Posted by Dave on 4th November 2008

Embarrasing England and more Haka-offs

Right before I get onto England Australia, and I was on the verge of not mentioning it and seeing if anyone notices, we’ve had the Aboriginal war dance against the Maori Haka but this week saw another brilliant war dance-off as Tonga met Samoa. Now despite being neighbours in the Pacific it appears the islands don’t like each other that much and the war dance’s were a brilliant way to start the night and build the tension for the game. You can watch the build up in the clip above. 
The game eventually went Samoa’s way and I’ll refrain from a lot of comment because I didn’t see it but apparently it was a good game. I actually missed quite a bit of this weekend’s games, I can’t remember what I was doing Friday but I didn’t see Tonga Samoa, I then saw most of France Fiji, which saw Fiji cause the first upset of the tournament beating France. I really reckoned France would top that group but Fiji pulled out a great performance to put the French down at 42 – 6. Then I didn’t see most of the New Zealand PNG game as I was in a pub in Taupo and there was a Mickey Mouse game of rugby union on against the Aussie’s and unfortunately the general preference over most of New Zealand is for union and not league. But a 48 – 6 drubbing to PNG left little suprise and will no doubt lead to two England New Zealand games over the next two weeks.
But being an England fan I made damn sure I watched the England Australia game and to be honest I should have gone to the cinema or something instead.

Now that’s not to say there wasn’t some good rugby on display, there certainly was, but sadly it was all from the Aussies and England looked like a third or fourth rate nation, not like one with aspirations of taking this trophy to the Northern Hemisphere for the first time in a million years. A record 52 – 4 defeat wasn’t the best and England have looked so poor in this tournament the only good news is it really can’t get much worse.
Still the Aussies are looking very good and you can see the hat trick’s from Billy Slater and Greg Inglis below.

This has of course thrown fuel onto the fire currently buring in “the world cup is pointless” camp. Which is sad really because if you look beyond Australia’s dominance there is actually a great tournament going on and without sounding like a patronising primary school teacher “it’s not the winning it’s the taking part that counts”. I think the layout has done real justice to the tournament so far and as a vehicle for promoting the tournament for those lesser known nations it is really doing a good job. It is also turning out some great games such as the Ireland Tonga game. It is unfortunate that everyone else looks so far off the pace of the Australia team but I am holding out some hope that England can turn themselves round and give the Aussies a game should they meet them in the final. But my word to all those world cup doubters is to look beyond Australia and enjoy the games and action of the rest of the tournament.
Anyway the final games of pools B and C are played tomorrow 
Ireland v Samoa
Scotland v Fiji
and I will try and go my best to not be busy and miss everything this time.
And finally we move onto FFGRLWC and thankfully the English are better are doing things on facebook than playing rugby at least. Once we progress onto the knock out rounds the rules will change for scoring tries to be as follows : 
Tries will be scored for a certain number of members joined as follows : 
Semi-final qualifier : 1 try for every 3 members
Semi-finals : 1 try for every 5 members
Final : 1 try for every 7 members
And this weeks results and tables below : 
Samoa 4 – 0 Tonga
Fiji 8 – 0 France
New Zealand 0 – 0 PNG (New Zealand win on actual result rule)
England 78 – 40 Australia
Which leaves the tables looking like this :
Pool A

 England 4
 Australia 2

Pool B

Fiji 2
France 2
 Scotland  0 

Pool C

Samoa 2
Tonga 2
Ireland  0 

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