The Wallabies will win the World Cup

Adam D'Arcy Columnist

By Adam D'Arcy, Adam D'Arcy is a Roar Expert

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    Michael Hooper breaks free from a tackle against the All Blacks. (Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro)

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    The Wallabies will win the 2015 Rugby World Cup. I know there are few who share my optimism, given the Wallabies’ recent uninspiring results, the problems in-house at ARU headquarters, and the extreme toughness of our World Cup pool.

    But between our progress on the field and our successful history of World Cups in the Northern Hemisphere, we can once again ‘bring back Bill’.

    Obviously there has to be more reasons than what’s happened in the past to convince people that this is the Wallaby side which will win our third World Cup.

    Given that the 2015 edition is shaping up to be the most competitive to date, with the top-six sides in the world boasting squads and individuals capable of taking their team to victory, a number of bricks have to be in place to create a solid winning formula and foundation.

    A year older, a year wiser
    There is no shying away from the fact that we have a young team, most of whom will be competing in their first ever World Cup. We also have the youngest Test captain in Michael Hooper, one of our most consistent and best performers over the last six months.

    While his commitment and consistency is unquestionable, he is relatively new at leading a team, and at making the tough on-field decisions that go with wearing the armband. Declining penalty kicks at goal in the recent Rugby Championship pointed to the inexperience of our 23-year-old captain, suggesting the need for an older leader, but Hooper has my vote.

    Not only does he have the respect of those more experienced players, he represents a changing Wallaby side, not willing to take a backwards step and take their game to the opposition.

    To put it bluntly, he represents a group who have the balls to back themselves, regardless of the consequences.

    He also will be a year older, as will the fresh faces in the Wallaby squad like Tevita Kuridrani, Henry Speight, and Sean McMahon to name a few. A spring tour, another Super Rugby season, and Rugby Championship under their belt will have these young players better prepared for a shot at the title.

    The pressure is on the home nations
    We all witnessed the intense pressure that the Kiwis were under from their fans and media at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. Although they won the championship, it was an unconvincing stumble over the line against France in the final, and the full-time whistle brought immediate feelings of relief rather than jubilation.

    There is no doubt that we have the toughest of all pools, having to play both Wales and England at Twickenham, even before thinking about what’s to come in the knockout stages. But like the All blacks, the weight of the nation will be on our opponents’ shoulders, and the expectation and pressure might prove to be too much.

    The Wallabies will be under pressure too, but being away from home means being away from the local media.

    For a side littered with players whose short careers have at times been chastised by the papers, being ‘out of the bubble’ allows them to concentrate on on-field matters, rather than be concerned that they are constantly being watched off it.

    We are not peaking too early
    If the World Cup were to kick off tomorrow, I wouldn’t be proclaiming that we could win it.

    Given the problems currently taking place at the ARU, the friction over the Kurtley Beale/Di Patson saga, the sudden exit of Ewen McKenzie, and the recent injury list that saw Will Genia and Quade Cooper only return at the weekend’s game against the Barbarians, there is no way we would be able to overturn a team like the All Blacks, even if we did make it to the final.

    There have been signs though, during the Rugby Championship and the last games under McKenzie, that we are creating more attacking chances and line breaks, just failing to put the finishing touches and converting them into points.

    Given the way the Waratahs played this season, it is a fair assumption Michael Cheika will keep this intent to attack and take the game to the opposition. He has just under a year to get the players familiar to his game plan, so that they are all on the same page come September next year.

    As mentioned, the recent return of injured players like Genia and Cooper are key to our success, as it takes more than the 15 players who start the game to win a World Cup. By this time next year, they will have hopefully had an injury-free 10 months, and provide healthy competition to the incumbent halves pairing of Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley.

    No one knows what will happen over the next 10 months leading up to the World Cup. We would love to have a crystal ball to foresee which players will be in the best form and those who unfortunately succumb to injury, so that we could make the necessary plans now so as to be better prepared.

    What we can do though, is control the controllables. Get things right off the field, as well as build on the positive on-field signs that I’ve mentioned, to give us the best possible chance to win our third World Cup.

    The best thing is there is still time. Let’s not waste it.

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    The Crowd Says (254)

    • November 4th 2014 @ 3:51am
      John Rugby said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:51am | ! Report

      “We are not peaking too early”

      Absolutely classic line there.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 7:02am
        The Other Steve said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:02am | ! Report

        I expect to hear Hooper use this line in post-match comments.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 8:23am
        WoobliesFan said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Chieka will save us haven’t you heard.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 2:42pm
          Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          Pretty sure he will do more for the side and Australian rugby than fans like yourself, who’s only joy at the moment is to see the game collapse and continued media drama if your recent commentary is anything to go on.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 4:07pm
            WoobliesFan said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

            Nice try.

            i love the game.

            I dislike the way its run.

            You love the game, and think the ways its run is just fine.

            I want change, you want status quo.

            I am the light, your are the slimey NSW darkness.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 5:17pm
              Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              I’m pretty sure he’s a ‘holier than thou’ kiwi’.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 7:48pm
                Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

                I’m pretty sure having resided in Sydney for over a decade and now Perth for a couple… I think I am a little more than you pre-suppose. But yes I have spent a considerable amount of time in NZ…

                Holier than thou, hardly, just sharing opinions and making one line jibes in response to one line jibes…the same as everyone else does including yourself. One could argue at your own hypocrisy…

                Sometimes I just get bored reading inane comments to somebody saying something positive… If that is common sense, you can have it.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 4th 2014 @ 10:00pm
                Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

                The peaking argument is only used to put New Zealand down midway through a world cup cycle. By that argument New Zealand has been peaking for the past 5 years. It’s just as stupid as the ‘We have so much more improvement in us’ argument.

