Brilliant scrummaging from Italy tonight against the US, unfortunately almost all other aspects of their game were pretty poor; I think Ireland will match them up front so I'm really struggling to see possible areas that the Italians could exploit. Personally I'd still like to see a NZ vs Australia final so I'll be hoping Italy do pull off a miracle win against the Irish, although I certainly wouldn't bet on it happening.
Without having seen it, I wouldn't pay much attention to the Italian scrum's performance in that particular game. The US have been beyond a joke at set pieces all tournament.
Very interesting line-up for Australia for their match against Russia - Samo on the wing, no reserve backs except for two half-backs (!) as well as two hookers on the bench. I remember New Zealand had a similar problem towards the end of the group stages in 2007 with Mealamu and Hayman covering flanker and lock respectively, but those issues look minor compared to the Wallabies' injury concerns at the moment.
All part of our grand plan m'dear - all part of the plan
If a 21-17 second half scoreline against Russia is part of this grand plan Ripper, then your Wallabies are certainly progressing nicely. Hope Drew Mitchell's ok, seemed to pull up badly with a hamstring injury; after the progress he made to even get to the World Cup that'd be such a shame if hes then ruled out before the knockouts.
cheering for australia (the weaker team) in the quarter-final.
Depends a lot on how fit the likes of Beale, Ioane, Mitchell, etc are, as to whether Australia are really the 'weaker team' for their quarter final match in all likelihood against SA. Pocock seemed to come back well in the match this afternoon and he makes a massive difference to the Wallaby side. Moore and Sharpe also didn't feature in the loss to Ireland and surely both will start in the quarter final. If the Wallabies can get their best players on the park, its an even contest against the Boks IMO, who have had a tough group stage which I imagine will catch up on them at some point.
No No, SA are the definite favourites. We couldnt catch a cold at the moment - as shown by the second half vs Russia - the miugs were just too cold for us to get our hands on them.
Terrible showing in the second half. Obviously will need to be better than that to win the comp...my team for the rest of the tournament would be something like this:
13 A Finger
2 S Finger
21 Mike Harris (shhh - he's aussie now)
22 Jono Lance
Cheering so hard for Italy today, which right ATM is completely contrary to life in general.
I honestly am nearly happy to be on the side of the draw with NZ and SA - you've got to beat everyone to win the cup eventually so why not these two straight up - that is of course if NZ get past ARG
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