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Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns




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Rugby is without dispute the greatest sport in the history of forever. Invented in 1823 by a small boy who got tired of kicking in football, the game quickly evolved into the graceful, distinguished ballet we all know and love today. Rugby is played by two sides of 15 men (with reserve players on the bench in case of injury, exhaustion or being a bit poo poo), who proceed to spend 80 minutes pretending to be chasing an egg shaped ball around the field as an excuse for thudding into each other at high speed just to hear that cool smacking noise of the collision.

The rules are simple, you want to get the ball and get over the other team's line to score. The other team thinks this is total bullshit and will do everything they can to stop this, which mostly involves sending gigantic cubes of man-meat hurtling at great velocity at the scrappy little fly-half who is seriously reconsidering his life-choices as he zips towards them.

Teams are divided into forwards and backs though they are all on the field at the same time. Forwards are the first line of defense/offense for a team - they're traditionally carved out of stone or - if no stone is available - a bear is dragged out of hibernation, shaved, shoved into spiked boots and shoved bewildered out onto the field of play. Backs are the faster, more agile players who get all the glory, money and women that come part and parcel with the glamorous, sophisticated and highly dignified world of Professional Rugby. The backs are traditionally the players who zoom past the startled, exhausted forwards to get over the line, though they are also often the guys who kick the ball back to the other team in terror when they see a forward thundering towards them ready to devour them. The fullback is the greatest coward there is in Rugby, a man to be pitied and loathed, and never trusted.

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Previous Threads
Rugby Union 2015 Thread
Rugby Union 2014 Thread
Rugby Union 2013 Thread
Rugby Union 2011 Thread
Let's All Watch The Rugby Football
Rugby Player Thread

Selected Viewing From Previous Seasons
Hurricanes vs Chiefs [Link] (2012 Super Rugby)
Wales vs England [Link] (2013 Six Nations)
Chiefs vs Brumbies [Link] (2013 Super Rugby Grand Final)
South Africa vs New Zealand [Link] (2013 Rugby Championship)
Ireland vs New Zealand [Part 1] [Part 2] (Autumn International)


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Each team is trying to get control of the ball, and carry it across the opponent's Try Line to score points. Once the ball crosses the line, a player has to place the ball on the ground, in order to score a “try”. Once a try is scored, the scoring team gets 5 points, and a chance to take a shot at goal, which is worth an extra 2 points.

The team carrying the ball will try and run or push towards the goal line, and pass the ball between players. You can only pass the ball to players behind behind you, so the team with the ball will usually stand in a “V” formation, to help pass the ball to the wingers as efficiently as possible. The defending team will form a straight line across the pitch, and try to tackle the ball carrier.

When the player with the ball is tackled to the ground, both teams crowd around him and form a Big Pushing Contest, called a Ruck, where the attacking team will try and push defenders away from the ball long enough for the Scrum Half to safely pick it up. The defending team try and push themselves over the top of the the ball, so they can gain control of it.

Players are allowed to kick the ball forwards, to try and gain territory, or to score a goal. Each team will usually have one or two players dedicated to this role (The fly-half and the full-back). If the ball is kicked between the goal-posts, the attacking team score 3 points, although this is becoming more and more of a rarity. If the ball is kicked and goes out of play, then a bunch of complicated rules come into play, and everyone gets confused. When watching a game, you'll always want to see your team kick the ball a long distance, and for it to bounce on the ground before going out of play.

The ball will come back into play via a “Line-Out”. Each team forms a straight line at the side of the pitch and the ball is (theoretically) thrown in a straight line above the two teams,who each try to jump up and grab it.

If a player commits a foul, then the referee will award a “scrum” to the wronged team. This is a bigger, more organised Pushing Contest, with lots of rules I don't understand, and can't explain to you. If the foul is a very serious offence, then the wronged team will have the choice of being awarded either a Scrum, a Line-Out, a sot at goal (worth 3 points), or a chance to gain huge amounts of territory, by kicking the ball into touch. If the offence is super, super serious, the player will be given a Yellow Card, and have to leave the field to sit in the Sin Bin for 10 minutes. If the offence is super, super, super serious, the player will receive a Red Card, and gently caress off back to the dressing room for the duration of the game.

Whenever points are scored, the conceding team always kicks the ball back to the scorers. Because this gives the scoring team momentum, aggressive play is encouraged, and most teams will always try and kick penalty points wherever possible.

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Formations

Each team is made up of 15 guys, and they all have fairly specific offensive roles. When on the defence, everyone can and will make tackles, although they'll usually be tackling their opposing counterparts. The guys numbered 1-8 are the forwards, who's job it is to hold the line, and try to push the other team back. Whenever there's a Scrum, these are the 8 guys who take part, and they're usually the first to get involved in a Ruck or a Line-Out. All of these guys come in varying degrees of huge.

The #9 is the Scrum Half. He picks the ball off the ground during a Scrum or a Ruck. He's usually small, fast, and very good at passing the ball before he gets tackled by his opposing number. Because of the new rule changes for the 2013 season, every Scrum Half is going to be under more pressure than ever before, and will have a very short time frame in which to make vital decisions.

The #10 is the Fly-Half, which is sort-of-maybe like a Quarterback. The Fly-Half usually receives the ball from the Scrum Half, and has a relatively large amount of time between receiving the ball, and being tackled by his opposing counterpart. Because of this, the Fly-Half is able to look at the opponent's formation, and decide which plays to make. He also has the luxury of being able to kick the ball without the kick being charged down. The Fly-Half is usually the team's dedicated kicker.

Players #12 through #14 are the ball carriers (Centres and Wingers). They try to run around (or through) opposing players, or simply run into the opposition's defensive wall, so they can abort the current play, begin a Ruck, and carry on gaining territory with a different approach. The Wingers tend to score the majority of tries, and are usually the fastest runners on the field.