                “The All Blacks are playing really well and Australia is playing terribly, but the All Blacks are peaking and the Wallabies have so much more to improve than the All Blacks do. Therefore the Wallabies will be better in two years.”

              • Roar Rookie

                November 4th 2014 @ 10:31pm
                Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

                The editor edited out the part where I call the idea of peaking dumb. Along the same line of this sentence but it went for a paragraph.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 7:58pm
              Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

              I don’t agree with all aspects of how it is run, but I don’t try to tear it down at every opportunity either. that is what i was commenting on as you know. The fact you attribute my whole outlook to that is a little messed up.

              I am not pushing for the status quo nor ever have, nor am I hard wired into some sort of state bias, like many on here including yourself apparently considering you felt the need to make that comment.

              As you say nice try.

        • November 6th 2014 @ 6:53am
          BetterRedThanDead said | November 6th 2014 @ 6:53am | ! Report

          Agree with Chivas – cheap, unimaginative contribution

      • November 4th 2014 @ 11:38am
        ohtani's jacket said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        Sounds like a male adult film star.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 2:31pm
        Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        The classic losers justification for playing like shlt.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 2:40pm
          Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          The classic tyre kicker’s response

          • November 4th 2014 @ 2:50pm
            Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            That makes no sense…

        • November 4th 2014 @ 3:13pm
          Jak said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          “The classic losers justification for playing like shlt”

          poor insecure kiwi. tyre kicker indeed lol.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 4:47pm
            Common Sense said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

            How does that make me insecure and / or a ‘Tyre kicker’?

      • November 4th 2014 @ 4:22pm
        Amused said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        Ha. My thoughts exactly!

      • November 4th 2014 @ 8:16pm
        PiratesRugby said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

        Not peaking too early, just pining for the fjords?
        Also, Hooper has the respect of the senior players. Er, what do you base that on?
        Yes, the Wallabies are tracking so well that we are onto our third coach in 14 months, with the first pool game of the RWC just 12 months away. Not quite a rails run is it?
        Headlines like the one above just make the tragedy of WB rugby a farce. We only just beat the Barbarians after losing to NZ, Argentina and SA. I think some WB supporters need to take a big swig of STFU.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 4th 2014 @ 3:52am
      Huw Tindall said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:52am | ! Report

      Agree that we are a good bet as a surprise world cup winner. Plenty of things can happen in the next year.

      For one I’m really looking forward to the Super rugby season next year to see how all the youngsters and newbs (e.g McMahon and Speight) take the challenge to the incumbents and seasoned veterans (e.g. AAC and Foley) and then overlay the return from injury of Pocock, Genia, Cooper, Moore, TPN etc. Would have to have to pick a wallabies team with all those players on deck and performing well.

    • November 4th 2014 @ 4:03am
      Sportym said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:03am | ! Report

      I am not sure we are peaking at all. I for one see SA going in the right direction and us in the other at the moment.

      I think we will be lucky to get out of the group stages.

      But hey, lets jump on the Waratahs bandwagon……they won a SR so the WC is ours! 😉

      • November 4th 2014 @ 8:54am
        Rex said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:54am | ! Report

        I agree that SA is (or should I say) will be the team to beat next year. Australia is my 4th favorite. Can someone please explain to me what has happened in Australia rugby in the last 2 years to change anything?

        – Our positions of weakness still remain
        – Our positions of strength are still the same
        – Genia’s performances have declined (injured yes, but declined)
        – Who is the hot new talent coming through? Ah wait, McMahan – another number 7
        – Where are the talented play makers? – there are none coming on
        – We will play the same structure under Cheika as we did under Makenzie – so no change
        – Our scrum is holding on now, rather than going out the back door – I cant see it being a weapon in 1 year
        – Are our halves really going to amazingly “click” and create havoc – no. Definitely not if we cant get our forward pack together

        To me, the positives are:
        – Izzy will have another season under his belt
        – Kurandaini will be even better
        – Better man manager with Cheika
        – They can get fitter – which is definitely required!!!

        Realistically, I just don’t think there will be enough improvements. Cheika will go into the Rugby Championship with the same side as this year, with a similar game plan, probably with a happier dressing room, BUT a fitter team which is crucial. The wallabies aren’t far away, but will it be enough – I don’t know.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 3:11pm
          Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

          I see Kuridrani. This had been a position of weakness, especially with regards to making the ad line and releasing players outside.

          I see more options from halfback to inside centre, hence creating more competition, which hopefully results in Genia regaining form while having decent back-up in players like Phipps. Genia in form is a critical factor for the way he can drive the forwards and dictate tactics, using darting runs to keep the opposition wary and then releasing the backs. His genral game management I think sets him apart when he is on fire.

          I see that having developed a genuine first five like Foley rather than resting the hopes on Quade who fell apart at the last world cup as he attempted to take everyone on, on his own is a big difference.

