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RWC 2011 Final

Many congratulations to the All Blacks on their thrilling victory over France in the RWC 2011 Final. Despite ridiculous odds from bookmakers predicting a convincing All Black victory, RWC history suggested that a tight game was always likely. However, few would have anticipated the titanic battle which took place at Eden Park.

The All Blacks are not to be denied

Its unimaginable that the Men in Black can fail, but not because they are overconfident. There are many more important factors at play: are the home nation, suffering in the adversity of the Christchurch earthquake, without a RWC since 1987, clearly the best side on form, young and hungry and above all they owe the French a hiding.

Thorb's Referee Rankings: Semifinals

Peter Thorborn’s weekly ranking of referee performance during the Rugby World Cup. This week he looks at Rolland’s performance in Wales v France (including that red card) and Joubert’s in New Zealand v Australia.

A Letter from a French Fan

Dear New ZealandThe ABs v OZ semi was one of the best rugby games I have seen in my life. Conrad as reliable as ever, Cruden and his drop, Richie, Jane and the high balls and awesome Weepu. So much engagement, so much blood. They added one of the most beautiful chapters to the black jersey legend.

IRB Player of the Year

Mark Reason looks at the IRB nominations for the player of the year and feels a hot flush coming on.So what do you think of the nominations for the IRB player of the year? The six players put forward are Thierry Dusautoir, Piri Weepu, Jerome Kaino, Ma’a Nonu, David Pocock and Will Genia. It looks an unfortunately biased selection to me.

JG's World Cup Musings

It would be a shame if the abiding memory of Wales’ contribution to RWC 2011 is the red card received by Sam Warburton for his tip tackle on Vincent Clerc. Alain Rolland correctly applied the IRB guidance to such situations. Some say it spoiled the game, but perhaps it made a contest of an encounter that Wales would have run away with, if they had 15 players on the field for the 80 minutes.

Quarter Finals

The beaten quarter finalists from RWC 2011 are now home or nearly there. It is a sudden and brutal end to the dream for players, some of whom are amongst the greatest the game has seen. It seems appropriate to look at the 4 most recently departed teams and assess their contribution to the tournament and to acknowledge some legends that have played in their last world cup.

Thorb's Referee Rankings: Quarter Finals

Peter Thorborn’s weekly ranking of referee performance during the Rugby World Cup. Were now at the business end of the tournament and some of the referees are having a marked impact on the matches they are officiating.

A disappointed Englishman

As the World Cup quarter finals approach we in England seem more excited by Wales and Ireland, the two form teams in the tournament. We all knew New Zealand was a very complete side and that Australia was the flair side with great counterattack potential. But no one thought that the Celtic Tigers could realize their potential, such a shame they meet at the weekend. In my book they are semifinal sides at least.

JG's World Cup Musings

Our undercover man’s musings on Rugby World Cup happenings, featuring: pool highlights, Ireland’s victory, the 6 Nations bonus point debate, the volume of tries per pool, super fan awards, England’s tournament disappointment, injury impact on the quarters and JG’s Team of the Pool Stages.

Thorb's Referee Rankings #4

Peter Thorborn’s weekly ranking of referee performance during the Rugby World Cup. Week four and final week of pool play sees Kaplan remain top and Pearson remain at the bottom of the leaderboard. Will be interesting to see who is selected to referee the quarters.

JG's World Cup Musings

Our undercover man’s musings on Rugby World Cup happenings, featuring: a Scottish selection oversight, praise for the Namibian performance, the ball debate & McCaw’s 100.