Player #15 is the Full Back, which means he's one of the bravest guys in the loving world. He plays at the very tip of the V-shaped formation, and is the last line of defence whenever something goes wrong. If the opposing team suddenly grab the ball and make a break for the line, he has to chase them to make the saving tackle, and if the opposing team makes a strategic kick down field, it's his job to run after the ball, pick it up, and boot it back down field, before a stampede of opposing players can run him down.

Because of Full-Back's unique position (and a ton of convoluted offside rules), he can make a play called a “Garryowen” (I'm not making this up), where he will pick up the loose ball, kick it down field over the 24 guys fighting in the middle of the pitch, run through them unopposed, and either catch his own kick or smash full-force into any opposing player who dares intercept it.

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Championships

The Rugby World (and by association, the real world) is split into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. For over a hundred years, the Southern Hemisphere have dominated the sport at international level, but as the game reaches professional status in more countries in Europe, the Northern Hemisphere are slowly starting to catch up. Inter-hemisphere matches are very frequent at an International level, but almost non-existent at Club level.

The Olympics
The reigning and completely undefeated Olympic champions are the USA. The last Olympic Rugby match was held in 1924, between the French national team, and a USA team made up of Gridiron players from Stanford University, who had never played Rugby in their lives. After roughing up and then seriously injuring French hero Adolphe Jaureguy, the American team triggered a full-scale riot, which resulted in the Olympic Committee declaring that Rugby was not compatible with the ideals of the Olympic spirit.

The World Cup
Every 4 years, the world of Rugby Union comes together for a grand tournament, in which New Zealand inevitably choke steamroll every other team. The 2011 World Cup was held in New Zealand itself, and since the country of New Zealand is still a functioning society, we can safely assume that they won. New Zealand win. New Zealand Good. New Zealand.

The Six Nations
Every year, The Six Nations must each send a tribute of 15 young players to Twickenham, where they mercilessly slaughter each other for the amusement of the Rugby Hierarchy. Lately, the smaller nations have started rebelling, with the 2015 title going to Ireland.

The Rugby Championship
A tournament held once a year between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, who are coincidently the best 3 teams in the world. This year, Argentina have been added to the competition, in an attempt to order to boost awareness of the sport create a southern-hemisphere whipping boy. The current champions are Australia.. Somehow. I watched the whole thing, and I still don't understand how.

Guinness Pro 14
Formerly the Celtic / Magners / Rabodirect League, the Pro 12 is the Northern Hemisphere's international “Super League”, consisting of twelve teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, and popular new Northern Hemisphere country, South Africa. Each team represents a region, and is free to field players from other professional teams in that region, as well as it's own contracted players.

Super Rugby
The Southern Hemisphere's equivalent of the Pro 12 operates on the same ideas, but uses a slightly different format. New Zealand, Australia and South Africa each field teams from 5 regions. They all play a home and away match against every other team in their country, and 8 matches against random opponents from the other countries. At the end of the season, the top team from each country is entered into a playoff tournament, along with a 4th team deemed by the league to have been the “least poo poo”. The current (although technically not the least poo poo) team are The Highlanders.

Rugby Champions Cup
A mid-season competition where the Pro 12 teams compete against the top teams from England and France. Some teams treat this as a really big deal, while others will only field their B-teams. In the end, Toulon win regardless.


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Who Is That Man In All Of The Avatars?

In a Shocking Rugby Twist, the previous “Man In All Of The Avatars”, Rhys Priestland has been ousted from his position by Scottish captain Greig Laidlaw – a living cartoon character, who speaks fluent Welsh, unfathomable English, and doesn't appear to understand the rules of Rugby. Greig (the “I” is either silent, or not meant to be there at all) has only ever been photographed in the state of being drunk, looking confused, or kicking a rugby ball.

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Where can I find Rugby News?
Planet Rugby
ESPN Scrum
BBC News
Wales Online

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How Do Substitutions Work?

Each team starts with 15 players and 7 Substitutes. If a back row (#9 – 15) player is replaced with a substitute, he cannot return to the game later on. If a front row player (#1 - 8) is substituted, then he can only rejoin the game if another forward becomes injured, as forcing a player fron the Back Row to take the injured players' place in the Scrum would probably result in some sort of death.

If a player is bleeding, the referee can declare a “Blood Substitution”. The player is temporarily replaced by any player on the bench, and leaves the field so that he can inject himself with the blood of Jonah Lomu have the would sewn up. When the bleeding is stopped, the players can switch places again.

In 2009, the London Harlequins managed to abuse the system, asking their players to use blood capsules and feign injury, in order to bring substituted players back onto to the pitch.

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Did that dude just get sent off for nothing?

Some of the most serious fouls aren't very high-impact. Lifting a player so that his legs become parallel with his shoulders is always an instant yellow or red card offence, even if they manage to land safely. Arguing with a referee is usually a yellow card, and any player who kicks the ball away after committing a foul is deemed a big baby, and usually gets a yellow card.

Sometimes, a team will repeatedly do something that fucks up the flow of the game, like scrummaging incorrectly, throwing crooked line-outs, or abusing a technicality in the rules, to gain an advantage. If that team receives a warning from the referee, and still continues to gently caress up the flow of the game, then the referee will often yellow-card one of their players as a scapegoat, in order to penalise the team and force the game back on track.

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Where's The Best Place To Start?

There's the small matter of the RUGBY WORLD CUP, and it's happening RIGHT NOW.

Tyma fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Sep 18, 2019

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Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns




What Is The Rugby World Cup?
It's a rugby tournament in Japan!

How do you qualify for the Rugby World Cup?
It's simple!



Is There An @WelshDalaiLama Drinking Game?
Yes!



Is there any point in watching this? New Zealand are just going to win it, right?
Yes!

… Really?
Yes!

But... I still wanna be invested in it?