          I see a more established front row who are actually firing as a group and Slipper who has really come into his own. This is something Australia has lacked for sometime. You are correct, they may not dominate the set piece, but their accuracy and urgency at the breakdown is getting significantly better. They are showing they can hold onto the pill and make inroads. I think too much is made of dominance at the set piece. If a side holds their own and doesn’t lose tight heads, that will do.

          Henry Speight, JOC, Folau, Horne all gaining more experience and confidence as you point out.

          I see a side that has built genuine depth across all positions and once those injured like Moore, Pocock come back into contention and Horwill who appears hungry and re-motivated, the Wallabies will actually have the on field leadership they have been lacking in recent times.

          I see a coach who understands leadership and building team spirit rather than reprimanding the team and individuals through the media. I see a coach who can take responsibility and take ownership for the team and consequently take the load and adverse spotlight off those like Horwill, Genia, Cooper etc. He appears better able to coach players through difficult times, without making it public.

          No doubt the team is lacking a few things. Ewen’s tactical nous will need to be replaced.

          The forwards still need to play better and tighter as a unit. i worry that Chieka’s approach relies on big hits and running it up and ignores the opportunities which come from a pack that can hunt together, but it is early days and that fear may be completely unjustified.

          The line-out still looks average and is not a weapon.

          They look like they have potential around the kick-offs but it is still a work in progress.

          Finally I don’t think fitness is really an issue. I think accuracy and combinations are.

          Of course I could be wrong…. 🙂

          • November 4th 2014 @ 3:50pm
            Daws said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

            Chivas can you write an article on those points please, I feel a lot of supporters are missing the positives with Aussie rugby at the moment. The way I see it :
            – We have a backline that competes with the best in the world.
            – We have a starting scrum that competes with most (I expect Argentina to give even the NH teams grief)
            – We have a coach fresh off winning the premier SH competition.
            – We have got a sustainable 3rd tier up and running.

            – We have had a goose in the headlines for something that should have been dealt with swiftly and maturely.
            – We have a management that failed to do so.
            – We are lacking funds.
            – We have too many punters worrying about the off-field crap other than the not-so-bad on field stuff.

            It aint that bad, it’s about where we should be as a nation given rugby is our 4th most popular football code.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 5:06pm
            Damo said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

            It is often said you need about 3 players who are the best in their position in world rugby, supported by some gritty committed performers to win a world cup. Not even the most rusted on wallaby supporters among us would say we meet that criteria at the moment. In fact we are still unclear about just about every starting position selection except for 1& 3 (probably), 7 (subject to Pocock’s recovery- in which case there will be more debate), 13 and 15. That can’t be good! Am I wrong?

            The EOYT needs to at least improve this ratio. We then need S15 form to finally sort selections out and cover inevitable injuries so we can take basically the World Cup group into the Rugby Championship.
            Crank up the bandwidth on pages like this for the next 6 months!

            • November 4th 2014 @ 6:04pm
              ozinsa said | November 4th 2014 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

              My theory has always been that you need the best player in world rugby (or most influential) as captain of a world cup winner. With the exception of Kirk and the unusual circumstances of the two SA captains this remains true. Unless we start Pocock at 7 and make him captain we won’t qualify.

              I’m a Hooper fan but if we don’t start our one true world class player then we can’t win it.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 4:17pm
          All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          The squad is much better now than in 2012.

          The only positions that are weaker are 4 , 3 and 5.

          I think all other positions are stronger and Kepu is better than any tighthead was in 2012 but there remains a depth problem there.
          Simmons has improved but again there is no strong depth at Australias 4 spot.
          Horwill, Carter and Skelton mean that there is a bit of depth at 5 but the loss of Timani, Douglas, Sharpe and Kimlin along with Horwills drop in form means that the 2nd row is a bit waeker imo.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 4:34pm
            Rex said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

            I think Australia has improved also…. I guess what I’m struggling to see is where the steep improvement that is required comes from? Yes they are competitive – yes they can beat any team on their day…. I just question whether that improvement is there. Maybe Makenzie saw that and hence put Beale in at 10 to see if it would work for next year? I don’t know.

            I’m not sure if NZ will be much better next year (maybe they wont have to be), but I think SA and Eng will improve immensely. Im not sure oz will do the same.

            And in terms of fitness – I dont believe they are as fit as NZ…. but until there is data available, I guess its just opinions.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 5:17pm
        Kerry said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

        I disagree with you. I believe that Cheika is the man for the job and if he gets rid of the four ‘stinkers’ in the WBs (I and quite a few of others on the Roar would know who they are), he will have the right cattle and the right attitude to win the WC. Should Cheika not ‘weed out” these four, I believe that Aus would struggle to get out of their pool. The rot needs to be removed right from the source in the WBs.

    • Roar Guru

      November 4th 2014 @ 4:08am
      biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:08am | ! Report

      I have never prescribed to “peaking” , timing is more relevant and there is a lot of factors that influence it, injuries, form, luck etc.

      I also think the English team easily believe the hype of their media and fans, call it “pompous arrogance” and they won’t experience pressure from their public the same way New Zealand did.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 3:53pm
        Daws said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

        I always got that feeling with English teams…maybe it’s being a former colony thing 😉 Can’t stand how blokes like Chris Ashton celebrate when they score even though they’re down on the scoreboard…though if that’s all they’ve got to celebrate then fair enough!

