Sunday, October 18, 2015

Irish Rugby

      Well Ireland had a disappointing end to their World Cup quest in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Ireland lost to Argentina 20-43. At this point all the European nations have been knocked out of the competition.

Ireland was the 6 Nations Champion 2 years running. England and France have always had strong teams and it look like a European nation could challenge the Oceanic Nations for the World Cup title.

Just as the European nations dominate in soccer, the Oceanic nations dominate in Rugby.

Looking ahead Japan will host the next tournament in 2019. Ireland is looking to host the 2023 tournament. Ireland need 10 to 13 stadiums mimicking New Zealands successful tournament. Ireland's bid is going up against France, Italy and South Africa.

South Africa has not hosted since 2007. That was when they hosted the entire tournament. South Africa has the stadiums from their FIFA World Cup. They have been unsuccessful in their last 3 bids of 2011, 2015 and 2019. Every other year the Rugby World Cup has rotated from the southern Hemisphere to the Northern. Next year it will break the trend and be played in Japan. There may be sympathy to go with S Africa since they have been denied.

Italy also has the stadiums from their robust soccer league. Italy's bid I see as a little behind Ireland. Ireland has the stadiums but they also have much better fans support. Fans from England, Wales, Scotland, Wales and France can easily get to Ireland. Italy is a step behind Ireland with the Rugby quality.

France can match every thing Ireland has. France has the fans of France. They will also draw from the surrounding nations from the European Rugby nations. They also have in place the stadiums. The negative is they have already hosted. France so far has hosted the most successful (based on attendance) in 2007.

Ireland Bid: The positives it that they will probably have the highest attended Rugby World Cup. The European nations have done better than the Southern Hemisphere nations (S Africa, New Zealand and Australia). Ireland already has 4 ready Rugby Stadiums and the GAA has said the GAA stadiums could be used. 13 stadiums are already in place and they have the infrastructure already there to host. Ireland also have a very strong team that should make the knockout rounds to keep attendance high. England, Wales, Scotland, France and Italian fans will make the journey to keep attendance high if Ireland falters like England did in 2015. The positive over France is Ireland has never hosted solely everything else is about equal. Over Italy is a much stronger team and much stronger fan support. Advantage over South Africa is they have hosted a sole tournament in 1995.

The vote also go with Ireland since both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland have one team to represent the island.

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Rugby World Cup --


 Group A

     The group stage is over and the pretenders are out. There was one team that could have advanced to the final at that was the host, England. England felt the pressure of winning at home and against their unbelievable critical media. England also was in the toughest group;  consisting of Australia, Wales and Fiji along with England and Uruguay. The Wallabies take the top spot and will play group B runner up Scotland.
  Wales only lost one tight game 15-6 to Australia. Their big game was against England Sept 26.  Wales beat the host in a squeaker 28-25. Thus knocking the host out and propelling Wales to the knockout stage against South Africa. Wales will be looking for home support from the crowd.

Group B
    This group had S Africa (ranked #2 in the World). We all knew they would be going through. They placed top of group after losing a stunner in their first game to Japan. They rebounded and won the remaining 3 games. Scotland placed second...beating #3 Japan 45-10. S Africa will play Wales while Scotland will play the Wallabies.
   The USA did  not win a game. The  Eagles have a long way to go in this sport to be competitive with the top teams. USA Rugby seven is making much better strides.

Group C
   This group has the all blacks (New Zealand). The All blacks have been the best country in rugby forever. They are ranked #1 and placed first in their group with 4 wins. Argentina tested them but lost 26-16. Argentine placed second and are a sleeper nation no one talks about. The All blacks will face France while Argentina plays Ireland

Group D
     This was the European group.  This group had 4 European nations and Canada. Canada placed last. The class of the group was France and Ireland. We all knew the group would come down to these European Titans and it did. Neither team wanted to place second since that would mean a first round game against the All Blacks. Ireland won the Oct 11 encounter 24-9 which made Ireland the Only European 1st place group finisher. Ireland will play Argentina while France has the unenviable task of playing the All Blacks.