2019 Rugby World Cup

Fulcrum29

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https://www.rugbypass.com/news/argentina-turn-down-international-fixture-in-favour-of-warming-up-against-australian-club-side/

Argentina turn down international fixture in favour of warming up against Australian club side
In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, a number of teams have arranged fixtures against traditional foes to give them one last chance to play with combinations and build some momentum heading into the showpiece tournament.

Tonga will travel to Hamilton to take on the All Blacks whilst Australia will play host to Samoa.

As it turns out, Argentina had the offer of a similar fixture from Fiji, but have rejected that in favour of playing a match against Australia club side Randwick on September 7th.

Argentina, who will be based in Coogee, were approached by World Rugby on the Fiji Rugby Union’s behalf but have evidently decided that a match against the 9th best ranked team in the world is not the best lead-in to the World Cup. Argentina are currently ranked 10th.
This is an interesting decision by the Los Pumas. It was a good opportunity to test themselves against open and loose play whilst they themselves are opting to be more constructive in their set play kicks.

I guess they do have their reasons. The Fijians have a promising team, they did, however, lose their second outing against the Maori All Blacks, but they switched many players out. I wouldn’t call a club team a better lead-in… maybe they don't want to be beaten by the islanders, going into the world cup, and is avoiding injuries.

Fiji is playing Japan this weekend. Fiji selected, probably, their strongest team and Japan selected a good team with Jamie Joseph again deciding on playing some players in odd switched positions. I don’t know what is up with the Japanese strategy. Lappies is making his Japan national debut… as the team captain.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jul/28/usa-canada-rugby-world-cup

USA blast past Canada in first Rugby World Cup warm-up
  • USA 47-19 Canada
  • Leg injury to lock Nick Civetta a blow

The USA crushed Canada in their Pacific Nations Cup opener in Glendale, Colorado on Saturday, the Eagles’ final home game before the Rugby World Cup in September.

Rugby United New York hooker Dylan Fawsitt got the scoring started for the Eagles when he made it over the line on the back of the rolling maul to the delight of a sell-out crowd at Infinity Park.

Winger and captain Blaine Scully, until recently with Cardiff, dotted down in the corner for the second try after a chip through by the Bedford full-back Will Hooley in the 24th minute. Sale fly-half AJ MacGinty’s place-kicking helped the Americans to a 20-0 halftime lead.

Canada hit back with an interception try from Chiefs back row Tyler Ardron, their captain, but they never seriously threatened a comeback and Ealing Trailfinders lock Ben Landry, Utah Warriors wing Gannon Moore, replacement hooker Kapeli Pifeleti, from the San Diego Legion, and Cheetahs scrum-half Ruben de Haas all ran in tries in the second half to complete the rout.

“We wanted to be one of the more physical teams in this tournament, and lead that into the World Cup,” Landry told USArugby.org. “I think we brought that today.”
So far it seems that Canada is the weakest team in the Rugby World Cup. I will rate Russia above them as Russia had promising exhibition matches over the past two years against better teams.

This isn't a warm-up game though the PNC matches like The Rugby Championship is treated as a warm-up this year. Canada made the Rugby World Cup on their third attempt and this result doesn't bode them well.

We have them in our pool.
 

rietrot

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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jul/28/usa-canada-rugby-world-cup



So far it seems that Canada is the weakest team in the Rugby World Cup. I will rate Russia above them as Russia had promising exhibition matches over the past two years against better teams.

This isn't a warm-up game though the PNC matches like The Rugby Championship is treated as a warm-up this year. Canada made the Rugby World Cup on their third attempt and this result doesn't bode them well.

We have them in our pool.
That was a very amateurish stop start game. If Canada or even the USA play like that in the world cup teams will put 100 points past them.
 

Fulcrum29

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That was a very amateurish stop start game. If Canada or even the USA play like that in the world cup teams will put 100 points past them.
The Tonga and Samoa game was very amateurish and rough, but the conditions weren’t the best. I see Tonga complained about the game, they say it should have been postponed due to the storm.

The next PNC matches, August 3rd:

USA vs Samoa
Fiji vs Canada
Tonga vs Japan

These three matches will better define the standard of USA, Canada and Tonga. The following week it is Tonga vs Canada, USA vs Japan and Fiji vs Samoa which will leave me with the final impression of how they will fare in the Rugby World Cup.

On paper, Fiji should obliterate the Canadians, but I guess Japan and Fiji will field third-string teams for these two outings. Japan played a strong team against Fiji, but I doubt they would risk injuries against Tonga so close to the Rugby World Cup.

USA loves to play Samoa, especially for the American Samoa heritage, but check this out,

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/395490/anger-in-american-samoa-over-donation-to-manu-samoa

Anger in American Samoa over donation to Manu Samoa

There's been an angry reaction from members of the public regarding American Samoa's donation of $US100,000 for the Manu Samoa campaign for the Rugby World Cup.
Samoa is having financial difficulties at the moment and they need every contribution for supporting their participation.
 