Ok, so although New Zealand are basically the final boss of any SNK videogame, and they absolutely are going to win the Rugby World Cup for the third time in a row, this year's tournament is the most wide open it's been for almost two decades.

Most pundits are actually predicting South Africa as the winners. The logic being that as South Africa are in New Zealand's group, and have to play them in the very first match, they cannot possibly face New Zealand again, until the final. Outside of the first game, they have a very soft pool, and a victory against New Zealand would mean South Africa can literally rest their first 15 players, and still walk their way into a Semi-final spot.

The other side of the bracket is the most competitive it's ever been, with England, Australia, France and Wales all very close in terms of strength, and a likely quarter-final lined up between mortal enemies Wales and England.

The really exciting stuff is happening in Pool A, with Scotland and Japan both seemingly on the verge of managing to beat (or lose to) any team in the world. Rugby is seemingly always at it's best when underdogs are involved, and I fully expect one of those teams to make it to the quarter-final, only to lose by 100 points to New Zealand.





As of writing, Wales are officially The Best Team In The World. They reached this incredible achievement, by beating a series of 13 “kind of bad” teams. Basically, the rugby equivalent of reaching the maximum level in World Of Warcraft, by sitting in one spot for over 2 years, and killing a never ending supply of level 1 boars.

When it comes to playing against “kind of good” teams, Wales have a horrible history against Southern Hemisphere teams. The last World Cup saw them knocked out by Australia and South Africa, before going on a lovely Summer Tour of New Zealand, where they lost all 5 games, and were humiliated by a club side. They also tend to lose whenever they have to play a game at any altitude above sea level.

.. But they are still The Best Team In The World, honestly!

Captaining Wales this time around will be Alun Wyn Jones. He's basically an android, that's built to play Rugby. He can jump, he can catch, he can tackle someone in such a way that they have to leave the pitch for the remainder of the game. The only thing Alun Wyn struggles with is comprehending the emotions of the weak humans that he must play rugby against. He's definitely someone you should be supporting if you're already a fan of Kimi Raikonen, Data from Star Trek, or you just enjoy watching post-match interviews where he stares grumpily at a wall, and refuses to answer any questions.

Wales' second key player is probably fly-half Dan Biggar. Unlike his captain, Dan Biggar has a lot of strong emotions, and he's constantly exhibiting one of them with all of the tact and calm of a bad guy in a Looney Tunes cartoon. Dan's emotions of choice are anger, confusion, determination and frustration. He became a running meme in the previous World Cup, when Youtube realized that kicking penalties made him really nervous, and the only way to sufficiently calm down was to perform an elaborate dance routine in the middle of the pitch.

If you plan to follow Wales this year, then get prepared for a loving roller-coaster. Despite being The Best Team In The World, most bookmakers don't have them in the top 5. Without any superstar try scorers, or fancy tricks in the bag, Wales are powered by an incredible fitness routine, an unbreakable defense, a stirring national anthem, and the fear of what Alun Wyn Jones will do to anyone who dares to gently caress this one up.




#1 Fan : Aramoro

Canada are bad at rugby, it's fair to say that the Canadian national team is probably not even the best team in Canada just now. They are currently sitting at 22nd in the world ranking, nestled between Portugal and Namibia, the second lowest ranked team in the Rugby World Cup after Namibia. Now this didn't always use to be the case, Canada has played in every single world cup since it was founded and in 1991 reached the Quarter Finals, putting 2 tries past New Zealand before being over powered by the Kiwi's. Since then it's been a decline, winning 4 games in the next 6 world cups.

But this is all going to change, Rugby Canada has been working hard, if not always in a way that normal people could understand, in improving the team. Creating the Toronto Arrows, a bit like the Canadian Jaguares.

Leading Canada out to victory will be Tyler Ardron. One of the nicest people in rugby has made a huge impression on Super Rugby with his signing to the Chiefs. If you looked up workhorse in the dictionary you now just get a picture of Ardron. He carries hard and tackles hard, with some good hands to offload as well. Expect him to play the full 80 trying to carry Canada on his shoulders.

Now if Ardron is the workhorse then DTH Van der Merwe is the flair. He'll need no introduction to watchers of the Pro14, sitting at 3rd in the all time try scorers and Glasgow Warriors all time top try scorer. He scores points but he's also very capable in defence and will turn over his own ball to score with if his teammates won't provide it.

Controversially this world cup Canada has picked a stand off that has played 15 a side before but so as to not be too predictable maybe not and actual stand off. In the Pacific Cup Canada played 3 different Stand offs in their 3 games, Peter Nelson a full back, Gordon McRorie a scrum half and Shane O'Leary and actual honest to goodness stand off. Shane is a decent player that some people might remember from his spell at Connacht. Assuming Canada pick their stand off to play at stand off, Shane will be a key player.

If you're a neutral watching a game with Canada then support Canada if for no other reason than so not to make Tyler Ardron sad, not that he'll show he's upset he will just apologise for losing. Expect them to beat Namibia and perhaps, just perhap pull off something against Italy.




#1 Fan : Vaders Jester

During the last world cup cycle was happening, the USA Eagles had a 38% win rate, but through the power of FREEDOM they are on their way to cementing their place as the BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD with a 67% win rate leading into the tournament.

Captained by the man with the whitest name in history, Blaine Scully, they are looking to better their Tier 1 destroying form that saw them defeat a terrible Scotland side in 2018 by crushing all opposition before them in the name of DEMOCRACY!

The Eagles are in Pool C, facing England, France, Argentina, and Tonga. Through a mix of power from hooker Joe Taufete’e and fast paced backs play through AJ McGinty they will look to repeat the successes of 1776 against England and turning over the cheese-eating surrender monkeys in France. They also face a misfiring Argentina and a demoralised Tonga who they will be eyeing as a victory to secure their qualification to the knockout stages.

