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Sofa Sports: Rugby World Cup 1

“Deserve’s got nothing to do with it”- Will Munny, Unforgiven

I’ve been up since 4:20 so I could watch Wales’ second World Cup match against Samoa, I should probably have gone back to bed but England vs Georgia is about to start so thought I’d watch that one as well, and maybe even go for 3 in a row by watching France take on the Canadians.

God, I love rugby.

Wales started their campaign against the current world champions South Africa last weekend, which is a tough first game to have, but the lads acquitted themselves well in that game, and were unlucky to come away as the losers by a 1 point margin. This strong performance meant that I was confident going into our remaining 3 matches- Samoa, Fiji and Namibia.

This confidence was short lived. Wales started okay, but quickly the cracks started to show, our lineout was riddled with errors and we gave away far too many soft penalties. Also, the Samoans seemed to have an intensity we lacked, every time we got a ball they were on us like white on rice, whereas we gave them far, far too much breathing room.

At half time we trailed 10-6, and things looked like they were only going to get worse as we started the 2nd half with the news that James Hook wasn’t going to be playing in it.

Yet, Priestland proved that while his kicking from hand is awful he managed to land 2 penalties and then Shane Williams ran in a try meaning it was a 17-10 win. So we’d lost when we should’ve won and then won when we probably should’ve lost, at least it all balances in a karma sort of way.

Watching the game was a mixture of fun and frustration, frustration with Wales’ many mistakes and their lack of killer instinct. The fun provided by listening to Zoe’s utter hatred of Andy Powell who seemed to be responsible for almost everything that went wrong, she probably reckons he causes cancer as well.

Zoe's nemesis, Andy Powell.

England vs Georgia

The win over Argentina was an ugly, unconvincing affair but against Georgia, you have to think they’ll cruise to a victory. Wilkinson really struggled to find his groove in their opening match and it’ll be interesting to see if Mr England can get it together today. He probably will. The twat.

Actually, he won’t they’ve benched him. Is this to rest him in what is viewed as an “easy match” or is Johnson starting to lose faith in the golden boy?

Its odd that I hate Jonny so much, as he seems to come across as a fairly decent bloke, I think its more to do with the way the press treats him like the second coming, and the arrogance of certain English rugby fans as well.

England go into this game under a scandal following all the drunken revellry they had during the week, which I think is just ridiculous. As Martin Johnson said about the situation: “Rugby player drinks beer, shocker

Drunken stupidity is as much a part of rugby playing as learning that you can’t pass the ball forwards. From your village teams right the way up to internationals the act of boozing with teammates is part of the odd, homoerotic camaraderie that exists in rugby teams. Also, why can’t they go out on the lash and let off some steam? Millions of people do the same thing every weekend in the UK (although usually without the involvement of midgets).

Urgh, “God Save The Queen” its not a good anthem, is it? I speak as a Brit and had I ever been an Olympic champion I’d have hated that this song would play as I stood on the podium. In fact that’s why I never pursued my sprinting career, much to the relief of Usain Bolt.

Bolt- lucky I hung up my trainers.

Fun fact from ITV commentary- both countries share the same patron saint, big game hunter and cause of species extinction, St George.

The numbers on the back of the England kit are rubbish. You can barely see them on the TV.

Early try for England, far too easy for them, Georgia look way out of their depth as England pass the ball easily and run it in with embarrassing ease.

Spoke to soon, Georgia come straight back, pile on the pressure and run impressively before throwing the ball around well and put the ball down, but video ref shows they’d just gone out of touch. Georgia then have most of the territory and ball for first 15 minutes.

Thought Ben Foden was gonna break for a long run in try for a second. God I hate that guy, mainly because he’s shacked up with Una, the hottest of the Saturdays, yes I am that petty.

Forget Frankie, Una is the hottest Saturday

Hape gets his second try, after a good period of attack from Enland, Georgia defended well but always looked like England were going to get over.

Rest of the first half a bit of a dud, aside from a late Georgia try.

Odd to hear Phil “Leave It White 3” Vickery criticise players for repeatedly conceeding penalties.

IBM are one of the richest companies in the world, couldn’t they have spent a bit more and made their world cup ads not quite so shit?

ITV’s coverage is irritating, the 2 ad breaks at half time mean that there’s very little analysis although given the poor quality of their team means that may not be a bad thing. Please let the Beeb get 2015.

Well, hello, busty England fans!

My hatred of Wilkinson may be no fault of his own, but Delon Armitage and Chris Ashton truly are a pair of arrogant dickheads.

Phil  Vickery now explaining binding in the scrum, proving that those who can do, and those who can’t provide sub-par commentary.

I miss Brian Moore.

Just once I want Ashton to drop the ball as he goes for his stupid dive.

Go on, drop it!

This scoreline flatters England and does a massive disservice to Georgia, but I guess that just makes the quote at the top even truer. England should’ve won but a 26 point margin makes it look like it was easier than the reality.

England have run the ball well at times, and its definitely more impressive than against Argentina but I still reckon they’re going to struggle when they come up against the big guns in the tournament, and you know the Scots won’t make it easy for them either. If they build on this performance and continue to improve though they could make it to the semis.

In the end I think Georgia’s inexperience of top level international rugby that let them down as well as some defensive naivety. It seemed far too easy for England to get through their line in open play and once through none of them had the pace to catch the speedier English backs.

I can see Georgia improving over the years, it’ll be interesting to see if they become like Argentina and a real threat to the bigger, more established rugby playing nations.

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