Monday, 24 October 2011

A Few Words On The Rugby World Cup

Now that we've won the RWC, I can make a few comments without sounding like a sore loser.

The RWC knock-out format means that the result is largely determined by luck --- more precisely, factors beyond the control of the winning team. The All Blacks were lucky to win last night. France were unlucky to lose, but were lucky to make the final at all.

It makes no sense for commenters to ascribe victory to "destiny", "will to win" etc when France could have won with a penalty kick that they simply missed.

I like watching rugby, but the subjectiveness of referring is a great flaw in the game. Ideally a game should not only be fair, but should be clearly seen to be fair. Rugby is seldom the latter.

I think all NZ supporters should sympathise with French supporters who feel they were cheated by the referee. Most of us know how they feel, from 2007.

The All Blacks choked. They still managed to win the game (luckily, see above), but it was clear they crumbled under the pressure, at least some of them did. It was surprising since it seemed that last week's game against Australia was higher-pressure.

I hope success at this World Cup doesn't obscure the lessons that should be learned for the next one from this near-disastrous performance.

I really enjoyed the game and I'm glad we won, but I think I could even have enjoyed it if the French had won, as I earlier pledged.

7 comments:

  1. Being a deep thinker on God and Rugby, I was wondering if you could confirm what they say:

    That rugby is the game they play in heaven...
    and watch in hell.

    :)
    Sean

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  2. Unfortunately I cannot confirm that rugby is played in heaven :-).

    I'm pretty sure no team sport is watched in hell, they all have too many redeeming features :-).

    Rugby union is often brilliant to watch, but unfortunately most non-rugby-fans mostly see World Cup games, which are probably worse than average because everyone's so afraid of losing :-(. The knockout format strikes again.

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  3. Thanks for your support :)
    I don't know if it is pure unluck (in this case NZ has his share for 3 missed kick), and I don't want to talk about the referee...

    But I think that both team desserved to win : NZ for the whole tournament, and France for this match.
    Unfortunatly, there is only one winner...

    This was the best final from our point of view, Fr vs NZ, and it was a great game really interesting, stressing to see.

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  4. It's interesting to a hear a non-north american talk like this about the knockout format. Some NA sports (hockey, baseball, basketball) play best of 7 series' throughout the entire playoffs which, hopefully, eliminates some of the luck because it requires a team to play consistently good to move on. Rugby is probably too rough of a game to support that format, sadly!

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  5. Yeah, that's the problem. During the World Cup, teams have a minimum recovery time between games of four days, and even that is really too short. And people already complain the whole RWC takes too long.

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  6. > I hope success at this World Cup doesn't obscure the lessons that should be learned for the next one from this near-disastrous performance.

    And for my part I hope that our performance next World Cup is equally "near-disastrous".

    I also hope there isn't a big Mozilla office full of rugby fans in France. NZ "choked" and still won? I thought France were worthy of more credit than that.

    I certainly agree with Phillipe - it was more than a little stressful to watch!

    Craig

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  7. I gave credit by pointing out that NZ was lucky to win, and France unlucky to lose.

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