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Mark Orlovac

The Bloggys (70)

Waterloo station/ a cross channel ferry, Monday - As a final parting World Cup gift, myself, Tom and Ben (remember them?) thought we'd dish out a few prizes from the last seven weeks. First prize goes to all of you, obviously, for reading and joining in and making the blog what it is.

But after you lot, there have been some outstanding, and not so clever, achievements. Here's just a few. Let's call them "The Bloggys". (See if you can spot who wrote which ones!)

Best team
I know South Africa won the ultimate prize but Argentina sneak this one. Their journey to the World Cup semi-finals was a fairytale and the powers that be must surely now invite them to world rugby’s top table. The players were passionate, friendly, enthusiastic and, lest we forget, they also had plenty of skill. The fact they got so far with such little backing was an incredible story.

Best player
Where do you start? This one has taken me ages to figure and I’ll get shot down whichever one I choose so here goes. Ignoring the likes of Bryan Habana, Percy Montgomery and Gonzalo Longo, I’m going to plump for Juan Martin Hernandez. The Pumas fly-half showed why many regard him as the best player on the planet at the moment. Rumours of a switch to Leicester are refusing to go away, you know.

Scrappy-Doo Award for Most Pugnacious Small Man
An absolute shoe-in - Andy Gomarsall.

Le Bloggernaut Award for Best Campsite
Aix-en-Provence had the best wash-block, Nantes the best parties. But for the combo of swimming pool, bar, boules court, steaming hot showers and a view of a 14th century monastery, La Romieu prends la biscuit.

The Why Rugby is a Great Game Award
Now, I wasn’t going to do this one but I changed my mind while watching French television on Sunday night. During a World Cup wrap-up, a clip showed an emotional Graham Henry going into the French changing room after his New Zealand side were beaten in the quarter-finals at the Millennium Stadium. He told the players: “I just wanted to say well done, you played really well and you deserved it. Good luck for the rest of the tournament.” After what had been such a crushing defeat, it was a fantastic gesture.

Tom and Ben Trophy for Best Fans
For noise, the Irish. For harmonies, the Welsh. For sheer joy, the Argentines. But for the support they gave to each and every game, no matter which minnows were playing: the French.

Story of the World Cup Award
This was so nearly won by England for the way they got themselves back off the canvas after a seemingly knock-out blow to reach the World Cup final. But instead, this award is going to the “minnows” (don’t you hate that phrase). You know who you are - Portugal, Romania, Georgia, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Namibia, Canada, Japan, USA. Take a bow, you totally justified your World Cup places; hopefully we’ll see you again in four years time.

England's win over Australia sparked a monster party in Marseille

Le Bloggernaut Award for Best Rugby Town
Bordeaux was fantastic. And Montpellier was like a glimpse into the future. But how could you ever match Marseille? Sunshine, beaches, a rammed Stade Velodrome, a huge official and unofficial welcome from the city and the beautiful madness of the nights in Vieux Port. Just don’t mention the fact that Ben got mugged there.

Best individual try
Another tough category. I’m going for USA winger Takudzwa Ngwenya against South Africa in the final round of the pool stages. Anyone who can skin someone like Bryan Habana deserves a lot of credit. I bet Ngwenya couldn’t do that to a certain Ben Dirs. You know he raced a cheetah as well don’t you?

Best team try
Argentina’s fourth try in the third-place play-off against France, scored by Ignacio Corleto, comes close but this has to go to Japan for their length-of-the-field effort against Wales. From a five-metre scrum near their line, Japan stole possession and swept downfield in a matter of seconds, resulting in a score for Kosuko Endo. One word. Brilliant.

Biggest disappointment
New Zealand are massive contenders, obviously, while Italy did little to lift the soul in their group games. However, the runaway winners of this award are Ireland. Rumours of divisions in the camp are well documented but their failure to reach the quarter-finals was a missed opportunity for this supposed golden generation.

Best Fancy Dress
It seems harsh that anyone who came as the Queen should miss out – but how could the boys of the 9th Foot and Mouth not come out on top? Not only were their Victorian outfits perfect in every detail, but for the final they even brought a Zulu along – complete with bone through his nose.


So that’s it. It is all over. Thank you so much for all your comments and taking part in the World Cup blog. It’s been a long and emotional seven weeks but hopefully you have all enjoyed it. I’m now off to teach my eldest son how to dominate the tackle area. See you all at the Six Nations.