MirageF1

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And to think the once promising Canadians even fielded a half decent team a couple of WCs ago...

Oops gotta be careful about statements that are too close to the bone.:cool:
 

rietrot

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The Tonga and Samoa game was very amateurish and rough, but the conditions weren’t the best. I see Tonga complained about the game, they say it should have been postponed due to the storm.

The next PNC matches, August 3rd:

USA vs Samoa
Fiji vs Canada
Tonga vs Japan

These three matches will better define the standard of USA, Canada and Tonga. The following week it is Tonga vs Canada, USA vs Japan and Fiji vs Samoa which will leave me with the final impression of how they will fare in the Rugby World Cup.

On paper, Fiji should obliterate the Canadians, but I guess Japan and Fiji will field third-string teams for these two outings. Japan played a strong team against Fiji, but I doubt they would risk injuries against Tonga so close to the Rugby World Cup.

USA loves to play Samoa, especially for the American Samoa heritage, but check this out,

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/395490/anger-in-american-samoa-over-donation-to-manu-samoa



Samoa is having financial difficulties at the moment and they need every contribution for supporting their participation.
Fiji looked slow and fat in their game against Japan.
 

netstrider

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https://www.rugbypass.com/news/argentina-turn-down-international-fixture-in-favour-of-warming-up-against-australian-club-side/



This is an interesting decision by the Los Pumas. It was a good opportunity to test themselves against open and loose play whilst they themselves are opting to be more constructive in their set play kicks.

I guess they do have their reasons. The Fijians have a promising team, they did, however, lose their second outing against the Maori All Blacks, but they switched many players out. I wouldn’t call a club team a better lead-in… maybe they don't want to be beaten by the islanders, going into the world cup, and is avoiding injuries.

Fiji is playing Japan this weekend. Fiji selected, probably, their strongest team and Japan selected a good team with Jamie Joseph again deciding on playing some players in odd switched positions. I don’t know what is up with the Japanese strategy. Lappies is making his Japan national debut… as the team captain.
Their coach has already said they did want a game, but given the Argentine players workload this season they preferred an easier game since they will be based in Australia prior to going to Japan to adjust to the time zone otherwise they would have 36 hours of flights and stopovers if going over from Argentina directly.
 

Fulcrum29

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Their coach has already said they did want a game, but given the Argentine players workload this season they preferred an easier game since they will be based in Australia prior to going to Japan to adjust to the time zone otherwise they would have 36 hours of flights and stopovers if going over from Argentina directly.
Yes, they did want a game and Fiji also wanted a warmup game, hence World Rugby asked Argentina if they are willing to schedule the game. The Fijians offered to play the warmup game anywhere on the East Coast, but the opportunity was declined by Argentina in favour of playing a non-world tiered club team, Randwick. Argentina went further of announcing that they considered playing the Western Force but ruled it out because of the extra travel.

Just strange of them declining a tier 2 team who was willing to come to their temporary base in Australia at Coogee for a Rugby World Cup warmup match. The Fiji Drua is also playing in the NRC, which is starting now, allowing the Fijians with depth for risking selected players.

The warmup game isn’t an easy game it is a walk in the park with Randwick picking up fringe Wallabies/NRC players for the outing.

South Africa is playing Japan for a warmup.
 

netstrider

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South Africa is playing Japan for a warmup.
Yes,

SA though didn't have virtually our entire national team play the entire SR and semis and final of the event. I think that is the main concern for Argentina. They probably just want to test systems rather than have any real opposition.

South Africa v Namibia in 2007 comes to mind as our RWC warmup after we had two teams reaching the final of SR that year. That was a 105 - 13 blowout.

Cheika's relationship with both Randwick and Ledesma probably has something to do with it as well.
 

rietrot

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Yes,

SA though didn't have virtually our entire national team play the entire SR and semis and final of the event. I think that is the main concern for Argentina. They probably just want to test systems rather than have any real opposition.

South Africa v Namibia in 2007 comes to mind as our RWC warmup after we had two teams reaching the final of SR that year. That was a 105 - 13 blowout.

Cheika's relationship with both Randwick and Ledesma probably has something to do with it as well.
I think a game like that will be a good confidence booster and help the backline to click a bit better. We need an easy game.
 

netstrider

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I think a game like that will be a good confidence booster and help the backline to click a bit better. We need an easy game.
Before 2015 we would have said Japan was that game. We play to the level of our opposition rather than remain a cut above.
 

thestaggy

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Before 2015 we would have said Japan was that game. We play to the level of our opposition rather than remain a cut above.
Never has a truer statement been made.

