October 7, 2011

LOOKING LIKE AN ALL ANGLOSPHERE FINAL 4:

Rugby World Cup 2011: The Breakdown on the quarter-finals: Three of the last-eight ties appear a direct contrast in styles, while even the Celtic contest could be a meeting of opposites (Paul Rees, 7 October 2011, The Guardian)

The World Cup reaches a fork in the road this weekend: it can take the 2007 route, tackle, kick, chase and boot three-pointers, or it can adopt a liberal dynamic and run the conservatives out.

On one extreme, the semi-finals could pitch South Africa against Argentina and England against Ireland (no slight intended on the Irish, they are just not as gung-ho as Wales); on the other, New Zealand could take on Australia and France could run into Wales.

Three of the quarter-finals appear a direct contrast in styles: Argentina's might against New Zealand's width; England's calm deliberation will cross French excitability and volatility; and South Africa, masters of knock-out rugby, may let Australia take the risks.

Even the fourth, Wales's Celtic contest with Ireland, may turn out to be a meeting of opposites if the Irish decide to do what they did to Australia, muscling their way to victory by keeping the ball off the floor and preventing the Welsh from exploiting their pace out wide.

Posted by at October 7, 2011 6:46 AM
  

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