As the first 2 parts have stated, England have a pack with runners, a midfield that can crash and whippets out wide. Scotland have picked a team with a need and runners of their own. They have abrasion and risk in equal measure in their selections.
Scotsmen think they can win this. Englishmen have an expectation to win. Alex Ferguson himself thinks Scotland have a chance. We will all be watching and wondering.
So as it is, frankly, impossible to tell if this game will be close, a rout or an 8 point victory I have come up with how the game would pan out if it was played in my head. Yeah. That dark, scary place…
In an effort to show a genuine response from a genuine guy, I have not altered this in any way. This is an email I got from Berni Stortoni at the start of the week:
Pete South from RugbyFanCast gives us his views on tomorrow’s titanic clash from an English perspective..:
And so, three teams remain in Pool B. Georgia and Romania have huffed and puffed, and threatened to blow the houses of England and Scotland down, but now both teams are consigned to four years in the wilderness before the bright light shines on them once more.
Welcome to the precipice. In front of you is a sharp drop. A fall from grace. Behind you is a queue of people waiting to push you off. That same queue of people that always said Scottish rugby wasn’t very good. You always ignored them. Hoping that the glory days would return. Now you have to listen to their deafening chant and you can’t fight the urge to look down…
Wellington is a brilliant city, and the Westpac Stadium is – despite it’s fat oval shape and exposure to the elements in places – a brilliant place to go and watch a game of rugby. Sadly yesterday we didn’t get the brilliant game that the fantastic (if not capacity) crowd deserved.
Here at Scottish Rugby Blog HQ we wondered: what would we say if we had the chance to give the Scotland Team a private message before the Argentina game?
Would we give them a Jim Telfer style roasting, or would we caress their egos? Would we go around the room speaking to each individual or roar about the passion of a nation? It is a tough one and in the end we thought we would rather ask other people what they would say…
…and wouldn’t you believe it! Some proud Scots gave us their message and we put it on YouTube. Right here!
Enjoy the clips and if you have a message for the lads either post it here, post it on YouTube under the video or make your own video and post it on twitter with the hashtag #MessageForScotland.
Look out Argentina!
“I’m really looking forward to this game – I think it’s going to be very close and hard to predict. Argentina have played well in both their first two games, and it was very pleasing to show against Romania that there’s more to our game than power and a strong set-piece. We will need to play well in all these areas against Scotland, because they are tough up front and have a number of good strike runners behind the scrum. It should be a very absorbing game.”
Glasgow utility back Federico Aramburu
Referees are everywhere. They are in the park. They are in your classroom. They inhabit every boozer and drinking hole that has a TV in the corner. Everyone knows the rules better than the man in the middle.
So during this World Cup there have been some public outpourings of vitriol directed at the real match officials. These men can rarely stand up for themselves and they are in the most exposed situation they could ever imagine. This is the most televised rugby event in history and they are right there in the mix, regularly disappointing one large section of the crowd.
Sometimes we get a little too Albacentric, here. We can lose perspective. Thankfully, Pete South from RugbyFanCast.com is here to give us some perspective from, um…. down South:
Life is about change. Nothing can stay the same for too long. In a postmodern world to stand still is to be left behind: to perish in unpopularity.
Here’s Richie Vernon’s 3rd installment of his RWC diary:
One week in and we can well and truly say the circus is in town.
Only during a Rugby World Cup could you have headlines about Dwarf Tossing, Pregnant Pop Stars, All Black Injury Faking and Martin Johnson’s immortal quip: “Rugby player drinks beer, shocker!”
Some pundits *cough Stephen Jones *cough* have a history of winding up the Kiwis, insulting everything from hospitality to weather to their general attitude. But so far the welcome here has been amazing, and ne’re a grumpy kiwi in sight. Although a few eccentrics for sure, like the guy who runs up and down Baldwin St (steepest in the world) every day.
They’re harsh on their team here in New Zealand.
After the All Blacks humped a stoic Tongan side by 6 tries to 1 with clinical counter attacking rugby but failed to score quite so much in the second half, pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to reckons they were truly, truly awful, or words to that effect. Usually ones rhyming with “hit” or “height”. Graham “Ted” Henry only gave them 5/10. So how then to view Scotland’s decidedly mixed performance on Saturday against a fired-up Romanian team?