Rwc 2007


RugbyWorldCup2007 is less than two months away. The U.S. has made the cut in the 20 team tournament and in my opinion, for the first time they have a chance to win two games (The past four world cups they have a record of 2 and 14) The Eagles are ranked 15th by the IRB and will play Tonga (14th) and Samoa (10th- they will need to play a great match to win this game), England & South Africa are also in the same pool as the US & will prob play there B side against the Eagles.

My pick to start for the US

1 Tight Head Prop- Mike MacDonald
2 Hooker- Blake Burdette
3 Lose Head Prop-Chris Osentowski
4 2nd Row (Lock)-Mike Mangan
5 2nd Row (Lock)-Ben Wiedemer
6 Wing Forwar (Open Side Flanker)-Todd Clever
7 Wing Forward (Blind Side Flanker)-Fifita Mounga
8 8-Man - Louis Stanfill
9 Scrum Half-Kimball Kjar
10 Fly Half -Mike Hercus
11 Wing-Mike Palefau
12 Inside Center -Salesi Sika
13 Outside Center- Albert Tuipulotu
14 Wing- Paul Emerick
15 Fulback-Francois Viljoen

A quick guide to rugby positions.

Prop #1,#3 Props support the hooker in the scrum, lift jumpers at line outs and provide push at breakdown (rucks & mauls). Think NFL linemen

Hooker #2 "Hooks" the ball with his foot in a scrum and throws the ball in at line outs. Needs to be strong enough to withstand the scrum (All the weight beasrs down on the hooker) and have quick feet.

2nd Row aka Locks #4#5 Provide much of the forward push in a scrum and are the line out jumpers. Think NBA centers

Wing Forwards & 8 man aka Flankers- Good size, speed are needed to be a flanker. Must be able to run with the ball and to tackle 8 Man is also a good jumper. Think Tight End & Linebacker combo

Scrum Half aka Halfback #9 feeds the ball from the forwards to the backs, must have good ball handiling skills. Often the smallest man on the field. Quick and shifty.

Fly Half aka 1st 5/8th #10 The QB of the rugby world, must be a good decision maker, and have a good leg to kick. Will run, pass or kick the ball. A good flyhalf may not win the game but a bad one will lose it for a team.

Wing #11 & #14 Speed, Speed, Speed Think NFL Wide Out or a track star

Centers #12 #13- Strong and powerful runners the # 12 is usually a better kicker and a bit less powerful (think a NFL 3rd down back) and the #13 is the big stron power back

Fullback # 15 The last line of defence. Also the player who will launch the counter attack. Good kicker, great tackler and good runner
New Zealand IRB Ranking:1

Key players

Rodney So'oialo -8man/2ndRow.
Strengths: Impact player, very fit and strong defender. Has good size and athletic ability.
Weakness: New to the NZ starting 15, has been a back up since RWC 2003, still learning.

Richie McCaw -Flanker.
Strengths: The best flanker in the world bar none. Big hitter, good size & speed, ball hawk and team captain.
Weakness: None

Jerry Collins-Flanker
Strengths: Great in attack and another big hitter. Play with a very aggressive attitude.
Weakness: Draws a lot of penalties.

Dan Carter-Fly half
Strengths: May be the best fly half in the world. Has a howitzer for a leg, and can kick the ball 3/4 of the length of the field. Good strong runner good acceleration but not great top end speed. Good decision making and ball distribution skills.
Weakness: Good to average in defense. Good but not great speed. Would like him to be a bit bigger & more physical.

Ma'a Nonu-Center/Wing
Strength: Power back, big hitter. He is rugby’s version of Earl Campbell or Jerome Bettis. A power runner who can break tackles and force defenses to commit two men to stopping him
Weakness: Has good but not great top end speed, needs to improve his ball handling & kicking skills.

Joe Rokocoko-Wing.
Strengths: Fast and elusive. Puts a lot of points on the board.
Weakness: Tall but not a large man. Average in defense and kicking.

Sitiveni Sivivatu-Wing.
Strengths: Even Faster Than Rokocoko.
Weakness: Young player not a lot of experience. Don’t know if he can stay Healthy.

Rico Gear- Wing/Center/Fullback
Strengths: Good solid build, can play almost every position in the backfield well. Good acceleration and top end speed. Good kicking and ball control skills.
Weakness: Good but not great at all the above. A bench player who comes in as relief, needs to up his game to make the starting 15.