      • November 4th 2014 @ 3:56pm
        All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:56pm | ! Report


        Horrible comments.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 5:04pm
        Birdy said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        Let me get this right BB. The English team are constantly exposed to ‘pompous arrogance’ from their media and supporters; yet I haven’t read one article saying England will win the World Cup, only that they are a contender.

        Meanwhile you make this comment in response to an Aussie article titled ‘The Wallabies Will Win the World Cup’.

        I’ve read lots of your comments showing you’re clearly an intelligent bloke – yet you can write this comment, in response to this article and not see the irony. Do you think maybe, just maybe, many in the SH have a weird chippy paranoia when it comes to Poms?

        • Roar Guru

          November 4th 2014 @ 5:10pm
          biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

          Birdy, I used Pompous arrogance as I couldn’t think of another way to describe it. If it offends anyone then I apologise. The English have a way about them that I haven’t seen in any other country.

          Their fans show an unfailing belief that their team is the best in the world, not literally but on a psychological level, You se it when they host the Olympics, you see it when their team does a lap of honour even though they have lost a match.

          It reminds me of the British Empire during the years when they colonised much of the world.

          I am actually trying to compliment them, it seems it didn’t come out as that.

          • Roar Guru

            November 4th 2014 @ 5:14pm
            biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            As for the Aussies, they hype themselves up as much as they break themselves down.

            Think of a sinus wave, with a high frequency, up down up down.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 6:59pm
            All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

            The English dont do a lap of honor when they lose a match, thats nonsense. They once thanked the crowd when they drew but it wasnt a “lap of honour” or was after a loss.
            Thts another rugby myth, like Deans sacking/dropping G.Smith.

            • Roar Guru

              November 4th 2014 @ 9:50pm
              biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

              Your name suits you, you get bent you of shape with anything that doesn’t make sense to you or suits you.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 8:53pm
            Birdy said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

            You haven’t offended me, mate, just got the eyes rolling once again. These comments, BB, make my point. Apparently, poms think they’re the best team in the world, but not ‘literally’, which I suppose means you can scour the media and blogs but not find much evidence. Apparently, you saw it in 2012 at the Olympics. There was certainly patriotism but most foreigners seemed to have an incredibly positive view of the atmosphere at the Olympics and I’d suggest any ‘jingoism’ was a good deal less than at Sydney, and infinitely less than at the 1995 RWC when Louis Luyt delighted everyone at the post-final dinner by announcing that the previous world cups were null and void as the Boks would have won them both. Any thoughts on what the reaction would have been if an Englishmen had behaved like that? You then go on to rehash the drivel about ‘lap of honour after defeats’. Again I presume you’re referring to the game in the 1990’s at Old Trafford when England thanked a football crowd for turning up at a Rugby match (it was the first England international held in a football stadium at that time). It was obviously not a ‘lap of honour’ and no-one with any effort at fair judgment could have reached that conclusion. If these are your examples I think I’ll stick to me ‘chippy paranoia’ belief.

            • Roar Guru

              November 4th 2014 @ 10:20pm
              biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

              Can you just help me out with the “chippy paranoia”

              Don’t know the term

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:28pm
                Birdy said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

                ‘Chippy’ as in I’ve got a chip on my shoulder about the Poms – ‘paranoia’ in that I elevate every incident involving the poms to an irrationally negative level regardless of the merits.

              • Roar Guru

                November 4th 2014 @ 11:37pm
                biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

                Sorry mate, but you got that wrong if that is your impression.

                As far as the English go I don’t spend much time in thinking about them in any other way than anyone else, as for paranoia, if you live in SA you have enough issues to be paranoid about. No time to spend any energy on other issues 😉

              • November 5th 2014 @ 5:58am
                ChrisT said | November 5th 2014 @ 5:58am | ! Report

                Mate, self evident you ‘don’t spend much time thinking about them’. What’s even more evident is that when it comes to this topic, you don’t spend much time in rational or balanced thought full stop.

                Along with many other regular posters I enjoy your rugby input and knowledge. However you’re demonstrating that basic intelligence or even general worldliness doesn’t necessarily follow.

              • Roar Guru

                November 5th 2014 @ 3:49pm
                biltongbek said | November 5th 2014 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Glad you got got that out in the open 😉

            • November 4th 2014 @ 11:13pm
              dropkick said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

              Luyt had a point the team that’s allways Been 1 or 2 in the world wasent there and has won two out of 5 they been in possibly favourites for next one alot of people might not like what he said though it had some substance it wasent Scotland missing from those cups was it

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:37pm
                Birdy said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

                Except, dropkick, that when the Boks were readmitted to the international schedule (in 1992 I think) they were fairly poor. Isolation had clearly affected standards, so it is massively unlikely they would have won in 1987 and virtually certain they wouldn’t have in 1991 given how poor they were in 1992. Only someone of supreme ‘pompous arrogance’ could have made the claim.

              • Roar Guru

                November 4th 2014 @ 11:38pm
                biltongbek said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

                Louis Luyt was an opinionated and arrogant business man. His opinion might have been shared by some, but most South Africans were more upset about not having the opportunity to take part in the first two world cups.

    • November 4th 2014 @ 4:09am
      flying hori said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:09am | ! Report

      My god!!!! here we go again, you Aussies just cant help yourselves can you, you cant even win the Bled or the RC let alone Bill

      • November 4th 2014 @ 5:11am
        Justin3 said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:11am | ! Report

        Sometimes it’s easier to win the world cup

        • November 4th 2014 @ 7:24am
          Patrick D said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:24am | ! Report

          For sure.
          Look at the draw that SA had in 07. I would contend that was an easier line up than winning Bledisloe from the holders, or RC.