The USA’s real dangerman is Joe Taufete’e. A bruising hooker that currently holds the record for the most amount of tries by a hooker in test rugby history. He almost single-handedly demolished Scotland in the victory over the dark blues. At just 26 he’ll almost certainly make the next RWC and will be one to watch throughout the pool stages.

While the odds are stacked against the USA, they will look to bring the same passion and enthusiasm to the RWC that they bring to every sporting event and remain THE BEST NATIONs TEAM IN THE WORLD




#1 Fan : stavros880

Rocky. The lads from Cool Runnings. Daniel-san and Mr Miyagi. England.

The plucky underdogs we all root for. The minnows fighting for the little man against the arrogant and over-privileged establishment figures. The teams we all love to love.
The reigning World Cup champions* will take part in this years edition of the worlds premier sporting tournament, aiming to strike a blow against the cynical 10 man rugby of New Zealand, the improvised chaos of South Africa, and whatever it is the French are planning to do this year.
Leading this valiant effort is Owen Farrell. Superb goal-kicker. Innovative tackler. Facial expressions of a man wondering if he left the oven on. Taking on sole captain duties due to the unavailability of Dylan Hartley (who had a prior appointment to care for sick puppies), he will lead our unlikely heroes after a successful warm-up campaign, racking up big scores against Wales, Ireland and Italy.

Viliami 'Billy' Vunipola. Every team needs a big unit, and Billy V fits the bill. Born in Sydney to Tongan parents, Billy moved to England aged 11 as a rugby missionary, spreading the skills picked up in 5 year stay in Wales. Now a firm fixture in the England team, he can be relied on to make yards, put in the tackles, and generally not be a dick**.

Joe Launchbury. Decent player. No other reason to include him apart from it's an excuse to direct everyone to the image him picking up the man-of-the-match award after England got dumped out of their home World Cup by the dastardly Australians. It's a truly heart breaking image.

So what do the next 2 months have in store for our angels in white? While on paper a group including France and Argentina should be tough, they should have enough to top the group to book a quarter final against almost certainly Wales or Australia. Should they get through that challenge, a likely semi-final against New Zealand awaits. Could they go all they way and lift the trophy again? We can only hope.

* All post-2003 World Cup results have been voided due to suspect results i.e. our heroes losing.

** All sarcasm aside, he seems genuinely likeable. Very disappointing to have to say this about a English player.

P.S. Eddie Jones is a gobshite.




My dad thinks Ireland are going to win the World Cup. He has said this for the past four years, ever since Ireland got absolutely mullered by Argentina in a performance not un-akin to that time Chief gently caress-Face Boris Johnson wrecked a child. He points to their brilliant fly-half Johnny Sexton, a man with an unerring and generally-correct belief that the wraparound play is the best and only way to break down any defence. He points to their incredible control game, keeping the ball through phase after phase after phase. He points to their recent record against the All Bla-cks, beating them twice in the past couple of years, something which pseudo-“best team in the world” Wales haven’t done once in 66 years. And he points to their incredible anthem, which calls together the oft-fractured Isle into one brotherhood of giant rugby men.

My dad is wrong.

Right now, less than a year after crushing all who came before them including the All Blacks, Ireland are a bit pants. Found out by England in the Six Nations, they were then taken apart by Wales a couple of matches later, and then after that they got totally mullered by the English in their second warm up game.

However, all that is ignoring the minor complication that, as the World Cup begins, Ireland are ranked number one in the world. They did that mostly by beating Wales twice during the warm ups, which gave them enough ranking points to jig their way atop the pile. But to be fair

On a good day, Ireland should win their group. But unless they can really improve quickly, they might not even equal their normal Quarter Final finish. Although Russia and Samoa shouldn’t cause them any problems, I fancy Japan to have a decent tilt at them. If they’ve tripped over their own feet against Scotland in their first match, then that’s them done for.

Winning the group gives them a probable QF opponent of South Africa, which would be a tough match for them, although maybe not beyond them if the stars align and the South Africans maybe turn up hungover or something. Finish second? They’re all the more certain to be going home: their likely opponents will be New Zealand, and the Irish team that beat the All Blacks in November 18 feels like a long-gone dream.

None of this is meant to suggest that they’re bad. If Connor Murray and Jonny Sexton can stay fit and fire on all cylinders then they may help Ireland grind their way beyond the quarter finals. But honestly, I can’t see it happening.

Their anthem really is loving brilliant though.




Written by : fallingdownjoe

Tonga are going to lose at least three of their four matches. They are going to turn up in Japan and then get walked over by, in order, England, Argentina, and France. 

However, Match Four is going to be interesting. If all things were equal, their game against the United States would be another fairly easy loss. This time though, it’s not equal. Tonga will come to the match seven days after dealing with whatever nonsense the French throw at them. The US will be arriving at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium a mere four days after throwing everything at the heavy-scrummaging and hard-working Argentina in the hope of achieving a famous victory.

Four-day turnarounds are tough for anyone, and at the end of a tough campaign, it might be the edge that Tonga will need. It’s not that Tonga are bad: as I write this they’re ranked 13th in the world and play some really fun rugby. They’ve also got an 8-1 record over the US. It’s just that I can’t fancy them for the match - the US are improving so quickly and Tonga are just so horribly underfunded compared to the big boys. They  haven’t been able to keep up with the improvements in skills and fitness through the professional era, and I can’t see this year as being any different.

If you’re based in the UK, you may well know their brilliant fullback Telusa Veainu, who’s likely to tear up more than a few defences with his sidestepping. But player to watch is Nasi Manu, their horrifyingly talented number 8. Last year he was dealing with testicular cancer, this year he has the chance to kick the bollocks off of Owen Farrell. That’s the sort of dream I can get behind.




#1 Fan – MyChemicalImbalance

Who wants to support a favourite anyway? Supporting Scotland is your ticket to enjoyment this RWC!