Mark Orlovac is a BBC Sport journalist based in London. He will be based in Paris for the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 06:23 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Bernard Thompson wrote:

Hello to you both and thank you, thank you, thank you a million!
You turned the Rugby World Cup into an experience that has seeped into me. Something I loved, enjoyed and suffered as I were part of it despite never having set foot in France during the seven weeks. I hope to be reading your blog next time round in 2011!! Cheers from an exile in Italy! Ciao :-)

  • 2.
  • At 07:04 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Todd L wrote:

Argentina are the best team when they were hammered by the winners in the semi-final? Nonsense.

Agreed about Hernandez though.

  • 3.
  • At 07:10 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Bridger wrote:

Guys, this blog has been amazing. It really has added a wonderful personal touch to the tournament and made it all seem a lot closer to home. Wouldn't have been the experience it was without you.

Now go away and do a proper job at the beeb for the next four years and i won't mind paying for it all over again in 2011.

  • 4.
  • At 07:20 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • cas wrote:

There ought to be "worst referee". Wayne Barnes will run away with that one.

  • 5.
  • At 08:26 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Kassra wrote:

2. The point is that Argentina managed to reach the semi-finals despite not having regular competitive rugby, are the first team from outside the 6 nations and tri-nations to reach a semi-final, and beat a number of traditional countries (france, ireland, scotland) on the way. which in a way makes their achievement greater than south africa's, who were one of the pre-world cup favourites.

as for the two best try awards, I would have mentioned the french try against ireland, with michelak's beautiful kick to the corner for clerc to run onto.

  • 6.
  • At 08:34 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Hannah wrote:

I might sound a bit bias here but were Scotland not in the world cup??? ever blog that has been written since the cup finished has not mention them at all. Even the irish are getting a look in and they almost lost to Georgia. I will admit that maybe we didnt have the best world cup but we got to the quarter finals and were then put out by a fantastic argentina....I think now is the time to move on though and that goes to all the england fans whgo keep going on about their world cup! South Africa won and you lost!!!! And u cant blame the aussie! Bring on the Six Nations!

  • 7.
  • At 08:47 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Kassra wrote:

2. The point is that Argentina managed to reach the semi-finals despite not having regular competitive rugby, are the first team from outside the 6 nations and tri-nations to reach a semi-final, and beat a number of traditional countries (france, ireland, scotland) on the way. which in a way makes their achievement greater than south africa's, who were one of the pre-world cup favourites.

as for the two best try awards, I would have mentioned the french try against ireland, with michelak's beautiful kick to the

  • 8.
  • At 09:06 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Jake Scott wrote:

So Stuart Dickinson tells the Daily Telegraph: "I am 100% happy with the decision... there is a lot of definitive footage there. Factually it is indisputable... his foot runs into touch by about 25 to 30 centimetres."

I just spent 30 minutes surfing the net looking for such a 'definitive' image and couldn't find one. Dickinson & co. why not share what you've got, otherwise this could easily turn into a conspiracy. I'm beginning to have my doubts.

  • 9.
  • At 09:52 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • jonathan in Patagonia wrote:

As an Argie I would like to thank so many kind comments about Argentina´s campaign in this World Cup.
I endorse Hernandez´s choice as Best Player, but would like to submit Murphy´s try against Argentina as the best try in the tournament.
Please all help us get into the Six Nations!!

  • 10.
  • At 11:52 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • DK wrote:

To Hannah,

Argentina were awful against your lot, truly truly awful and you were very lucky to get as close as you did to them on the scoreline. In fact didn't your only try in 3 games come when they were down to 13 men? (2 injured players in agony on the pitch). Typical Scot to have a chip on their shoulder with regards to England but at least they got to the final, when you lot were lucky Patterson can kick (or the Italian fly half can't) otherwise you would have not left the group stages. Not to mention the fact that Scotland are the most boring rugby team on the planet, yes worse than England and South Africa.

So yeah, that's why Scotland haven't been mentioned.

  • 11.
  • At 12:06 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • DK wrote:

To Hannah,

Argentina were awful against your lot, truly truly awful and you were very lucky to get as close as you did to them on the scoreline. In fact didn't your only try in 3 games come when they were down to 13 men? (2 injured players in agony on the pitch). Typical Scot to have a chip on their shoulder with regards to England but at least they got to the final, when you lot were lucky Patterson can kick (or the Italian fly half can't) otherwise you would have not left the group stages. Not to mention the fact that Scotland are the most boring rugby team on the planet, yes worse than England and South Africa.

So yeah, that's why Scotland haven't been mentioned.

  • 12.
  • At 12:23 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • USRugbyFan wrote:

YoMama is obviously an SA fan that's still upset by Habana getting beat by Ngwenya. England was a fairly decent story, as was SA, but that performance of the lesser respected sides, Argentina and the minnows, was the obvious choice for acknowledgment.

