- Super Rugby
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Could also have gone by the name of interval, or overlap, or set-piece play. Ideals long gone of French rugby. When he's not banging on about this lost cause or screening games for a sign of flair, he's cheering for the Wallabies or rambling on about how good was life back in Newtown.
Slowly, imperceptibly, the eerily familiar tune has risen, similar to the primitive pulse of the shark motif in Jaws. The time is ripe for another upset; Les Bleus can beat the All Blacks. Saturday night, at the eleventh hour, Rory Kockott will throw a familiar line at his opposite, dejected halfback: “Four more years boet, four more years”, before kicking France to a rather unexpected semifinal. How did we come this far? After all, what is tangible, perceptible, measurable, is that France have been nothing short of woeful over the last 4 years. Without embarking on a long-winded speech about…
VIBE France gave another masterclass in Stratagem & Secrecy as they laboriously limped past Canada in a turgid affair. The last pockets of Irish resistance to a well-deserved sense of superiority over France have fallen. In spite of all warnings, the wary and haughty Irish have been lulled into the illusion of French predictability. How could it be otherwise? To be fair, things did get off to a bad start. After a couple of phases on the halfway line, Michalak sold a dummy, stepped inside, fended off and gave a no-look flick pass to Fofana who dived ostentatiously over the…
VIBE Was it the bagpipes ban ? Or the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 awarded the best whisky by Jim Murray’s bible ? The Scots were out to right a few wrongs and beat the Japanese in a tight RWC encounter, despite what a misleading scoreboard says. The game was one of several tipping points. Early on, Laidlaw and Russell exposed the Japanese poor aerial skills, bombing the openside winger repeatedly with accurate pressure kicks. Despite a nicely-worked maul off a lineout combination that resulted in a try, the hype-makers were mostly pinned in their half, dropping bombs, and…
VIBE France strolled past Italy to claim the 10-man rugby WBA title relinquished by South Africa earlier in the evening. In a game riddled with penalties, handling mistakes and forward bromance, the boys of Thierry Dusautoir dominated the set play and the tight channels, with the tighthead prop and his replacement scoring one try each. After a promising start, the game turned into a slugfest, as dull as a concussed prop doing a mid-game interview. The PSA gameplan worked well: a frustrating sliding defence, strong breakdown work (Ben Arous was a standout) and powerful scrums provided the team with enough…
VIBE What a topple, what an overthrow, what a friggin upset. Take a bow, Japan. Bigger than North Korea v. Italy in the 1966 soccer world cup or Douglas v. Tyson in 1990, the performance of the Brave Blossoms was one for the ages. The boys of Eddie Jones outsmarted those of Heyneke Meyer: there was great variation in their game. They played deep and tight when nobody was expecting them to, scoring off a driving maul, but also shifted it swiftly to the wide channels, relying on excellent running lines, decoy runners and support play. Their defensive realignment was…