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Minnows to play at RWC?

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
After several appalling results for the minnows - Romania's 8-90 loss, Georgia and Uruguay losing by more than 60 points, Namibia crashing by more than 50 to Ireland etc. - one has to ask the same question that is asked at every RWC. Is it really worth sending the top English, SA, Australian, NZ players out of their domestic leagues for four weeks to play games with very predictable results - before the real fight for the Cup has even begun?

I think they should. It promotes interest in the countries that take part, and there could still be upsets which would be hugely beneficial to rugby in these countries. Look at Japan at this tournament for example - they're playing very good rugby, I watched them go down to France on Saturday and 29-51 wasn't really what they deserved. With a bit of luck they could have won that game. Same, it appears, with Japan v Scotland.


Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
marc71178 said:
I wouldn't call Japan minnows even before this Tournament.
On what grounds? Their last 12 games before the World Cup:¨

06 Jul 2003 Japan 20, England XV (non-cap) 33
15 Jun 2003 Japan 86, Korea 3
08 Jun 2003 Japan 15, Australia A 66
05 Jun 2003 Japan 5, Australia A 63
25 May 2003 Japan 34, Russia 43
17 May 2003 US 69, Japan 27
23 Nov 2002 Japan 20, Korea 22
13 Oct 2002 Korea 45, Japan 34
21 Jul 2002 Japan 120, Chinese Taipei 3
14 Jul 2002 Korea 17, Japan 55.
07 Jul 2002 Japan 155, Chinese Taipei 3
16 Jun 2002 Japan 90, Korea 24

Hardly anything than minnow quality there, surely? OK, some drubbings, but I expect Norway to beat Chinese Taipei at rugby - or at least come close to beat them. They've taken part three times in the RWC, but have only won once in nine games, and that was against Zimbabwe.


Cricketer Of The Year
Don't you remember Japan being beaten by 100+ points in the 1995 WC by NZ Marc?

Japan seem like a few other teams to be able to hold their own in the 1st half, but in the 2nd half its back to reality.
Japan are obviously being helped by the fact that 4 or 5 of their starting players are former NZ'landers.

I'd call a minnow team, anyone who has not been able to win matches against say the top 10 sides in rugby..have Japan successfully managed to win games against the top 10 sides? nope.


Eyes not spreadsheets
Based on the fact they've been at the WC before, I think of them as not major minnows (compared with the likes of Wales and Scotland ;))

And Samuel, Norway are the 2nd worst side in the world, Chinese Taipei are 32nd!

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
According to the IRB rankings, which rate Ireland at 3rd in the world. But I agree that I was a bit rash to say that Norway would win.

Japan has been in the RWC before because Asia gets a free spot at RWC - not because they have been any good before. As Tim said, they lost by an awful lot to NZ in '95 (then again, who didn't ;)). Now however, I think they fully deserve their spot.


Cricket Web Staff Member
Samuel_Vimes said:


Hardly anything than minnow quality there, surely? OK, some drubbings, but I expect Norway to beat Chinese Taipei at rugby -
Yeah, but you watch Taipei get revenge if they take part in the Eurovision Song Contest