  • 13.
  • At 12:32 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • dal wrote:

HOW MANY TEAMS R IN THE RUGBY UNION?

  • 14.
  • At 01:00 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Padre wrote:

So, dressing up in victorian British army uniform and bringing along a Zulu is something to be applauded? Are you aware of the history of the Anglo-Zulu war - a conflict initiated by the British to forward political aims in South Africa. You are a fool and the idiots who dressed up in the uniforms are an embarrasment.

  • 15.
  • At 03:55 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Ladies and Gentleman, the award for the biggest dissapointment at the World Cup goes to (drumroll please): Mr Wayne Barnes!

  • 16.
  • At 04:22 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • DaveyBoy wrote:

Ireland were not just dissapointing they were absolutely appalling during the competition

  • 17.
  • At 04:30 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

Congratulations to Brian Habana not just for being player of the year but also for beating a cheetah over 100 metres without changing his underpants once.

Not to be outdone, the Australians have got Matt Dunning racing a turtle over the same distance. Can't give you the result, as neither of them has finished yet.

  • 18.
  • At 04:56 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • matt wrote:

To the person that wrote the second comment.I am a proud arrogant new zealander and even i will say that argentinian team played with the most passion, spirit, attacking and defending flair and they were a pleasure to watch. they played a better style of rugby than all of the other teams in the competition put together.their brilliant style of rugby was the shining light of the competition and they thourghly deserved to make the final and even win. and as for the all blacks well enough has been said on that matter

  • 19.
  • At 05:04 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • ben wrote:

the game of rugby union needs carefull attention in regard to reffing.
england possibly lost because of a 50/50 decision , as did nz regarding the blatant forward pass that was never called when the french scored thier great try . to many grey areas tarnish rugby union .ben .

  • 20.
  • At 05:23 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Ted wrote:

Like your selection of the world cup team your bias is glaringly obvious.
It just burns you to give SA any of the accolades it deserves. Thank goodness others saw there was no alternative but ti give SA a clean sweep. Despite England doing so well.
Let's be big enough and professional enough to see the bigger rugby picture.

Our wrap on the Final and the tournament :

England were incredible.

http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/traps/2007/10/21/springboks-the-class-of-1995-and-2007/

  • 22.
  • At 05:48 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Mick Jeffrey wrote:

I feel that the biggest disappointment was the referees in that they were were constantly looking for the smallest infringement, and that just about every scrum was a real lottery over who would get penalties/free kicks. They didn't really help the spectacle of the game.

  • 23.
  • At 06:44 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • M Adams wrote:

What a load of crap!!!!

See everyone likes England except for the British media!!

  • 24.
  • At 07:04 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • King wrote:

Hernandez has potential, but I can't understand why people has SUCH a high opinion of him. He is weak under pressure which automatically eliminates him from selection in a world type team, on either fly-half or fullback. He has a good boot, but can think of at least ten people off hand who will turn him around. But yeah...what does it matter anyway. Further more the fact that so many people were freaking out because Ngwenya got past Habana, is actually far more credit to habana than it is to Ngwenya. What? You expected nobody to ever get past habana? Get real mate...watch some more rugby you'll see you can't always stop everybody.

  • 25.
  • At 07:15 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • King wrote:

Hernandez has potential, but I can't understand why people has SUCH a high opinion of him. He is weak under pressure which automatically eliminates him from selection in a world type team, on either fly-half or fullback. He has a good boot, but can think of at least ten people off hand who will turn him around. But yeah...what does it matter anyway. Further more the fact that so many people were freaking out because Ngwenya got past Habana, is actually far more credit to habana than it is to Ngwenya. What? You expected nobody to ever get past habana? Get real mate...watch some more rugby you'll see you can't always stop everybody.

  • 26.
  • At 07:55 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • emerald wrote:

i dont think the french deserved best fans- i mean the tournament was hosted in frwnce so if the faans behaved badly it would have reflected badly on france. hosts always have to be gracious. i would say as an irish fan, the argentinian fans were the best- graciou in victory and defeat and just had great time and gave great support to the team

  • 27.
  • At 07:57 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • MPHO wrote:

You can say all that you want but the truth is SOUTH AFRICA is the best team in the world now. GO BOKER GO BOKER

  • 28.
  • At 08:21 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Hall wrote:

To Jake Scott:

Not everything is on the net. Look at Mondays Times pg 71. On the line is out. People keep whining about this non try and the English are going to get put on a par with the Aussies for whinging.

Think the Fench fans were great. I don't think I've ever seen statiums so packed out for minnow games.

Great tournament!