          • Roar Guru

            November 4th 2014 @ 9:36am
            Rusty said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            The draw was great because other “favourites” failed to fulfil their end of the bargain

            • November 4th 2014 @ 10:18am
              JB said | November 4th 2014 @ 10:18am | ! Report

              you can’t dodge quality in an RC though, SA were gifted 07

              • Roar Guru

                November 4th 2014 @ 1:24pm
                Rusty said | November 4th 2014 @ 1:24pm | ! Report


          • November 4th 2014 @ 9:40am
            Terry said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            South Africa didn’t have an easy draw in 2007, it was just that Australia and New Zealand both failed to make it past the quarter finals. Australia were beaten by England and NZ by France. South Africa then beat the then World Cup holders, England, in the Final.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 9:58am
              Patrick D said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:58am | ! Report

              I take your point that other ‘favorites’ lost, and you can only beat what is in front of you.

              But my point is in agreement with comment above, that SOMETIMES the WC matches a team faces are more favorable than Bledisloe or RC.

              Irrespective of whether the 07 draw before the ‘favorites’ dropped out was hard or easy, I would bet more on SA, Aussie or NZ winning matches successive matches against Fiji – Argentina – England, even under world cup pressure, than on the tri nations/rugby championship in any given year.

              The point really is not to undermine SA winning the WC. As Jonah Lomu has humbly said after fielding many leading questions from NZ journalists about various WC results, the team that wins the WC deserves to win it.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:39am
                Joziconfidential said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                Agreed, you play what’s in front. Arguably NZ had a cushy path in 2011, as France were hopeless and somehow made it through. The poms were dealing with off field stuff, Ireland I can’t really recall, France were all over the place. SA had one aggro Samoan side, Aus in the qf, so nz’s first real challenge came in the semis. And then a weaker team in the final. But on the day… It was not as comfortable as one would’ve expected… Percentages win world cups.

                But it would have been tragic if NZ had lost in a rwc at home and not broken the hoodoo. Since then the shackles have come off (bummer for everyone else but awesome yo watch).

                The poms did one critical thing right to eject Aus in 2007, and they did it properly: Sheridan pulverized Dunning. Repeatedly. We did then have a less challenging opponent in the final than we would have had if the poms hadn’t dominated scrums. But we won it and NZ won it in 2011, and all else is fantasy.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 2:03pm
                Steve said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                Hello, did you actuallu watch the 2011 final mate, did it really look like a “hopeless” French team to you?? Are you suggesting anyone else would have beaten that same French team in the final game, yea right!

              • November 4th 2014 @ 2:12pm
                grapeseed said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                As a neutral, I completely agree with joziconfidential above.

                Also, tournament rugby is the only way to play a world cup. All they could do to ensure teams play more teams is to play more games. Longer tournament by a few weeks and 40 man squads?

                Pools are definitely getting more competitive though which is good. Knockout stages are brutal though, another bite of the cherry would be nice, and it would mean more big games if knockout in the QF didn’t end the tournament for you.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 1:38pm
              TahDan said | November 4th 2014 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

              SA had the easiest draw of any team to win it – In the knockout stages they played Fiji, Argentina and England – who they had already pummeled in the group stages.

              Fiji also had a handy upset, and the PI teams generally have one good game like that, but they were never going to beat the boks.

              Argentina had scored a few upsets thanks to an effective pressure game based around constant bombing, but were one trick ponies and never looked remotely good enough to beat a team with genuine forward power like SA.

              In RWCs the luck of the draw very much comes into it and in the boks case it did heavily in ’07.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 3:59pm
                Bazza said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                by your logic then, the World Cups of 1987 and 1991 should be disregarded as SA didn’t even compete in those WCs – how could any country claim to be rugby world champions when South Africa werre not even in the competition?

              • November 4th 2014 @ 8:43pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                Leading into the WC Eng were ranked 7th in the world, Arg 6th and Fiji 13th.

                SA faced no team in the top 5.

                NZ faced #2 & #4 twice in 2011.

                SA had the easiest run in WC history.
                Thats why I love to watch WCs but think they are extremely overrated.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 10:44am
        Wag said | November 4th 2014 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Yes Flying Hori.

        As an Aussie, I have to agree with your Kiwi comments!!
        I had hoped, with the departure of McKenzie and his big mouth constantly stating what he would do, that the Aussie media, coaches, officials and supporters would stop predicting success until we actually achieve such!

        Let us do the talking on the field!! Enough of this ill-advised banter before every Test match, which I am sure Cheika does not welcome.

        This constant talking up of the Wallabies’ chances is not only becoming monotonous, but must give rival coaches plenty
        of “ammunition” when revving up their teams before they play Australia.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 12:34pm
        kiwijack said | November 4th 2014 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

        WOW your right hori a win over an invitational team of yesterday players and OZ are winning the WC. This is the sort of comments that make beating OZ so satisfiying. Do you hear SA or The AB’s saying this sort of stuff no. WOW the AB’s beat the USA so we must be unbeatable for the WC. Wake up OZ.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 2:32pm
          NickF said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          WOW Kiwijack, why do you care so much. So what if we want o look on the positive side of things. I personally don’t care if the Kiwis or Saffies or Pommies think they are good enough to win the world cup. Good luck to you.