Tonga and Fiji in 2007 coming to mind as well.

It seems that whenever a team is not afraid to get physical, we get sucked in to an arm-wrestling contest in some twisted sense of pride/arrogance. The Pacific Islanders have long been able to draw us in to ugly tests of strength and make close(r) games as a result and while the Japanese added another level of skill, their pack was not afraid to take us on.
 

Fulcrum29

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Canada played a better game today, but it was against a more inexperienced Fijian side. 38-13. It isn’t a great score, but they weren’t demolished. Canada had 62% territory and 52% possession, but the game was mostly played between the two 22 opposition lines. Fiji had twice the handling errors, 12, and even conceded more turnovers. John McKee said that he will test more combinations next week which will be against Samoa.

I see Namibia also now have agreed with a club to play their warmup matches against. 2 Matches against the Southern Kings (who have now signed a temporary head coach).
 

Fulcrum29

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The PNC results today:

USA (13) - (10) SAM
FIJ (38) - (13) CAN
TGA (7) - (41) JPN

Good to see the USA take the game against Samoa, but Samoa sent a second-string team and they had to travel to the US.

Japan looking to be the strongest contender in the PNC. The warmup game between the Springboks and Japan will be interesting, but I doubt that the two sides will play a better selection.

Japan has the points lead in the PNC and is likely to go 3/3 to take the cup.
 

Sl8er

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I'm a bit late to this RWC 2019 thread.
I subsequently scanned through the entire thing and...I won't lie...it was a little tough seeing Mickey and Fanie's posts in the beginning :(

Anyway, hope the Boks can bring it home this year :thumbsup:
 
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Fulcrum29

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Amanaki will play in the RWC, seems the JRFU had their way. The thing with Japan is, once you are suspected you are 99% guilty... it is the way they work so Amanaki is a very special case. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco is out, and is the only viable replacement so I guess that is why the JRFU (or Japan) made an exception.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/114985891/trial-date-set-for-rugby-player-amanaki-mafi--as-world-cup-squad-naming-looms

Trial date set for rugby player Amanaki Mafi - as World Cup squad naming looms
A Japanese rugby player facing serious assault charges after a Dunedin incident last year, will go to trial in the new year.

Amanaki Mafi, who had his appearance excused, last year entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of injuring with intent to injure after allegedly bashing former Melbourne Rebels team-mate Lopeti Timani in Dunedin in the early hours of July 15 last year.

In the Dunedin District Court on Wednesday morning, Judge Michael Crosbie urged lawyers to set a trial date due to the sporting schedules of the complainant and defendant.

That trial date was set to begin on January 27, when he noted "the World Cup is over".
The serious assault charge carries a maximum penalty of five years jail.

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has maintained it would not make a decision about Mafi's future until criminal proceedings in Dunedin concluded.

The Japanese World Cup squad has yet to be named by former Highlanders' coach Jamie Joseph, with Mafi featuring in several recent internationals.
He will be named. Jamie Joseph didn't give any other number eights any chance. He has also expanded his RWC selection squad now with players who haven't even played in the PNC... Strange. I like the squad they had in the PNC, even though some players didn't get a chance. All I believe is that more ethnic players deserve a chance.

I read the stats the other day. Eddie Jones had the most ethnic Japanese RWC squad in history, but many players have been schooled elsewhere. Jamie Joseph is one ethnic player short in comparison to Jones, but only 7/41 players haven't been schooled in Japan. This will be the most 'Japanese' squad to date.

Do note, it is pretty much only the Springboks, Bears and Los Pumas which are +95% ethnic. Some Northern Hemisphere teams are cutting it close to 50-60% ethnicity.
 

Agent_Smith

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I'm a bit late to this RWC 2019 thread.
I subsequently scanned through the entire thing and...I won't like...it was a little tough seeing Mickey and Fanie's posts in the beginning :(

Anyway, hope the Boks can bring it home this year :thumbsup:
I'm definitely more hopeful than this time 4 years ago. I think our squad is stronger, the structures are better and there is a general upwards trajectory in our recent performances. However, the same is true for our opposition. The last few years has seen a resurgence of the Northern Hemisphere teams. Wales and Ireland are not to be taken lightly and even Scotland can knock over any team when they get it together (although I can't see them going all the way, but they can have a big say in other teams' prospects). Couple that with NZ being NZ (despite their recent 'patchy' form) and Australia cock-a-hoop after their thumping of NZ and suddenly things aren't so straight forward. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is the first RWC where you have 5 or 6 teams in with a realistic shot.
 

SAguy

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Wow... we hung onto that one by the hairs of our chin.

Still shows a bit of depth in some positions for the world cup. I must be honest though, I'm not a Leyds fan at all.

Only reason to take him with to WC 2019 would be his reasonable ability to slot into wing or fullback.
 
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