From the heights of the 2018 Calcutta Cup against England – a match which showed the world what Scottish Champagne (Irn Bru mixed with Buckfast? Carbonated pakora sauce? Battered prosecco?) Rugby looked like to the depths of literally their next game - they lost really hard to Ireland - Scotland will almost certainly ensure your emotional rollercoaster ride of a RWC includes ups, downs, loop-de-loops and possibly even some 4am singalongs led by your shirtless captain.

Just to hammer this point home even more the 2019 version of Scotland managed to condense this hope-to-heartbreak cycle down into one game, going in at half time 31-0 down to England before mounting the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen to WIN 38-38, retaining the Calcutta Cup for the first time anyone can remember. Basically what I’m saying is this Scotland team can play really well but seemingly can’t be arsed to do it consistently. That makes for frustration and worse for those poor souls with no choice on who to support, but if you’re a floating fan looking for a bandwagon to follow then live a little dangerously, back the team with the least to lose (haven’t made a semi-final before, expectation is nearly 0 for winning the tournament) and the most to gain (can you loving imagine the scenes if Scotland won the World Cup? RIP Wee Grieg).

On the pitch this Scotland team isn’t afraid to throw the ball around, and a 10 like Finn Russell turning their aspirations into reality means the other teams in their group won’t be sleeping too easily. Couple this with a whole pile of talent in the centres – watch out for Duncan Taylor if he manages to find fitness and form - and a genuinely World Class 15 in Stuart Hogg and you start to see how Scotland could match anyone on their day, especially from 9-15.

Up front things aren’t as impressive – they can hang with the best (check their performance against the All Blacks in 2017) but are rarely dominant, with the exception of the human-hand-off-machine Hamish Watson. The sort of pack that can give you a platform but won’t necessarily hunker down and win the game by themselves, the set-piece could be a slight weakness but they’ll still be licking their lips looking at the Irish lineout that they face in the first group match. And what a first match that could be… win here and Scotland could go on a bit of a run – and wouldn’t you love to say you were there from the start?




#1 Fan – Tyma

Sergio Parisse is eight games away from becoming the most capped player in the history of rugby. The tail-end of his career is nowhere near as stellar as “the good years”, but almost all rugby pundits consider Parisse to be the most talented Forward of all time, and arguably the greatest rugby player of all time. He single-handedly knocked my team out of the European Cup last year, so I'm still a little bitter.

Parisse is the heart of an Italian team built around pride, passion, and relentlessly attacking the other team until they score enough tries to win, or get so tired that they accidentality concede 60 points. Thanks to a decade of intelligent development and financial investment, Italian Rugby has come on leaps and bounds since the last world cup, with 2016 giving The Azzurri a new coaching team, and a monumental victory over South Africa.

At odds of only 2500-1, I am happy to denounce my Welsh heritage, and can safely say that Italy are the team to win the Rugby World Cup.




#1 Fan - ElectroMagneticJosh

Namibia will go into the Rugby World Cup as the lowest ranked side sitting at 23rd and one of only two qualified teams sitting outside the top 20. According to how the World Rugby Rankings work they are probably one win away from being The Best Team In The World.
Too bad that Namibia have never won a single match in the world cup since they debuted in 1999 (that is 19 straight losses). Can they finally get their first win this time around? While history, form, and basic sanity suggests “no” they do have the second lowest ranked team in their pool; Canada at 21st. So that’s a strong “perhaps”.
Current rankings aside Namibia have a positive win/ratio against every other African test nation except South Africa who they have never beaten in all of two test matches. While they have an overall positive test win ratio percentage of 58.44 they, and this needs to be stressed, have a 0.00 win percentage in rugby world cups to date.
The majority of their squad play for the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias the only Namibian team that participates in South Africa’s Currie Cup. This includes their most capped player of all time (with 61 test caps) Eugene Jantijes. A handful also play overseas in France or the UK. Their most recognizable player, Jacques Burger, retired during the 2015 RWC so non-Namibians can be forgiven if no one seems familiar.
 While it would be an amazing upset to imagine the New Zealand bookies are paying $151 for Namibia beating the All Blacks in pool play and will not allow bets to be placed on the All Blacks. That pretty much sums their perceived chances of winning.

Editor's Note : Jacques Burger will not be playing. The World Cup is cancelled.




Home of Mario, Ryu and Piston Honda Japan are proud hosts of the 2019 and tenth world cup, the first world cup to be hosted in Asia. This is also special for a sport desperate to get the stink of colonialism off it.

Japan or "The Brave Blossoms" are currently have a great time of it after winning the 2019 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup easily beating Fiji, Tonga and USA in the process. They sit 9th in the world below Scotland and Ireland but above Samoa and Russia, their pool mates.  

The last world cup in 2015 was their most successful world cup where they won 3 games (having only won 1 in all previous tournaments) including "The Greatest Upset in World Cup History"  when they defeated a much fancied South African team 34-32.

The one player you must know and follow is Michael Leitch. Accidentally born in New Zealand to a New Zealand man and Fijian woman Leitch returned home to Japan when he was 15. He is a formidable back rower who captained Japan to their greatest ever win and regularly makes massive fools out of his opponents.

Their first game is the opening game of the tournament on the 20 September against Russia which should be an easy win so tune in to see if they can really gently caress it up. 

Tyma fucked around with this message at 21:30 on Sep 18, 2019

Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns




All times are in British Summer Time (BST). This is not the same as GMT. The official website has a fixture sheet which should convert all kick-off times to your browser's time zone.

Games which look important or interesting on paper are marked with a siren. As usual, the tournament will take a sex-day break, and return on Saturday 19th October, for the knockout stages.

