Official Rugby World Cup 2015 Thread

Ho3n3r

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I had high hopes for the Samoans, but after I watched their games after the Pacific Cup it was dirty, unprofessional and downright nasty. It also seems that the match officials aren’t very keen to be unbiased towards the islanders… those referees based in the Northern Hemisphere.

All in all I think that Fiji have the best chance at proving the world wrong as they played good and clean rugby consistently in 2014/15. They could had even won the Canadians by a larger margin in their last game, but it seemed that they got laid back during the 2nd half.

In our pool, Samoa and Scotland must be wary of the Japanese. Argentina must beware the Tonga team.

To be honest I didn't watch that. :p But I still remember the 2011 game, they were the same and the ref let them get away with a lot of nasty stuff - they were clearly trying to provoke us. We won by something like 13-6 only

And we must be wary of both Scotland and Samoa in our pool. We're playing them in Newcastle, which is apparently very close to Scotland itself, so you can be sure that we'll be outnumbered in terms of crowd numbers.
 

d7e7r7

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The Cape Argus is running a #BokSelfie competition. You can win R1000 and a cool Cape Argus hamper for simply showing your support. All you need to do is post your ‪#‎BokSelfie‬ on the Cape Argus Facebook page, or Tweet to @TheCapeArgus with the hashtag #BokSelfie or email to argusnews@inl.co.za

Your selfie could also be featured on our giant #BokSelfie collage in Friday's edition of the newspaper. Send your selfies by noon tomorrow (Thursday).
 

Drifter

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Boks vs Japan fact file:

For the first time in Springbok Rugby history South Africa will meet Japan in a Test match. Japan have qualified for all previous tournaments since 1987, while South Africa’s inaugural tournament was in 1995.

In the previous seven tournaments Japan played 24 RWC matches with only one win, against Zimbabwe in 1991, and two draws.

South Africa have played in 29 RWC matches, with 25 wins for a win percentage of 86.2%. This is the highest winning percentage of all 20 teams involved in this tournament.

The total number Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 880, the most experienced Springbok side ever. The previous most experienced side (836 caps) played in the RWC quarter-final against Australia in 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.

There are 392 caps in the backline with 488 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 243 caps.

The following players will make their RWC debut: Lood de Jager, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel and Lwazi Mvovo, while Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Handré Pollard and Adriaan Strauss may also make their RWC debut if they get game-time off the bench.

Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 109 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his own record of 59 Test tries for South Africa. Habana also holds the Springbok record for most career tries (10) in RWC tournaments.

In the RWC of 2007 Bryan scored four tries against Samoa – should he repeat that feat against Japan he will be the new world record holder for most career tries as a wing. The current world record holder is Daisuke Ohata from Japan with 62 tries in the wing position.
Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 92 caps in this position and will captain South Africa for the 36th time. Together with Gary Teichmann, he will be the second most capped Springbok captain.

Ruan Pienaar is co-holder of the RWC record for most conversions (6) in a test match.
Schalk Burger is South Africa’s most capped Springbok flank (73) and this match against Japan will be his 80th Test. He is also the Springbok record holder for most tries as a flank (12) as well as a forward (14).

Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (9) in tests as a hooker.

The front row of Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck and Tendai Mtawarira will appear in their record 19th test starting line-up.

Jannie and Bismarck will play their 46th Test match together.
Jannie and Tendai will play in their 37th Test as props in the starting line-up.

The referee is Jerome Garcès of France. It will be his sixth Test involving South Africa. Of the previous five South Africa have won three and lost two. His last appearance was in July 2015 against New Zealand in Johannesburg which the Boks lost 20-27.

The venue is the Brighton Community Stadium, which was constructed at a cost of £93m. The Stadium was officially opened on 30 July, 2011 and has a capacity of 30 750 seats.

http://ewn.co.za/2015/09/16/RWC2015-Boks-vs-Japan-fact-file
 

Cray

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Wall

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Rugby World Cup 2015: Why the cards are stacked against Samoa

Tucked away on page six of the International Rugby Board's November 2004 mission statement is a startling prediction about this year's World Cup.

Amid arrows that climb upwards to an ever-richer, higher-profile future is the claim that 10 teams should be "capable" of reaching the 31 October final at Twickenham.

Considering only eight teams have ever made the semi-finals in the tournament's history, it is a bold suggestion.
The story of Samoa, eliminated in the group stages at the last three tournaments but brimful of raw talent and proud history, illustrates why the target of the IRB, now World Rugby, is not a realistic one.
And why the the game's governing body itself is, at least partly, to blame.

Last November, the All Blacks, Australia, France and Italy posted pictures on Twitter in support of Samoa ahead of their Test against England.
The Samoa United campaign wasn't driven by anti-English sentiment, but concern for their fellow professionals.