          Just relax and let us enjoy our dreams. Doesn’t affect you.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 5:18pm
            All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

            Yes you have your dreams.
            We will have your media boasts on our walls to give us motivation whilst you tell everyone what you are gonna do and then what went wrong afterwards.
            Then you can all take turns at blaming your best players, forcing some overseas or crucifying the coach because ypur number 2 ranking wasnt acheived with enough style or tries.

            But you were going to rule the world…no wonder you turn on your team with such passion when you fall well short.

            Cart, then horse.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 6:10pm
              Greg said | November 4th 2014 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

              Well, well… Haven’t we got all cocky after finally winning a World Cup at home. You are correct that we build up and pull down too quickly…. But to get a lecture about not meeting expectations from an AB fan is a little hard to swallow- you would have torched the place if France scored 2 more points in the WC final

              • November 4th 2014 @ 8:10pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

                Yes NZ expects to beat France at home when NZ has one of the best national teams ever assembled.

                Aus expects to beat that NZ team consistently looking pretty and if they dont then the players and coach are bad and need to go.
                Then, depending on state you are from, this player and that player must be sacked and a player from your fav state must go in. Also the coach mustnt seem to fav your opposing state by picking the best team, if he does then he one of them and is a bad coach and will be put down at every opportunity along with players from that state.

                Oh I think its quite different Greg.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:17pm
                Greg said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

                I don’t think you understand it at all to be honest… You’ve just detailed aust rugby as per the paranoid Roar blogger- but keep up your extensive research… It’s entertaining nonetheless

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:40pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                I have lived in Aus for 15 years straight and about 17 years all up.
                15 years Greg, that must be about how long youve been asleep.

                Pick up a newspaper. You might see a quote from a former Wallaby coach rubbishing Ewen McKenzie for knowining nothing about coaching or the bit about McKenzie quitting because he has lost the respect of the players. A few years ago you would have read articles about Deans being pro Tahs, not being interested in tries or the Aus expansive style of play, how he had to go etc.

                But you know all about being a hypocrite…I mean you know all about NZ. Having lived there for 15 years straight.

              • November 5th 2014 @ 7:16am
                Greg said | November 5th 2014 @ 7:16am | ! Report

                Pulling a couple of tr0lling headlines to sell papers over 15yrs hardly cements your point… I agreed with you in so far that the media builds up the team and pulls them down quickly- you must have missed my point through that angry mist that sits above your forehead.

                Your comments on aust supporters mentality is wrong in my opinion. But what would I know- I only support the team and am the person you are commenting on.

              • November 5th 2014 @ 7:37am
                Greg said | November 5th 2014 @ 7:37am | ! Report

                Cheap shot at the end also mate… We all know no one leaves Aust to move to NZ for 15yrs unless they have just purchased a caravan…

            • November 4th 2014 @ 6:12pm
              ozinsa said | November 4th 2014 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

              ABOOS, it’s hardly media boasts. The media (bar Lord and Zavos) are still crapping on rugby in this country generally, not letting the bungled Beale process go and writing rubbish about what Cheika might do as an afterthought.

              With all due respect to the author of this article it’s an over-positive view of a Wallaby fan rather than a carefully considered analysis and every country has its fans (thank God). We, as fans, can dream but don’t associate what fans might hope to what the team and players are actually saying / doing.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 3:24pm
          Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

          Kiwijack… I am guessing as you sit on your comfy couch in a country who’s national sport is rugby and for girls netball… it all seems so black and white. You can be quietly confident that no other sport is going to usurp it so won’t contend for the dollars which will go into rugby. The media can bask in the fact that the AB’s just keep winning and pat themselves on the back for their humbleness.

          Well here is a thought. In Australia, the game needs to market itself to the major moments… like the RC, Bledisoe cup etc. It needs to make a lot of noise to be heard and remind people that an Australian team is involved and have a chance of winning. Of course this message needs to be backed up by performances else it becomes a little self defeating. But I would far sooner that the sport is sending out positive messages around the key cornerstones of international rugby than sitting in meek humble silence.

          The fact that you and Hori can’t see it from your living room and it makes you feel better about beating Australia is a good thing too, because that plays into the tribalism of the game and creates more interest in these fixtures, which in turn means money.

          So in your humble opinion, do you think you could be gracious enough to understand that the rugby environment is a little different between the two countries and that perhaps like NZ, Australia may have some idea about how to best promote the game. After all Australia has a fairly proud tradition of punching well above their weight. When NZ can hold an event as successful as the Olympics or Rally Australia (which is regarded as one of the best administered events in the rally championship… not like having tractors drive out onto the stage or farmers sheep wandering about). Just a thought.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 6:03pm
            flying hori said | November 4th 2014 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

            Chivas, promote the game by winning consistantly and against TOP teams like the ABs, Boks AND Argentina – instead of blowing your trumpet about HOW you are going to win the RWC etc, etc, etc you are a joke, havent u heard the saying – ” do the talking on the field and WIN”

            • November 4th 2014 @ 8:08pm
              Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

              flying hori… But you find it ok to demand what others should do and how it should be done,, without bothering to listen to a thing that is said. That is the joke. What are you saying, until they win they shouldn’t promote the Wallabies or the game?