Friday 20th September
11:35 : Japan x Russia

Saturday 21st September
05:45 : Australia x Fiji
08:15 : France x Argentina
10:45 : New Zealand x South Africa

Sunday 22nd September
06:15 : Italy x Namibia
08:45 : Ireland x Scotland
11:15 : England x Tonga

Monday 23rd September

11:15 : Wales x Georgia

Tuesday 24th September
11:15 : Russia x Samoa

Wednesday 25th September
06:15 : Fiji x Uruguay

Thursday 26th September
08:45 : Italy x Canada
11:45 : England x USA

Saturday 28th September
05:45 : Argentina x Tonga
08:15 : Japan x Ireland
10:45 : South Africa x Namibia

Sunday 29th September
06:15 : Georgia x Uruguay
08:45 : Australia x Wales

Monday 30th September
11:15 : Scotland x Samoa

Wednesday 2nd October
08:45 : France x USA
11:15 : New Zealand x Canada

Thursday 3rd October
06:15 : Geogria x Fiji
11:15 : Ireland x Russia

Friday 4th October
10:45 : South Africa x Italy

Saturday 5th October
06:15 : Australia x Uruguay
09:00 : England x Argentina
11:30 : Japan x Samoa

Sunday 6th October
05:45 : New Zealand x Namibia
08:45 : France x Tonga

Tuesday 8th October
11:15 : South Africa x Cana

Wednesday 9th October
05:45 : Argentina x USA
08:15 : Scotland x Russia
10:45 : Wales x Fiji

Friday 11th October
11:15 : Australia x Georgia

Saturday 12th October
05:45 : New Zealand x Italy
09:15 : England x France
11:45 : Ireland x Samoa

Sunday 13th October
04:15 : Namibia x Canada
06:45 : USA x Tonga
09:16 : Wales x Uruguay
11:45 : Japan x Scotland



With 20 countries involved, it may be hard to find a team to support in the World Cup. There are an overwhelming amount of players and statistics involved, and since New Zealand are going to win anyway, there's no point even reading any of them.

What sets rugby apart from all lesser forms of football is that before kick-off, each team gets a minute to do a little dance. This can be a little jiggle, or an interpretative dance, but it's generally almost always 23 gigantic men performing their nation's ancient war dance, that they used to scare the gently caress out of any British people who ever thought about daring to invade their land.

-

New Zealand

The Kapa o Pango is probably the most famous war dance in the world, performed by The All Blacks, before they smash puny northern hemisphere rugby teams into the ground. This Haka is such a sacred spectacle that opposing teams will often 'challenge' New Zealand during The Haka, by ignoring the ritual, or getting in the faces of the New Zealand players, as they perform it. Teams that do this usually get fined some meaningless amount for disrespecting the pre-match ritual, and absolutely always proceed to get completely loving destroyed by a very pissed-off New Zealand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gbj_ig09WQ

This is our land that rumbles. It's out time!
It's our moment!
This defines us as The all Blacks

-

Fiji

For many years, Fiji performed a wardance called The Cibi. After the last World Cup, the dance was deemed inappropriate, as it was a chant of celebration, as opposed to a direct threat to murder the opposition team. Thankfully, Fiji went about fixing this small oversight, and now beform 'The Bole', which involves spears,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M37JdJX9P_k

I'm challenging you to be uprooted, yes, it will be done, let's turn them upside down.
I'm ready, you think I'm afraid of you, you can't break my defence.
You're only a hen, I'm the rooster, let's fight and you'll see. I don't sleep and will watch you.

-

Tonga

Whatever Tonga may lack on the pitch, they make up for by having the best War Dance. The Sipi Tau involves pointing angrily at your opponents, powering up like Goku, before punching the ground and making a slitting motion across your throat. Do not gently caress with Tonga.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyZEUeAoFKE

O Tonga! Behold, we make our entrance
All of us, as one, stomping in unison
I will journey into battle

-

Samoa

The Siva Tau is the traditional dance of the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Uso Brothers. Although the Samoan rugby team are slightly more imposing than the professional wrestlers, this is probably the weakest of the five dances competing at this year's World Cup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYmiRL9wCE0&t=1m05s

The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa reigns from Samoa.

lenoon
Jan 7, 2010



Wales to win, Georgia to shock us all by knocking out the all blacks with a 45m drop goal at 83 minutes.

bessantj
Jul 27, 2004




Excellent start. Can't wait for the world cup already made plans to wake up at an ungodly hour to watch Australia V Fiji.

Mister Chief
Jun 6, 2011



頑張れレイドローくん!

fallingdownjoe
Mar 16, 2007

Please love me


Pork Pro

Excellent work Tyma, and thanks also to all those who pitched in to write about their favourite teams!

To curious potential Rugby Fans: rugby is the best and you should definitely give it a go. After one match you’ll have a rough idea of what’s going on and will have a fab time!

I’ve had to make plans to watch Wales v Australia in Madrid of all places. Thank god for Irish bars!

Raffles
Dec 7, 2004



incredible op.

my body is ready.

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


Great OP mate, can't wait to see the USA dispense some rugby justice.

Xtanstic
Nov 22, 2007



Looking forward to watch Canada get blown up while I sleep. Not sure which team to fully support in its stead yet.

Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns


Keeping my promise to include the Rhys Priestland Wario Cosplay photos in every new thread, so that there's no chance of them ever vanishing from the internet



LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


Anyone actually coming over to watch? I was a lazy poo poo and did not actually apply for any tickets despite living in Japan and uh this being a once in a lifetime thing, but know enough people who’ve been trying to dump them that I’ve got the opening match tomorrow and a couple quarterfinal games way the duck over in Oita.

Should really probably grab some more.

Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns


LimburgLimbo posted:

Anyone actually coming over to watch? I was a lazy poo poo and did not actually apply for any tickets despite living in Japan and uh this being a once in a lifetime thing, but know enough people who’ve been trying to dump them that I’ve got the opening match tomorrow and a couple quarterfinal games way the duck over in Oita.