  • 29.
  • At 08:27 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Mutt wrote:

#5 Hannah

Don't sweat it. Scotland did exactly as everyone (more or less) expected of them. Did enough to get to the quarters and not have enough to go further. So there is no real reason to talk about them beyond Mossy's boot.

Ireland however DESERVE to be talked about from now until the next world cup. In addition they and every fan who talked them up as RWC title contenders should wear a scarlet L on their left breast, have a pair of throttling hands tattooed around their necks and be taught haemlich maneuver.

  • 30.
  • At 08:43 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Pete Moran wrote:

France held a good tournament, great turnout by the fans.

The referees were poor. The game is stopped too many times for minor infringements. Also they should deal with violent play on the pitch, the refs have gone soft abdicating decisions to panels post match.

The rule/points system must change. Rugby was primarily about scoring trys. They should reduce the points for drop kicks and penalties to try and encourage teams to play more open rugby. They should look at the Rugby League, reward for attacking teams e.g. 40:20 rule in league.

Despite my comments matches proved great drama, smaller nations putting big guns under pressure and overall it was a good tournament.

  • 31.
  • At 08:45 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

As for Best Team, if I had to choose between a "passionate, friendly and enthusiastic" team that gets drilled in the semis by 13-37, or another that is physical, clinical and determined and that eventually takes the cup, guess where my vote will be?

Argentina was impressive, but they would be better placed under the heading "Best Accomplishment" for making it that far.

p.s. Stuart for once got it spot on. Only rose-tinted glasses will make you believe that was a try!

  • 32.
  • At 08:46 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Gregor wrote:

What a RWC - sad it is over.

Well played Endland and SA - but to all the England fans still bleating about the "supposed" try in the final. Cueto was CLEARLY out. If anyone needs evidence get in touch and I will send you proof.....

  • 33.
  • At 08:57 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

Not one award for the one team that dominated this World Cup and played the most consistent rugby.

South Africa scored 30 points or more in every game except the final, including against your supposed team of the tournament.

Hernandez is a world class player but not a world class fly half. The sign of a great fly half is when he can still control a game when under pressure and getting the ball going backwards. He fell horribly short in this regard against South Africa.

Player of the tournament - any of Juan Smith, Victor Matfield, or Fourie Du Preez. Matfield proved in the final that he is untouchable as a lock or thinking player in world rugby.

No wonder everybody queues up to beat the Poms after one-eyed posts like this.

  • 34.
  • At 08:58 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Jake Scott, here is your definitive evidence. Now lets just accept that it was the right decision and the best team won.

http://www.keo.co.za/2007/10/22/tmo-strikes-back/#more-7391

  • 35.
  • At 09:08 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • PCM wrote:

Just a little snippet - I'm a rugby ref (although never ever had the benefit of TMO or even radio comms).

The directive that refs are given is that you don't award a try unless you are absolutely sure. If in doubt - no try.

There is lots of footage (start with you tube) showing that they got it right - so get over it.

To DK - chip on shoulder - read your vitriol again and then decide who's got the chip on their shoulder.

  • 36.
  • At 09:10 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

From No. 9 "Have you people ever wondered why longstanding rivals like the Kiwis and Aussies backed SA in the final? Simple answer, they were playing against the blighty oppressors."

Blight oppressors, that's hilarious! It's like we're back in the days off William Webb Ellis himself with the Empire in ascendance!

  • 37.
  • At 09:18 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

DK How can you say Scotland were luck that Patterson can kick. Look at your own team, without Wilkinson you would have been sunk a long time ago. No one said that Scotland were going to set the world on fire but they are a young team and will improve.

I have a good feeling about this six nations.

We have the two big teams England and France at home and the weaker Ireland,wales and Italy away. England should be in disarray after all their retirements and possibly new coach, while Ireland, Italy, France and Wales will have new coaches.

  • 38.
  • At 09:18 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • pete bassett wrote:

A group of us went to the Team Hotel on Sunday and were amazed by the players accessability and openess. Lots of signatures had and conversations made.
I'd like to thank them for their time and humility on what was, despite the result, a fantastic (if though expensive) weekend

  • 39.
  • At 09:23 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Dom wrote:

Padre - comment 14 - It is people like you that just poo-poo all the fun in the world. It was harmless fancy dress and was well received by all those around them no matter what nationality.

You need to get out more.