              Further, I take the time to explain why these things occur and why there may be differences between NZ and Australia and you are either too blind or too st00pid to understand it. The best you come back with are sayings to back up your position. And then demand to be taken seriously?

            • November 5th 2014 @ 11:55am
              Mike said | November 5th 2014 @ 11:55am | ! Report

              Give us a break Hori – you don’t win anything. You just happen to be a groupie for a team that does win.

              I don’t read the All Blacks gobbing off and disparaging others the way you do. Why don’t you take a leaf out of their book and act like a man for a change?

      • November 4th 2014 @ 1:53pm
        Zero Gain said | November 4th 2014 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

        It’s one nit wit, not “Australians” writing this rubbish.
        Anyone of 5 or 6 teams could win. ABs will be favourites with England and SA next. But that does not mean the Wallabies can’t win. Only a complete fool would say the Wallabies can’t win.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 3:30pm
          Chivas said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

          I agree Zero, but as mentioned above, I would rather people be talking about it and Australian rugby, than sitting in silence or talking about losing, which is what some of those comments suggest should be happening. For the most part the Wallabies aren’t household names unlike the AB’s in NZ, but people like Hori and kiwijack cannot appreciate the different landscapes…

          I think you should always back your team and talk up your chances. Be proud, support your team. Wear it like a badge of honour and stuff anybody who tells you to pull your head in.

          Comments like theirs are just talk back chatter of the ignorant and self absorbed imho.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 8:11pm
            mielie said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

            It’s really quite simple Chivas. Win a few internationals. And then talk about it. Not before. That is what these comments are saying. Nothing to do with comfy couches. Simply play Rugby. And win.

            • November 5th 2014 @ 7:17am
              Chivas said | November 5th 2014 @ 7:17am | ! Report

              So simple Mielle for the blind and ign0rant. Who TF are you or anyone else to tell someone else when and when they cannot get excited about an upcoming fixture.

              There is a lot of ribbing that goes on whether it between states or countries; but when people take their own opinion as the gospel truth to the point they can’t even acknowledge or understand a different perspective which is spelt out… well ignorant is the word that springs to mind not humbleness or humility.

              It may just be me, but that is certainly the way these comments come across.

              And finally as a rugby fan who backs their team against all odds and I have seen Waikato go from champs to chumps in the space of a few weeks, made bets when all money is going in the opposite direction for no other reason than blind unwavering support, been on the sideline after getting slaughtered having barracked for the Mooloo men for the game and the lead up to it… I say politely and with all humility FK you and those that think fans should remain quiet about their hopes for their team.

              I hope the Wallabies do get up and go from strength to strength. I am excited by the direction things are going. I hope QLD comes back from last years disaster hungry and motivated to regain their mantle. Will I give QLDers lip and suggest they will struggle to get off the bottom rung. Of course :-), but that is for me what being a fan is about.

          • November 4th 2014 @ 9:06pm
            Billy Bob said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

            Well said, Chivas.
            You gave a pretty sound explanation of a valid point of view. Sadly your considered post was lost on those without the humility to take note of it.

            My skin crawled as I read the headline for the article by Adam, because one, there was not a lot of sound evidence to back up the claim that we are tracking for world domination next year,
            and two, because I knew the clowns in the cheap seats across the ditch would be rolling out the “kiwi groupthink” “geez you Australians are ALL blowhards” etc etc.

            However, Adam has a right to a point of view without the usual trolls from you know where, chiming in with the oft repeated ‘humility’ sermon on how to behave ‘if every human was a NZer’.

            I write without any expectation that the sermons will stop. Thats the lot of us from the ‘blowhard nation’. We are destined to suffer lectures in humility from dullards next door who know as much about humility as they do about positivity.

            That is, not much.

            • November 5th 2014 @ 1:13pm
              Worlds Biggest said | November 5th 2014 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

              Fantastic post Billy Bob, couldn’t agree more. As I noted below though, the headline of the article may not have been Adam’s, he made reference in his article that they ” can ” win but never said they will win it. This one could be on the roar.

              • November 5th 2014 @ 1:22pm
                Common Sense said | November 5th 2014 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                Did you not read the first paragraph?

      • November 4th 2014 @ 2:42pm
        Worlds Biggest said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        The headline says ” Australia will win the World Cup ” yet in Adams second paragraph he says they ” can ” win it. I suspect the headline was not Adam’s. You tend to take one off comments or flippant remarks as Australian gospel too often there Flying. I’d bet if you asked 10 Aussies if the Wallabies ” will ” win it the majority would say probably not. However if you asked the same 10 people ” can ” the Wallas win it, majority would probably say yes. IMO 6 teams are capable of winning it, the Wallabies are in that group. However they can only do it if they win there group, very tough accomplishment.

      • November 6th 2014 @ 6:08pm
        Monash said | November 6th 2014 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

        Two World Cups mate……..looking for a third. Not bad for a fourth tier sport in a little country. Oh. And Super Rugby champions. Oh, and beat the Boks. Oh and nearly did for the ABs……of course they are a chance for 2015.

    • November 4th 2014 @ 4:33am
      Football United said | November 4th 2014 @ 4:33am | ! Report

      Australians talking themselves up again before a major tournament, surprise surprise. The wallabies aren’t going to even make it out of the group, they’ll crumble in front of the big crowds with the fans firmly behind the home nations sides. I’m also yet to see Australia play anything that could be successfully translated into tournament rugby. Set Pieces, a strong kicking game and a quality goal kicker is what wins World Cups. Pulver’s Australian Running Rugby™ only gets you so far.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 11:15am
        moniano said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        wonder who was the team to win 2 RWCs and almost wind the 3.