Should really probably grab some more.

Being in the crowd for random group games is a loving blast. The most fun I had at RWC 2015 was hanging out with completely random people from all over the world, spending 80 minutes learning about rugby teams and stories that you're never, ever going to hear anywhere else, and having the entire Millenium Stadium going absolutely loving nuts for Georgia scoring a try against New Zealand.

1000 Brown M and Ms
Oct 22, 2008

F:\DL>quickfli 4-clowns.fli

I wish, but I've already done my Japan trip for the year, and to be honest I don't have the money. A couple of people from work are over there though.

I kind of wish I was still living in Osaka, looks like there'll be some decent pool matches in Osaka and Kobe. I saw the Maori All Blacks play Japan in Kobe a few years ago and it was quite a nice stadium.

Troy Queef
Jan 12, 2013

I was 12 when I made love for the first time, in Tropea, with a Roman girl who was 17 years old.





(clears throat)

Bokke.

Ratios and Tendency
Apr 23, 2010

MURALI



Ka Mate is the famous one. Kapa o Pango is the one they made up in case they needed to pay someone for Ka Mate.

goatface
Dec 5, 2007

I had a video of that when I was about 6.

I remember it being shit.



Grimey Drawer

Some historical parts in that op. The reference to the new changes for the 2013 season particularly.

Generally very well done though.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013

Ready To Ruck!





https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby...as-born-players


Some notable facts:

Australia have more South Sea islanders playing for them than NZ do,

All of Wales' "overseas" players are from England.

C.J Stander is a perfectly good Irish name and ill fight anyone that says otherwise

Aramoro
Jun 1, 2012



So just in case you're unsure who is going to win I've use some 'advanced' AI to predict the results of the matches for us

Japan vs Russia

quote:

The Winner Is...
The Team Who Won
I would be lying if I said that I wasn't impressed by the quality of the matches. I had all my eyes trained on the big boys, but they were all exciting matches with plenty to be excited about.
We've all been there, though, aren't we? You've finished a match and you realize that it was the worst, and you know that you can never recover from that, but now it's time to get out of here. That's a tough thing to do against a strong team like Japan; the best is to just leave on the court and see whether it's possible to take their place in the tournament. That doesn't work for most teams. The winner of that last encounter was the U.S.
The Last Time We Met
Russia were playing the U.S. when we last played them, in 2010, and despite being two years removed from their recent run of success, they were still the defending World Team champions. They won in a close win, but we never really felt the sting

Erm ok, a bit non-committal that, taking that as a Japanese narrow win.

Australia vs Fiji

quote:

The Winner Is: Fiji
A victory over South Africa would do wonders for the reputation of Canada's rugby league; the players would feel more confident and the match would be entertaining. However Canada's only advantage would be the fact that it would come against a quality French squad. While it may look as though France are an underdog, I would argue that this is merely because France doesn't play great rugby league. As I stated before, France is simply a strong squad who has been given the task of picking up where Wales left off when they swept Australia in the series in 2007. All I would like to see is Canada and France go toe-to-toe and the winner will be guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages.
Canada have made a lot of changes to their squad in the off season but the real test is where they will be playing the rest of the season. If they do have a good couple of weeks of games under their belt, it will likely come down to who can win their series against the New Zealand Warriors and the South Africa Sharks in South Africa. Canada are one of

Went off on a bit of a tangent there but at least it picked a winner first.

France vs Argentina

quote:

The Winner Is: Argentina
I guess if it was a match you were looking forward to you should go ahead and see this one. I love the combination of the beautiful game, Argentina's style, Argentina's style, and the beautiful game. It's a very easy and fun watch.

New Zealand vs South Africa

quote:

The Winner Is: The New Zealanders. This is a match between two of the best teams in the world. New Zealand have won the World Cup and many other prestigious international competitions. If they can get past their South Africans they just might get a sniff of the title they all crave.
South Africa is known for the high quality of their attacking play. Their back four's are strong and highly talented and often combined to create some of the most dangerous attacking options in the world. New Zealand have a very young and fast attacking quartet but as players they must be coached to work together. With a young and hungry squad New Zealand will have the strength to break their way and win this match.
Match Prediction
New Zealand 2 - 0 South Africa

Not sure about it's scoreline prediction there.

There you go. All the results you need for tomorrow and Saturday.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013

Ready To Ruck!





Aramoro posted:

So just in case you're unsure who is going to win I've use some 'advanced' AI to predict the results of the matches for us

Japan vs Russia


Erm ok, a bit non-committal that, taking that as a Japanese narrow win.

Australia vs Fiji


Went off on a bit of a tangent there but at least it picked a winner first.

France vs Argentina


New Zealand vs South Africa


Not sure about it's scoreline prediction there.

There you go. All the results you need for tomorrow and Saturday.

Cool spoilers bro, not all of us have time machines.

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


CyberPingu posted:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby...as-born-players


Some notable facts:

Australia have more South Sea islanders playing for them than NZ do,

All of Wales' "overseas" players are from England.

C.J Stander is a perfectly good Irish name and ill fight anyone that says otherwise

Hadleigh Parks is English?

On a slightly more serious note. gently caress this "not born in" bollocks. I loving dare some stinkyhole from Stuff to go tell John Barclay he's Chinese or that Hamish Watson(the man with the most Scottish name since Jock McTavish) who got poo poo at school for supporting Scotland all his life while living in England, that he's not Scottish. The only two residency players in that side are Sam Johnson and WP Nel.

Smorgasbord
Jun 18, 2004

Our review identified changes needed to be made and, in Stephen, we have a coach who has a reputation for demanding the highest standards.


While it is bollocks to do a raw tally of 'not born in X country' lists, it is equally as bollocks to cherrypick the least objectional examples and pretend that's representative of the more absurd ones.