  • 40.
  • At 09:50 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Malky the pail wrote:

I don't know if I'm the only rugby supporter a bit disappointed with this tournament.Great on passion,commitment and defence,poor on attacking flair and free running.Did the so called minnows preform well because it is easier to coach teams to stop tries than it is to create them.For rugby to progress as a spectator sport there has to be law changes like depowering the scrum,quicker ball at the breakdown,bigger gaps in defences at the breakdown and restarts.Maybe even concider creating an amateur game for those want to keep the old rules and old ethos of the game and letting the professionals play in a more spectator orientated game? Or has that happened before? about 100 years ago

  • 41.
  • At 09:53 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • hennerZ wrote:

to be honest i think Portugal deserve more credit, they did score a try against New Zealand when they were at their strongest

  • 42.
  • At 09:57 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Wilko's Kicking Tee wrote:

Absolutely agree.

The good thing about rugby is that (usually) we can all put it behind us and move on... unlike that other ball-kicking game.... and have a beer with each other afterwards. And let's face it, even though Safa won the cup, the ABs will still claim to be the best team in the World (until Kingdom come) and the Ozzies will still hate England for purely historical reasons that have nothing to do with sport.

So, on that note, I wholeheartedly agree that the team of the tournament were the Argies (despite what happened on Penguin Island some years back... and, yes, I say that as a proud Englishman (although my mum was Scottish, my gran Welsh, and my grandfather Irish).

Let the Argies compete in the Tri-Nations (I just don't think that there's enough room in the 6Ns)... and then maybe (to put something back into society), the winners of the 6 Nations and Tri Nations might like to play each other (as a sort of N v S intermssion World Cup) and put the proceeds towards a mutually agreeable charity... a bit like rugby's version of the charity shield.

Here's hoping Japan win the 2015 bid, thus bringing more communities into this fabulous game.

  • 43.
  • At 10:04 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • ricky wrote:

For those of you looking for proof he was out: http://pienkzuit.wordpress.com/2007/10/21/the-proof/
i feel i must inform some english supporters that the out rule differs in rugby than in football.

  • 44.
  • At 10:06 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Malky the pail wrote:

I don't know if I'm the only rugby supporter a bit disappointed with this tournament.Great on passion,commitment and defence,poor on attacking flair and free running.Did the so called minnows preform well because it is easier to coach teams to stop tries than it is to create them.For rugby to progress as a spectator sport there has to be law changes like depowering the scrum,quicker ball at the breakdown,bigger gaps in defences at the breakdown and restarts.Maybe even concider creating an amateur game for those want to keep the old rules and old ethos of the game and letting the professionals play in a more spectator orientated game? Or has that happened before? about 100 years ago

  • 45.
  • At 10:37 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Padre,

Get a life. The outifts are there to add to the good atmoshpere this tournament has been both played and supported in, with good humour between opposing fans.

  • 46.
  • At 10:51 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • ireland wrote:

no 20- england did really really well to get to the final but to say they were incredible is going a bit far. they played tight kicking rugby and it did the job but no one could say it was beautiful. however that is not a critiscism. in a tournament such as this it is about winning and grinding out results.well done england. however i reckon if argentina had played england in the semis, i reckon they'd have won as they can play very good attacking rugby but also can defend with their lives and hernandez for me was the in form kicker.

  • 47.
  • At 11:21 AM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Stoob wrote:

South Africa were deserved winners of the World Cup - well done to them. However, I think the distinction of team of the tournament does not have to go to the winners, because SA win by being the best organised and well drilled team. The sheer joy, passion and commitment shown by Argentina made it so enjoyable to watch them, whether they played well or not.
As a vocal England supporter of long vintage, I felt at the time that Cueto had scored. However, his foot touched the line before he grounded the ball, and the right call was made. England were beaten by a better team, and the vast majority of fans I've spoken to since the game accept that. The "disallowed try" did not cost England the game in my opinion.
Let's just enjoy the memories of the world cup, and stop sounding like bleating bad losers (that forward pass against France - seriously, get over it. You had 70% of possession, why didn't you use it?).
This wasn't the best tournament for skill and open rugby, but it was really enjoyable. Let's hope another 20 team World Cup in 2011 delivers just as much drama.
Incidentally, I agree that Scotland deserve some credit. Before the World Cup, Wales and Ireland were being talked up, Scotland and England talked down. Scotland did the job, and deserve some credit, same as England.

  • 48.
  • At 12:11 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Dean wrote:

Either you believe that SA are a great team with no standout talents (ie Team of the Tournament) or they contain the Player of the Tournament - it's a travesty to have them win neither. Personally, I'd keep Argentina as best team but give Matfield best player - not only did he destroy the opposition lineout in both semi and final, he showed an amazing range of skills against England with the delicate chip for touch and the try-saving tackle on Tait.
Hernandez could be consoled with newly-created award of 'best pass' for his line-ball 25m effort in the 3rd-place playoff (with his weaker hand!).