For while each of the home players in that Twickenham match earned £15,000, Samoa's squad were on approximately £500 a week - around £70 a day - during their northern hemisphere tour.
That figure had not changed for more than 20 years and, according to players, would frequently be delayed or held back in part by the Samoan Rugby Union.

At the last World Cup in 2011, some overseas-based players effectively played for Samoa for free once they paid for their own flights.

So, in November, Samoa threatened not to take to the field against England in protest at the irregularity and level of pay, as well as complaints that internal politics at the Samoan Rugby Union were interfering with team selection.
The union's president - also the country's prime minister - responded by calling his squad "little brats". World Rugby hastily got involved and a new agreement was finally reached at the end of August, just weeks before the start of the World Cup.

The union said it provided "certainty for players regarding fees" but made no mention of any increase.
"Some of the guys are amateurs and rely on this money to put food on the table," said Mahonri Schwalger, who skippered the side in the 2011 World Cup but has not been picked since then after criticising the management after the tournament.
"The SRU needs to realise this is a new era. Guys are making a career out of the sport and they need to pay the bills and pay the mortgage. Mentally you do not want to be thinking about these things before a big game."
It is a scenario a world away from the England player who joked that their World Cup quarter-final exit in 2011 meant "£35,000 down the toilet" rather than in his pocket.

Census Johnston, a keystone of the Samoa front row, admitted in April his decision to end his international career to focus on playing for Toulouse less than six months before the World Cup "might seem strange".
Yet not only did Johnston, 34, play for Samoa in their historic home Test against the All Blacks in July, he has been called up for their World Cup squad.

The French side were not amused by his appearance against New Zealand, with sporting director Fabien Pelous describing it as "unsettling" and first-team coach Ugo Mola warning it would have "consequences".
Toulouse have not yet reacted to the news he will not be playing for them in the Top 14 this autumn.

London Welsh second row Dan Leo claimed in May - before Samoa team-mate Johnston's apparent U-turn - that Pacific Islanders were being put under pressure to give up international rugby by their clubs.

Claims of clubs offering two different contracts - one with international rugby, one without and a 30-40% difference to the bottom line - or inducements to declare themselves unavailable to their country are not new.

After the last World Cup, Simon Mannix, Racing Metro's coach during the tournament, claimed three of the club's Fijian players did not go to New Zealand "because the club gave them a cheque if they stayed".

In England, Premiership clubs receive more than £175,000 a year for each player they provide to the national squad, but get no such compensation while their other internationals are unavailable.

Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi and his England centre brother Manu, according to their agent, had their wages cut by Leicester during the 2011 tournament.

Read More Here

Fanastic article that highlights the plight of the smaller rugby nations.
 

OrbitalDawn

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All-star cast for SuperSport's RWC offering

Former World Cup champions Kobus Wiese, Joel Stransky, Bobby Skinstad and Ashwin Willemse will be joined by overseas counterparts Moody and Ben Kay, plus a number of other former internationals like Sean Fitzpatrick, Taine Randell, Nathan Sharpe, Colin Charvis, George Gregan, Paul Wallace, Gavin Hastings and Jeff Wilson.

UK-based ITV is the broadcast host and will supply the international commentary feed.
 

Ho3n3r

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We should have a pool on what Jean de Villiers will be injuring on Saturday that will put him out of the rest of the world cup.

Guy has had some horrid luck at these tournaments.

I'll start with ankle.
 

APoc184

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Will break his jaw on the same spot again.

Bonus points if it is against Samoa.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/sep/16/rugby-world-cup-divers-will-be-punished

Rugby World Cup divers to face sinbin as rugby gets tough with cheats

Players at the Rugby World Cup have been warned they face tougher penalties for diving and stricter enforcement of anti-dissent laws as they try to clamp down on football-style behaviour.

John Jeffrey, the rugby committee chairman of world rugby, said referees have been told to clamp down on simulation by issuing yellow cards (and 10 minutes in the sinbin)and to apply the 10-metre law for dissent more widely.

Jeffrey said: “There is a culture creeping it. I call it the football culture, of simulation, people appealing to the referee, players – and it has happened a couple of times – diving. That is going to be sanctioned very heavily in this tournament.

“We are the showcase of our rugby event and it’s very important we keep our values there, and referees have been asked to sanction very heavily on that. There will be yellow cards for diving and we also have the punishment in rugby that you can march somebody back 10 metres.”

Good. I remember when Habana did it, seeing it in local club rugby as well…
 

Fulcrum29

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The Aussie article is over sensationalising the hakarena. The All Blacks already gave their view and basically shrugged at the video. The New Zealanders (and their troupe over the world) did show their devotion to the Silver Fern. Though that video may have targeted the All Blacks, most island teams do engage in a pre-game war dance.

Matt Dawson might have pissed in the wrong person’s soup. At least the British is living up to the banter.
 
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