Aramoro
Jun 1, 2012



CyberPingu posted:

Cool spoilers bro, not all of us have time machines.

It's currently obsessed with the USA winning every game, especially games they're not involved in.

I'm going to say now that if my beloved Canada win more than 1 match I will ditch Grieg for Tyler as my avatar.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013

Ready To Ruck!





Aramoro posted:

It's currently obsessed with the USA winning every game, especially games they're not involved in.

I'm going to say now that if my beloved Canada win more than 1 match I will ditch Grieg for Tyler as my avatar.

Thats because the US wins everything

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007



LimburgLimbo posted:

Anyone actually coming over to watch? I was a lazy poo poo and did not actually apply for any tickets despite living in Japan and uh this being a once in a lifetime thing, but know enough people who’ve been trying to dump them that I’ve got the opening match tomorrow and a couple quarterfinal games way the duck over in Oita.

Should really probably grab some more.

I've got tickets for both games in Sapporo, so going to go see Australia-Fiji and England-Tonga, and very likely going to the fan zone tomorrow night for the opener and Saturday night for New Zealand-South Africa. Went out to the main Canterbury store in Jingumae today too, so absolutely ready for some rugby. Also have a ticket for USA-Argentina, which is likely to end in a broken Eagles pack most likely.

having all of these games both on broadcast TV and also DAZN means my wife is going to be awful tired of rugby come November 2.

stavros880
May 1, 2005
I like monkeys

Here's another list of overseas-born players, but also includes a few more details e.g. how the players qualify.
http://www.americasrugbynews.com/20...rs-at-rwc-2019/

In the last thread I posted the "overseas" players in the Welsh team (now updated for the current squad):
Welsh parent(s) and grew up in Wales
Ross Moriarty - born England, moved to Wales age 2 (I think), Father welsh (and former Wales international)
Jonathan Davies - born England, moved as a child, both parents Welsh
George North - born England, moved to Wales age 2, Mother Welsh

Welsh parent and grew up abroad
Jake Ball - born England, Father welsh

Welsh grandparent(s), grew up abroad
Tomas Francis - born england, grandmother Welsh

Residency
Aaron Shingler - born England, moved to Wales aged 2
Hallam Amos - born in England, moved to Wales aged 4
Hadleigh Parkes - born NZ

bessantj
Jul 27, 2004




Reading that list makes me bummed that Faletau isn't going to be there.

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


Smorgasbord posted:

While it is bollocks to do a raw tally of 'not born in X country' lists, it is equally as bollocks to cherrypick the least objectional examples and pretend that's representative of the more absurd ones.

Cool, I'll break it down then. Scotland is not a particularly exciting country with a large player pool, so huge numbers of people leave to live in nicer countries with better job opportunities or pre-existing Scots communities like NZ which is why they have so many familial links. It's not like they're raiding the Pacific islands for players, almost all of these players have family links already baring the two players on residency.

Parent(s)
John Barclay - Hong Kong
Ben Toolis - Australia
Ali Price - England
Duncan Taylor - England though schooled in Scotland
Tommy Seymour - USA

Grandparent(s)
Allan Dell - South Africa
Simon Berghan - NZ
Hamish Watson - England
Blade Thomson - NZ
Chris Harris - England
Sean Maitland - Maitland specifically mentioned being raised around Scots culture while living in NZ when asked in an interview. - NZ

Residency
WP Nel - South Africa
Sam Johnson - Australia

Vaders Jester fucked around with this message at 13:16 on Sep 19, 2019

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


Nice I forgot I had tickets to Wales vs Tonga. Supposed to be a typhoon then so I’m wondering if I can make the train over.

I also need to find someone to go with I suppose lol

Raffles
Dec 7, 2004



Vaders Jester posted:


Hamish Watson - England


I feel like you could be born on the moon and still qualify for Scotland if you're named Hamish.

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


Raffles posted:

I feel like you could be born on the moon and still qualify for Scotland if you're named Hamish.

Considering his weird centre of gravity and ability to hand off literally anyone, he's probably an alien anyway.

stavros880
May 1, 2005
I like monkeys

Raffles posted:

I feel like you could be born on the moon and still qualify for Scotland if you're named Hamish.

I'm equally amazed Rupert Henry St. John Barker Moon ended up playing for Wales instead of England

bessantj
Jul 27, 2004




LimburgLimbo posted:

Nice I forgot I had tickets to Wales vs Tonga. Supposed to be a typhoon then so I’m wondering if I can make the train over.

I also need to find someone to go with I suppose lol

Is it written in crayon because Wales aren't playing Tonga, unless you now something about the knock out stages we don't?

bessantj
Jul 27, 2004




stavros880 posted:

I'm equally amazed Rupert Henry St. John Barker Moon ended up playing for Wales instead of England

He was a swap for Dewi Morris.

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


Huw Jones, most Welsh name ever. Born in and plays for Scotland.

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


bessantj posted:

Is it written in crayon because Wales aren't playing Tonga, unless you now something about the knock out stages we don't?

Tonga, Georgia, same thing both end in an A

bessantj
Jul 27, 2004




Vaders Jester posted:

Huw Jones, most Welsh name ever. Born in and plays for Scotland.

You're welcome.

LimburgLimbo posted:

Tonga, Georgia, same thing both end in an A

Could be worse, could have mistaken them for Fiji and said they all look alike.

England, well O2 I doubt the RFU had much to do with this, have done it again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqf1Zq0Wix4

Vaders Jester
Sep 9, 2009

Welcome to fucking Scotland.


Because The Last Samurai wasn't white saviour enough.

bigfoot again
Apr 24, 2007



All non Maori New Zealanders should be made to play for Scotland imo

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Tyma
Dec 22, 2004

Chwyldro Dawnsio Dawns


Even I'm qualified to play for Scotland.

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