  • 49.
  • At 12:19 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Squires wrote:

^^^Quote Dal ^^^

'HOW MANY TEAMS R IN THE RUGBY UNION?'

Answer. One usually

  • 50.
  • At 01:08 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Will wrote:

Whether Cueto's try was in or out is no longer a matter for dispute, so why talk about it? If it was ruled out then it was out so that's the end of it. There have been plenty of instances of referees getting things wrong - forward passes, high tackles, etc etc which could have turned any number of games and influenced who got through and who didn't. None of it matters, if you play rugby you accept that a ref cannot be infalible. Well done to all the teams and especially to SA for winning.

Oh and I'm English.

  • 51.
  • At 01:28 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • snow wrote:

I having nothing against the Scots or their rugby but their team in this world cup were awful and do not deserve a mention, especially for the pathetic way that Hadden picked a second XV to play the All Blacks - at home! That was the low point of this world cup for me though the same colour shirts didn't help.

But did any of the big teams set this world cup alight? While I think it was a good world cup, as good as any we have had, the tactics chosen by the teams in the semis were terribly dull and the standard of back play really poor. It is shame in a way that Australia and NZ were kicked out because those teams at least showed the most invention behind the scrum. The one thing England's three games had in common was that they were awful games of rugby, though the opposition in those games, especially the French and Boks, were equally at fault.

It may be the Webb Ellis Cup but there was none of that famous running with the ball. In the final, whenever the teams tried to run with the ball, and it was not often, they threw passes on the ground or in the air or behind the player. What has happened to back play?

  • 52.
  • At 08:55 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Linden wrote:

This disallowed try thing is a laugh, especially because England whittered incessantly about the ref after the 2003 final, complaining even as champions!

South Africa will have watched the English quarter and semi so knew England were no risk of scoring. So the Boks weren't too worried about who had possession so long as Johnny was out of range for 80 minutes.

Had England scored, we would have had a more entertaining final for the neutrals, but the same winner ... RSA can go up a gear, England were already at full speed.

  • 53.
  • At 10:06 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • bokkieUSA wrote:

Worst fans = England. I just watched the match again, and just noticed how Steyn got booed by the English fans when he took his penalty.

Constant whinging about a try that never was.

Constant degrading of the team that won by calling SA players, etc overrated).

I do note however, that this is just perpertuated by irresponsible biased commentary (more on that later) and folks who do not understand the RU rules of what is considered out. I guess the football hooligans think they know it all. The rest ofthe English fans have been gracious and fantastic. Except for Steyn's penalty, even the biased English commentary acknowledged the obstruction... I think this reaction eclipses all and the English fans are for sure the worst.

Get over it, England lost.

Argentina played a better semi than England's final. At least once SA were ahead, Argentina gave it all they had and took some risks. Sure those risks ended up in tries against them, but at least they tried and they may even have pulled it off. England sat back and stuck with the same game plan that had them trailing for all the game. I guess they believed in their own press.

Worst Commentary: English. So biased, to the point of being irresponsible. Every SA score was "unjustified", "lucky", etc. We've cancelled our substription to Setanta. Never again will be be subjected to this biased drivel. Most US fans who watched with us were disgusted and amazed. And tyo add insult to injury, we had to pay for this crap. These commentators are not fit for international consumption.

  • 54.
  • At 10:09 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • bokkieUSA wrote:

Worst fans = England. I just watched the match again, and just noticed how Steyn got booed by the English fans when he took his penalty.

Constant whinging about a try that never was.

Constant degrading of the team that won by calling SA players, etc overrated).

I do note however, that this is just perpertuated by irresponsible biased commentary (more on that later) and folks who do not understand the RU rules of what is considered out. I guess the football hooligans think they know it all. The rest ofthe English fans have been gracious and fantastic. Except for Steyn's penalty, even the biased English commentary acknowledged the obstruction... I think this reaction eclipses all and the English fans are for sure the worst.

Get over it, England lost.

Argentina played a better semi than England's final. At least once SA were ahead, Argentina gave it all they had and took some risks. Sure those risks ended up in tries against them, but at least they tried and they may even have pulled it off. England sat back and stuck with the same game plan that had them trailing for all the game. I guess they believed in their own press.

Worst Commentary: English. So biased, to the point of being irresponsible. Every SA score was "unjustified", "lucky", etc. We've cancelled our substription to Setanta. Never again will be be subjected to this biased drivel. Most US fans who watched with us were disgusted and amazed. And tyo add insult to injury, we had to pay for this crap. These commentators are not fit for international consumption.

