overlooked/ignored/hushed is that for every 8N player to lift a RWC…there are 7 RC players & they aint all been Kiwis. Funnest for me is gettin to see SH outfits (ARG too) hit foreign soil fully fuelled. Such a rarity these days to see hemispheres collide on a level playing field.


    I’d go
    1) NZ
    Pickin OZ as dark horses but only if they remain injury free & Cheika breaks up ‘Pooper.’


    Bro, you are being too kind! As much as I’d love to have us at number two, in all honestly I think at best we’re tied with England at third with Ireland and Wales duking it out for second.


    Cuz! Your lot tipped NZ over @ home in our season proper. That aint been done (excepting a 4 Nation combo with a heavily mortgaged Frog Ref) since only Unkle Wiki knows. IMHO (H being for humble)
    IRE are fecked with Sexton…
    Vital to IRE’s chances, highly unlikely to figure beyond SF stage yet guaranteed to incur a Ref’s wrath if there.
    ENG will feck ’emselves before starting & regardless, every sports follower knows ENG choke when silverare is on offer.
    WAL (vs NZ anyway) don’t believe. A 6 point loss vs NZ in a SF would be seen by all but Gatland as a success..
    OZ are fecked until ‘Pooper’ is broken up. It don’t matter if ya pick up a few extra turnovers if every lineout is a lottery & your scrum has no forward gears.
    Set piece is paramount…


    Given what’s been happening in the 6N thus far I would be wary of making any predictions about the WC based on 2018 form. Ireland were all conquering in 2018 but are looking a tad dodgy now. England were terrible last 6N, picked up a bit in the Autumn, looked awesome 1st 2 rounds this 6N & got found out 3rd game. With the wonderful benefit of hindsight England’s kicking game was made look good first two games by Ireland playing a rusty untried centre at fullback & France playing a ropey winger at fullback & 2 centres on the wings. Wales played a proper back 3 & destroyed England’s kicking game.

    As things stand SH teams have the advantage in that, historically, you always seem to manage to peak for WC’s while NH teams generally don’t. Ireland are pretty much the worst in that regard. France do seem to benefit from being together for an extended period & England occasionally do but in general NH teams don’t. Maybe the SH live season being closer to the WC benefits you more.

    Ireland’s current problems aren’t all about Sexton, but his & Murray’s poor form seem to be spreading a malaise through the team at the mo. Our unforced error count at the mo is killing us. Last game up lineout was a shambles & two glorious try creating linebreaks by Earls & Stockdale were butchered by supporting players knocking on the final pass.

    When on form Murray/ Sexton are the best halfback combo in the NH, if not the world, & are way ahead of their current understudies. But they are not in that form now & if they don’t recover Schmidt will have to take some tough choices, does he persist with his underperforming stars in the hope that they come good or put his faith in the up & coming young guns. Time will tell.

    So at the moment there is no clear top contender emerging from the NH. Wales may go on to win the 6N & even the Grand Slam but I still think they flatter to deceive. Look at their outhalf options for a start. Biggar is good but not world class & Anscombe is awful. Because SH teams aren’t playing at the mo we have no current form to judge you by but historically you are generally better at WC’s.

    So New Zealand, South Africa probably 1 & 2 with Australia & Argentina prominent & a bit of anyone’s guess regarding England, France, Ireland & Wales.


    “What Carl said” woulda sufficed 🙂

    Suklambara Pradhan

    RWC final match will be new Zealand vs south Africa and south Africa will win. See full schedule:

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