at the ground

The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

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“Running rugby is fairytale stuff”

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The teams with the largest, positive, try difference (TD) ultimately are successful

A look at the stats pages, people will often take note of the points difference column (PD). This is calculated by taking the total points your team have scored , points for (PF), and subtracting the total amount of points scored against your team, points against (PA). PD=PF-PA. Similarly we can calculate the try difference (TD). TD=TF-TA.

Of the four teams involved in the semi-finals of the RWC 2015 New Zealand had the largest TD for the tournament with 30. Australia had the second highest TD with 21. These of course are the two teams that are going to contest the final.

New Zealand's flanker Jerome Kaino (L) runs to score the first try during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSGABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Jerome Kaino running past Lood de Jager to score a try in the first semi-final RWC 2015

If you met someone who knew nothing about rugby and you had to explain to them what the point of rugby is, how would you explain it to them in the simplest way? I would say to them, your team wants to score as many tries as possible and prevent their opponents from scoring any tries.

So let’s look at it from this simple explanation. New Zealand have scored 34 tries so far in the 2015 RWC, that is more than any of the other semi-finalists. Who scored the least amount of tries out of the four semi-finalists? South Africa with 24 tries.

New Zealand have had the least amount of tries scored against them in the tournament with a measly 4 tries. Who had the most tries scored against them out of the four semi-finalists? Argentina had the most with 13 tries being scored against them.

We love arguing about, if they kicked too much, if they missed tackles, if they should have played more territory, gameplan, modern gameplan, Domkrag rugby, pride, respect, experience, sidestep, angles of running , offload, gainline, set-piece, turnovers, referees, dropkicks, decision making…..blah blah blah.

From the table below, we can deduce, South Africa need to score more tries and Argentina need to stop tries being scored against them. New Zealand are getting it right while the Aussies are next best.

.                                                 TF             TA              TD

New Zealand                            34               4                30

Australia                                   26               5                21

South Africa                              24               7               17

Argentina                                  26              13              13


Wales to beat the Boks?

Got your attention didn’t I. Now that we know that South Africa will play Wales at Twickenham on Saturday 17th October 2015. This will begin a week of preparation and quite likely knowing Warren Gatland, Wales’s coach, so to will commence the mind games. Continue reading

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How did the Aussies do that?

How badly do these two teams want to win the Webb Ellis trophy? Wow!!! These two teams had both already qualified for the knockout stages but that never diminished the desire to do everything they can to make their respective campaigns successful.

By now everyone knows that Australia clung on to a lead whilst having two players sin-binned, under enormous pressure by the Welsh, then eventuallly winning this titanic battle.

For me this Test sets the bar high, very high for any teams that now face them. Australia have had impressive performances playing some outstanding rugby along the way in the 2015 RWC but they had not yet been in a really tight situation. That is untill now. Wales stopped Australia from making it over the gainline, stopped them from quickening up the pace of the game and pressurised the Australian defence by dominating territory and holding onto possession for long periods.


Australia celebrate after their victory against Wales

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Back to basics or back to bash it?

I am a South African living in England, in Essex. I coach an u 17 team. On Sunday mornings we play our games. So Sunday 4th October was the morning after the huge disappointment for English rugby when England became the first host nation to be knocked out of the RWC in the pool stages. So inevitably the conversation amongst dads and players ,moms and coaches was about the previous days action.

After expressing their points of view on what went wrong for England and them fairly giving the Aussies their due, they then move the conversation quickly away from England’s disappointment with ” Your boys (South Africa) look good”. My response is a bit reserved, a bit cautious because I am not that convinced by how South Africa are playing ” Yes, it was all about the power and physicality, I’m not sure that’s the way to go.” To which they respond ” But that’s their game, they are so good at it”

Scotland's wing Tommy Seymour (R) scores a try past South Africa's centre Jesse Kriel during a Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Scotland at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Tommy Seymour scoring for Scotland with Willie le Roux flying above

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Wales make it 3 out of 3.

After reading an article on sarugbymag I was a little irritated by the author’s view that the Welsh win over Fiji was ‘unconvincing’ and that he felt the Welsh were ‘weary’. I saw a high quality game where neither team played below a very high standard of rugby. In fact it was one of the most entertaining matches I have seen in the 2015 RWC, it was a real lung-buster. Maybe not the high drama of Wales’s game five days ago, when they recorded a come from behind victory against England, but the quality of rugby in this match was superb. Continue reading