        • November 4th 2014 @ 12:18pm
          SP said | November 4th 2014 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

          The Wallabies won both their World Cups in England. No other team has ever won a WC in england

          • November 4th 2014 @ 2:05pm
            Lion Down Under said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

            There’s only been one Rugby World Cup (so far) hosted by England. Australia won that one in 1991 defeating the hosts in the Final.

            You’re obviously having a Chicago Sun-Times’ moment 🙂

            • November 4th 2014 @ 3:01pm
              Jak said | November 4th 2014 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

              Wales 1999 england 1991. Same island, same country. Wales is a principality under the yoke of the soap dodgers.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 5:03pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                Wales is not a principality nor was Wales the host of the 1999 world cup.
                They were co-hosts with Eng, Fra, Sco and Ire.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 7:20pm
                RT said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

                R u sure wales isn’t a principality?

              • November 4th 2014 @ 8:21pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                Was but isnt now.
                Hasnt been in practical terms for a long, long time but isnt in any terms now.

              • November 6th 2014 @ 6:10pm
                Monash said | November 6th 2014 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

                Actually, Wales is a map reference…….

        • November 4th 2014 @ 12:33pm
          Kane said | November 4th 2014 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          Both NZ and AUS have two RWC and went to extra time in the third?

          • November 4th 2014 @ 1:13pm
            Patrick D said | November 4th 2014 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Boks have won 2 World Cups, from less appearances. So statistically the best.

            • November 4th 2014 @ 2:37pm
              NickF said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

              NZ and Aus have both won 2 WC and were finalists once with 2 Semi finals. SA have 2 WC, 2 semi finals and a quarter finals. In a game of poker NZ and Aust beat SA, But Aus win because of the away WCs. 🙂

              • November 4th 2014 @ 5:07pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

                NZ is the best WC performing side which is odd considering they have a dubious reputation for choking at WCs.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 7:24pm
                RT said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

                Look the bottom line is the five best performing teams in the world for the last 30 years goes like this:
                3. South Africa
                4. England
                5. France

                If you want to make it the last 20 years swap Australia and South Africa.

                The team that has punched above its weight is a tie between wales and Ireland. Discuss.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 7:25pm
                Garth said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

                And yet France, which has been in a few RWC Finals and lost every one, is not saddled with the ‘choking’ tag.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:25pm
                jemainok said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

                I have found that funny as well.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:19pm
                dropkick said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

                France are never favourites you clearly don’t get the choker tag .name a world cup final France was expected to win actually they came very close to winning last one as massive underdogs how it that choking

              • November 4th 2014 @ 7:45pm
                nickoldschool said | November 4th 2014 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                RT, I agree that England gets extra kudos over France for their win but the French have reached the semis 6/7 rwc, like the AB.

                Garth, I get your point but the difference with the ABs is that they had the ‘best team in the world’ tag at every rwc whereas the French were always the underdogs with England, sometimes wales , sometimes Ireland, behind the 3 SH nations.

                When we see how poor we were in 2011 yet reached the final, I don’t think the tag ‘chokers’ is appropriate. ‘frauds’ is better imo ah!

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:21pm
                All Bent Out of Shape said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

                No they havnt Nick.

                In 87 Aus was #1.
                In 91 NZ was #1.
                In 95 Aus was #1.
                In 99 NZ was #1.
                In 03 Eng was #1.
                In 07 NZ was #1.
                In 11 NZ was #1.


                In 91 and 99 Aus was arguably already the better side.

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:23pm
                dropkick said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

                Yep France don’t choke never favourites

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:04pm
                Birdy said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

                Nickoldschool, the ABS weren’t ‘favourites’ in 2003, England were. I would argue that NZ have only been clear favourites in the 1987, 2007 and 2011 WCs.

                RT, I notice your time periods are quite carefully chosen. How about saying ‘this century’ and recalculating your batting order?

              • November 4th 2014 @ 11:22pm
                dropkick said | November 4th 2014 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

                1995 huge favourites and choked at Ellis park one of biggest in sports history I’d say

              • November 4th 2014 @ 9:27pm
                nickoldschool said | November 4th 2014 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

                You’re right that most ppl probably had England as fav in 2003 birdy (bookies too perhaps, not sure). A team with Umaga, Muliaina, McCaw, Howlett, Rokocoko, Thorn, Collins etc playing close to home, was in my eyes the benchmark, even against the best England team ever. Having said that England really deserved their title no question.

                all bent, personally, I have to say I have always favoured the AB pre tournament at any rwc and the 2003 was no different, probably just a habit due to the fact they are consistently on top or near the top. I am probably guilty of giving too much credit to the ABs and even when irb rankings put the wallabies or boks or England ahead, its still a surprise when the ABs lose a game. I know am wrong but cant help it.

      • November 4th 2014 @ 2:46pm
        Worlds Biggest said | November 4th 2014 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

        Wrong Football, Australians are not talking themselves up at all. The headline doesn’t correlate to the article. Adam says they ” can ” win it. The headline says otherwise which I suspect came from the Editor. Read the article before blowing off your trumpet.

    , ,