Search

Rugby World Cup: Hung, drawn and quartered

09:30 12 October 2015

England's Jack Nowell scores his side's eighth try of the game against Uruguay and completes his hat-trick during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium (pic: Nigel French/PA)

England's Jack Nowell scores his side's eighth try of the game against Uruguay and completes his hat-trick during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium (pic: Nigel French/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Goodbye group phase, hello knockout rounds

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw scores their third try against Samoa during the World Cup Match at St James' Park, Newcastle (pic: Owen Humphreys/PA).Scotland's Greig Laidlaw scores their third try against Samoa during the World Cup Match at St James' Park, Newcastle (pic: Owen Humphreys/PA).

And then there were eight. Eight teams, eight matches.

The pool phase of the 2015 Rugby World Cup is over, so far 40 matches have been played, a whopping 2,020 points scored and 12 nations eliminated.

Hosts England, sadly, are among those packing their bags, bowing out with a 10-try romp against Pool A minnows Uruguay.

Embarrassingly they fell behind inside 90 seconds to a penalty from in front of the posts, but there was never any chance of a seismic giantkilling.

Australia's Drew Mitchell (left) tackles Wales' George North during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)Australia's Drew Mitchell (left) tackles Wales' George North during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

Veteran number eight Nick Easter, 37, called into the squad when Billy Vunipola was injured, rumbled over for a hat-trick in Manchester to become the oldest player to score three tries in a Test, and is a Nottingham Trent University old boy like myself.

Young Cornish winger Jack Nowell, 22, ran in a treble of his own, but it was hard to get excited with England’s elimination at the hands of Australia and Wales already confirmed.

So who to support now?

Well, I’ve got Australian rellies, but I can’t jump on the Wallabies bandwagon. Wouldn’t feel right.

Ireland's Jonny Sexton (right) is tackled and injured by France's Louis Picamoles during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (pic: David Davies/PA)Ireland's Jonny Sexton (right) is tackled and injured by France's Louis Picamoles during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (pic: David Davies/PA)

No, it’s got to be one of the British teams.

Scotland.

I know former Romford Raiders defenceman and coach Shaun McFadyen will be highly delighted to see the boys in blue progressing to the knockout stages while England miss out.

Fair play to them for battling past Samoa, Japan and the USA, but up against Australia? I’m not feeling it.

A young Ireland fan watches from the stands during the Rugby World Cup match against France at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (pic: David Davies/PA)A young Ireland fan watches from the stands during the Rugby World Cup match against France at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (pic: David Davies/PA)

Wales.

I love their passion for the game, their national anthem and I’ve enjoyed watching some of their games in the past with John Evans, former manager of Barking and Ilford Football Clubs, in our village local.

But do they really have a chance against South Africa?

The Welsh squad has been decimated by injury and, although they still managed to edge past England, they could not get over the line against 13-man Australia at the weekend.

I expect the Springboks machine will prove too strong, although I sincerely hope I’m proved wrong.

Ireland.

Although unconfirmed, I believe I have Irish ancestry.

I already liked folk music, Guinness and whiskey before I began taking a more genuine interest in genealogy and I felt comfortable while walking around Dublin’s Temple Bar on a weekend away.

And the men in green have been steadily growing into this tournament, with wins over Canada, Romania and Italy setting up their group decider with France.

I cheered Johnny Sexton’s two first-half penalties against the French before he limped off, and replacement Ian Madigan’s nerveless nudge straight off the bench to make it 9-6.

And I cursed as loudly as any true Irishman I’m sure when Keith Earls dropped a pass from Tommy Bowe on the 22 after his great break, while urging Ireland’s defence to keep tackling as France tried to find a way through before the break.

Having winced at the injury suffered by captain Paul O’Connell, I almost spilt my Magners as Rob Kearney forced his way over to give Ireland an eight-point cushion early in the second half.

And when Conor Murray, the Irish scrum-half I had seen knocked out cold at Twickenham a month ago, touched the ball against the foot of the post with eight minutes left for a second try, converted by Madigan for a 21-9 lead, I knew I was going to be cheering the Irish all the way from now on in.

Final standings

Pool A: Australia 17 Wales 13 England 11 Fiji 5 Uruguay 0.

Pool B: South Africa 16 Scotland 14 Japan 12 Samoa 6 USA 0.

Pool C: New Zealand 19 Argentina 15 Georgia 8 Tonga 6 Namibia 1.

Pool D: Ireland 18 France 14 Italy 10 Romania 4 Canada 2.

Remaining matches

Quarter-finals

October 17: South Africa v Wales (Twickenham, 4pm)

October 17: New Zealand v France (Millennium Stadium, 8pm)

October 18: Ireland v Argentina (Millennium Stadium, 1pm)

October 18: Australia v Scotland (Twickenham, 4pm)

October 24/25: Semi-finals x 2 (Twickenham, 4pm)

October 30: Bronze final (Olympic Stadium, 8pm)

October 31: Final (Twickenham, 4pm)

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Sports News

08:11

Paralympic champion moves to top of rankings ahead of final

UN Court
12:00

When West Ham United fans chant “I’m forever blowing bubbles”, they really mean it.

Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Hammers were no match for the Gunners despite Andy Carroll’s goal as Sanchez grabbed a hat-trick

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now