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Re: Rugby...for those who like odd shaped balls
« Reply #60 on: February 11, 2013, 10:46 »
I'm not as conversant with tri-nations rugby over the years but it doesn't seem to be as attritional.

In the 2003 WC, it went to form. England were the best team in the world according to the rankings and most peoples view. Playing on foreign soil made their task harder but they still dominated just about every game despite contriving to almost give it away in the final.

If we take the 2007 WC, as soon as the matches got attritional and intense, the NH teams started winning them. France Vs NZ, England Vs Aus; even the final was nothing like the group game where SA spanked the English - I thought England were unlucky with key decisions in the final.

In 2011 the biggest pre-tournament favourites ever in NZ  (I made that up, I don't know if it's true), almost lost the final to a French team who were pretty ordinary, luckily beating a crap England and a really good Wales.

The point being I suppose, that according to the rankings the three SH giants should be getting to the semis with ease. But they don't. My view is that one of the reasons is that the 6 nations is closer somehow to knock-out, lose and you go home, competition. The SH teams always have a second crack at each other which means the individual match carries less weight. So the NH sides get stuffed in the open free scoring November internationals and the end of (NH) season tours but come right back into it when it gets tight in the World Cup.
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