  • 55.
  • At 10:25 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Rowee wrote:

Best world cup to date,justhope the English stop moaning about the try that never was soon and the Kiwis about that forward pass(personally thought the first NZ try contained a forward pass too.) With regard to the over use of the drop goal how about changing the rule so that, same as for all other kicks, play restarts with a scrum from where ball was kicked if it crosses the dead ball line, and knock a point off too while we're at it.

  • 56.
  • At 10:43 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • Vicky wrote:

Well done to the "minnows"? What next? Praise heaped on San Marino and Andorra for entering Euro 2008?

Does it benefit the sport to suggest that some of the tonkings handed out were "good" for the sport?

  • 57.
  • At 11:04 PM on 23 Oct 2007,
  • tunks wrote:

ok it;s hindsight, but maybe if the scots had fielded a proper team against nz they might have done what the french did and then they might be worth a mention. they could at least have stiffened a few kiwi spines and that might have made a difference too.

  • 58.
  • At 06:22 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • David de Jong wrote:

I can't believe the comment about the redcoat/Zulu fancy dress being "good clean fun".
Can you imagine the furore if German fans turned up for a soccer match against France or Poland wearing SS uniforms?
Plonkers.

  • 59.
  • At 06:46 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • David de Jong wrote:

I can't believe the comment about the redcoat/Zulu fancy dress being "good clean fun".
Can you imagine the furore if German fans turned up for a soccer match against France or Poland wearing SS uniforms?
Plonkers.

  • 60.
  • At 08:48 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Trevor Roberts wrote:

The redcoats may just have been guys having some fun a laugh but they typify the English attitude that costs you so many friends - living in the past, craving the past days of the British Empire when England ruled the world. Hey guys, wake up - it's past and long ago! Same as your world championship. 2003 is history and England have done nothing notable on the rugby scene since then.

As for the South African supporters, most have been quiet and humble when everyone around them praises everyone else their team just got on with the task before them - clinically, professionally. No moaning when some awful ref decisions went against them. And yes, it is true, the whole world (until the final) was against the Boks. The way the English talk about the Boks you'd think there was still apartheid in the land. And just for the record, it was the Brits themselves who brought racism to Africa. Which is why they eventually had to abandon every single colony they had established. Watch Attenborough's film Ghandi again to see just what effect the redcoats had on the third world. It was they who made Ghandi travel second class, they who gunned down the protesters in India, they who established the racist divide between Indian peoples to create Pakistan on purely religious lines. So why do the English hate the South Africans so much?

But forget such ancient history and don't parade colonial army uniforms at sports events where people have come to enjoy the game without being reminded of the symbols of hatred from the past.

Give praise and credit where it is due just for once. Acknowledge that the Boks deserve the best team award and their supporters too. They behaved superbly and have shown the world that the game and its supporters can unite people of all backgrounds. They deserved to win because they played the most winning type of rugby from start to finish. They had the top points scorer, top try scorer and unbeaten record. What does it take to get credit? In this biased scenario, apparently anyone can get it if they are not South African. Who is really biased? Oh, of course, I forgot - it's the referees, isn't it? Grow up and acknowledge defeat, acknowledge the real champions - South Africa.

  • 61.
  • At 10:17 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • irish_girl wrote:

I was supporting england in the final and for the most part the majority of the fans accepted that sa won fair and square and that the so called try was correctly adjudged to have been in touch. blaming the referee in this instance by a minority of idiotic "fans" is hypocritical- are these fans the same ones who told the nz fans to get over their anger at wayne barnes? seriously people- who assume that because the ref was irish that he hated the english. that kind of mentality has offended me and the makority of ireland fans who have nothing against england except for those morons who assume and see anti englishness everywhere- it's called paranoia. a

  • 62.
  • At 10:55 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Paddy Macken wrote:

BokkieUSA.
Whoa...got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning eh? So...because you were unhappy with your cable supplier and the bad commentary by some English bloke, you thought you'd write to our BBC bloggs to vent your spleen - and then some...!
Have you got anything constructive to say, or did you just need to shift a little venom before getting about your business?
I'm Irish, so as an impartial observer, I shall - In a friendly manner of course - let you know who I thought was the most uneccessarily aggressive, odious and obnoxious person during RWC07: You.

  • 63.
  • At 11:19 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Paddy Macken wrote:

Trevor Roberts...

Are you South African by any chance? Showing such anger and hate towards your superiors is only going to highlight your inferiority complex, so I advise you don't make it too obvious old boy.

So...what are you on? Have you been drinking the "Vitriol towards all" potion? Or is it the trusty blend; "Irrational hatred aimed at the English"?

