Posted by Dave on 28th October 2008

The first weekend of the world cup and FFGRLWC

Well the world cup kicked off this weekend and it was actually quite good and entertaining. The video above is from the Dreamtime team’s Aboriginal warcry facing the Maori Haka and was a lot better than the opening ceremony that followed. I’m also not quite sure why the opening ceremony was three games in? That doesn’t really make sense. I’m also still not one for al this dancing round and singing, just light a few fireworks and get on the with the game. 
Anyway the rugby on show was pretty good and I think we saw the first signs of this world cup structure actually making some sense. The main arguments being touted from a very good Ireland Tonga game. Now I’ll be honest I didn’t see all of this due to the TV being hijacked but I did see the end of the game and it was great. Ireland had so many chances they couldn’t take advantage of and the game was back and forth. Surely the first indicator that a more staggered group ranking gives us more competitive and interesting games. 

Anyway the weekend had started on Saturday with England against PNG in which England saw off a scare from the Kumuls, losing at half time before going on to win 32 – 22. A few dodgy decisions denying PNG a try for a forward pass and then letting the English score one with a dubious looking pass, still I know better than to question the ref, he’s always right. 
PNG look more than capable of an upset against the Kiwi’s and England looked less than convincing but I’m really looking forward to the Australia game next week.
Next game was France Scotland where Scotland failed to come up with the upset Steve McCormak has been promising but still produced a decent display succumbing to a superior French side who I fully expect to make the Semi finals. Still 36 – 18 leaves Scotland with a lot to think about.
The other game was of course Australia New Zealand and the Aussie’s showed just what was expected, a dominant performance and a solid 30 – 6 win. Steve Matai picked up a ban for a high tackle and Billy Slater has been told to stop his silly Kung Fu kick style slide thing that people have been on about since he did it a few times this season, most notably in the NRL final. Again he was lucky not to cause a serious injury and also lucky that he didn’t give away a penalty try. His intention was obviously to dislodge the ball and there were already two men in the tackl so surely he’s illegally stripping the ball? Anyway as I said the ref knows best.
Anyway the group standings after the first round :
Pool A

 Australia 2
 England 2

Pool B

France 2
Fiji 0
 Scotland  0 

Pool C

Tonga 2
Samoa 0
Ireland  0 

Finally we come to our Facebook Fan Group Rugby League World Cup which shall be from now on called FFGRLWC because it’s a damn site easier to type. The results are : 
England 210 – 10 PNG
Australia 64 – 6 New Zealand
Scotland 12 – 16 France
Ireland 12 – 12 Tonga
As the Tonga Ireland game was a draw points will go to the actually winners of the game which was Tonga so the tables are pretty much the same as the real tables, except England are top of Pool A.
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