Friday, 9 September 2011

So It Begins

The Rugby World Cup starts today. The weather's great and it should be a wonderful six weeks. As previously noted, I have pledged to enjoy the entire event even if the All Blacks don't win --- and I don't think they will. The knockout format means that even if they would beat any given opponent 75% of the time, they have only a 42% chance of winning all three knockout rounds. People seem to have a hard time distinguishing "is the most likely team to win" vs "is probably going to win".

I think New Zealanders are coming to terms with it though. In 2007 the media was far more full of outrage and "doom and gloom" than the actual people I know --- heck, there was strong public support to retain the coaching staff, which the media found unfathomable. "Rugby-mad Kiwis despair" is too good a story, especially for overseas audiences I guess.

Still, I hope that sermons on "being content in all circumstances" are forthcoming from pulpits across the country over the next month :-).

I'll be at the stadium watching France vs Japan tomorrow, and then I'm off to California for a Mozilla meeting. Fun times.

4 comments:

  1. But surely by the same logic, the rivals who lose to the All Blacks 75% of the time are even less likely to win all three knockout rounds? Anything can happen in a tournament like this (as previous World Cups have shown), but I think we're still the team most likely to win...

    And yeah, there's always the doom and gloom, "a nation in mourning" routine in the media after a World Cup loss. And it never seems to have much basis in reality - all the people I know tend to be "oh well, that's disappointing", and get on with their lives.

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  2. The story is simple : the All blacks will lose against France, and then France - having played a huge game - will lose the final...

    Allez les bleus!

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  3. Gaaaaah, I wish I were in NZ right now :-/

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  4. Hmm... after the first round of games, it doesn't look too bad. NZ were a bit shaky against Tonga, but none of their major rivals were all that convincing either. The Aussies took almost 50 minutes to get started against Italy, South Africa nearly lost to Wales, and so forth.

    The less favoured teams seem to be putting up a good fight, which is great to see...

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