We're all chatting about a great RWC and you're bursting to spill forth with bitterness and bile. Shame - Maybe you should ensure there’s some Pepto-Bismol close by to soothe the burning sensation you have inside?
What's that Trevor? Not Heartburn? Not indigestion?

Then it must be rage fuelled spontaneous human combustion.

Er...Trevor seems to be aflame - does anyone need the bathroom?

  • 64.
  • At 11:51 AM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Jamie Bourne wrote:

Can i add another category?
Worst World Cup Winner - No 53 BokkieUSA

  • 65.
  • At 12:40 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • bold navigator wrote:

I hope Padre, no 13, is joking, otherwise he is definately in line for the 'pompous twit of the tournament' award.

  • 66.
  • At 04:27 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Will wrote:

Can't believe it is over - what a ride.

As a Saffer I am very happy the Boks won - I didn’t sit down for even a second watching the final. It is true - it was not a spectacle based on flowing play, but it was nevertheless enthralling to watch based on the importance of the game and how clearly important it was to both teams. Well done to both England and SA for making it to the final - well deserved.

The English turnaround was nothing short of amazing - the brand of rugby played by any team cannot deter from the fact that a team that looked down and out for all money (150 - 1 I believe) produced performances that speaks volumes of the grit they possess. Besides, this "brand of rugby" discussion is nonsense (it deserves more of a discussion but lets leave it at that).

SA were deserved winners. The SA team has always played "chaotically structured" rugby. SA rarely if ever wins "pretty" - but the talent, resolve and heroics they displayed cannot be taken from them. And of course the glimpses of something special (Mr. Habana and Mr. Steyn come to mind). SA was consistently good throughout the tournament.

I thought that the English were actually gracious in defeat and that the Saffers were gracious winners. Don't let diatribe from a few give the impression that that is the general English/SA attitude. Strange how the actual heroes on the field display such good attitude but a few so far removed need to bring negativity.

On Setanta - yes I also watched Setanta and it was sometimes (almost always) maddening. The "opinionators" (cannot call them commentators)bordered on the ludicrous. However, they only represent their own opinions, not those of a nation.

One point I strongly disagree with is that SA had it "easy". Argentina were soundly beaten - a lot of people said the Argentineans were dead on their feet in the semis. How does these "zombies" then win handsomely against the French the week thereafter when their captain says for them the WC is over? You can only play as well as your opponent allows you to - and SA did not allow Argentina to dictate. The ARG tactics, so successful up until that point, were not effective and the same goes for the final were the English tactics did not win the game.

Credit all around - a thrill a second WC. Well done ENG but ultimately GO BOKKE!!!

  • 67.
  • At 04:32 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • irish_girl wrote:

why is padre pompous- because he disagreed (rightly) so with the imperial nonsense that is clearly still alive within certain segments of english society? here's a thought- the empire has crumbled and is over. those of you who still see england as an imperial power, get over it. i love england and i have many english friends but this kind of thinking is nonsense and racially offensive (zulu/white saviour ideas i mean. padre quite rightly critiscised it.

  • 68.
  • At 07:22 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Ieuan wrote:

Best try? How about Shane Williams against Fiji?

  • 69.
  • At 08:40 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Peter singleton wrote:

Well said Paddy Macken! Some people on these blogs you have to put in the same category as those people who suddenly cut you up and take your stopping space when you are out driving your car. They can ruin your day if you let them - but don't you let them..sorry I slipped into a song lyric there.
The England rugby team did nothing less than cover itself with glory in this World cup, as did Argentina and of course South Africa. Its not whinging to acknowledge the influence that referees have on games, although we have to say proudly that Rugby is light years ahead of many sports in the use of technology to minimise error. England were not quite good enough on the night. To have won they needed most of the 50-50 calls to go their way and that didn't happen. But they were pretty damn close!

  • 70.
  • At 09:50 PM on 24 Oct 2007,
  • Will wrote:

Too state that ENG needed most of the 50:50 calls to go for them to win seems a stretch. I dont think any team really benefited more than the other. There were most definately calls that went against ENG that left me dumbfounded but the same goes for SA. Overall, the referee did not do a bad job - in fact he remained calm and refused to cave in to crowd or player pressure. Toby Flood's push was a good example - Saffers in the crowd and on the field wanted a card or some sanction but he did not cave in.

Several other incidents come to mind - the trip is strictly by law a card, just like a punch. The ref does not have descretion. However, fortunately for the sake of the game Moody was not carded. The penalties against Smit, Vicekry etc. all left me and many other fans confused. My point being that the calls went both ways. One team did not benefit more than another.

Although the methods were questionable to make the call on the "try" it miraciously proved to be correct - by a whisker but def. correct.

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