Better Than [you]
Wackbag Staff
I know next to nothing about rugby beyond the basic idea of the game, but I love watching it. Can not wait to check out the RWC in September. I've got ITVN which streams Setanta for me, and they're showing every match. Really looking forward to it. Thanks for the crash course on the positions, Turtle.

Key players

George Smith-Flanker / 8-Man
Strengths: Probably the second best flanker in international rugby, an incredibly productive ball hawk and tackler. Has good strength and translates that power into his runs. Smith is a smart rugby player who does not draw a lot of penalties.
Weakness: Under 6 foot, not a good line out option and at just over 200lbs Smith is a bit on the light side which will affect the overall scrum weight.

Nathan Sharp- 2nd Row
Strengths: At 6ft 8 inches Sharp is a big target in the line out. He has soft hands and will contest position every set piece. He is a good tackler in open space and not a bad runner for such a big man.
Weakness: At 32 years of age sharp is getting a bit old to be playing at this level especial in the forwards.

George Greagan- Scrum half
Strengths: A staple of the Australian side, Greagan has a huge amount of experience to draw from. He has great defensive organizational skills and has been considered by some to be the best scrumhalf to ever play for Australia.
Weakness: Greagan is 36 years old and this will be his fourth World Cup for the Wallabies. He has lost some of his speed and his passes are not as good as they were last World Cup.

Stephen Larkam- Fly half
Strengths: Lots of experience and a real playmaker for Australia. Larkam has been another mainstay on the Australian starting 15. He is a team leader and has very good quickness and acceleration.
Weakness: Another guy who is getting old, Larkam will be 35 this World Cup. At 6ft 2 inches and under 200 lbs he is a bit small and will not be a threat to break long runs. His passes are more “at” players than “to” them. Average kicking power.

Lotie Tuqri- Wing/Center/Fullback
Strengths: Natural position is at wing, but has good enough size (6ft 3inches & 220lbs) to play center. He has great acceleration and world class speed. Tuqri is a point scorer.
Weakness: Not a very good kicker and just average in defense.

Sterling Mortlock- Center/Wing
Strengths: Good acceleration and top end speed. Is a natural center and is a guy who will run over people.
Weakness: He seems to get nagging little injuries every season, never seems to be 100% every game.

Australia beat the All Blacks a week ago in the Tri Nations Tournament and will be a force in the 2007 World Cup. However most of there big play guys are getting older and some of the youth need to step up there game. They lost a key player, Big ‘Del Sailor, this year to cocaine charges he will be missed at wing.
Pool A
Winner: England
2nd: South Africa
3rd: USA
4th: Samoa
5th: Tonga

Pool B
Winner: Australia
2nd: Wales
3rd: Fiji
4th: Canada
5th: Japan

Pool C
Winner: New Zealand
2nd: Italy
3rd: Scotland
4th: Romania
5th: Portugal

Pool D
Winner: France
2nd: Ireland
3rd: Argentina
4th: Georgia
5th: Namibia

Australia v South Africa
New Zealand v Ireland
England v Wales
France v Italy

Semi Finals
Australia v New Zealand
England v France

Third Place Match
England v Australia (England)

France v New Zealand (France, take the dog at home)


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Portuguese fans at RWC.
I've been watching every match, so WB has taken a back seat over the past few weeks.

Faz, your boys are doing well, they got crushed by new Zealand, but that was to be expected. IMO the have a chance to make it to the next round


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Scotland is tough man. If they don't get intimidated they can make it a match and maybe earn some respect. When I asked you your prediction for the New Zealand match, you actually got Italy's points right... needless to say, the All Blacks' was a little higher.

I just saw highlights of the France game, they looked pretty friggin good.
Scotland is tough man. If they don't get intimidated they can make it a match and maybe earn some respect. When I asked you your prediction for the New Zealand match, you actually got Italy's points right... needless to say, the All Blacks' was a little higher.

I just saw highlights of the France game, they looked pretty friggin good.
Scotland has a weak side. The Six Nations Tury this year (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France & Italy) your boys won three games. The Scots have two good jumpers in the line, but they lack ouside speed, inside power and the kicking game is nothing to brag about. You have a good chance to get 2nd place.


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Inside power is probably what Italy lacks. We're little people. :action-sm
(sp) Bergamso can play Flanker or Center. Good speed and a big hitter. Pro player for Paris.


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Bergamasco... Mirco is the blond one, I'm pretty sure he's the one you mean. Then there's his brother Mauro who is older, but Mirco is the better one. They both play for Paris' team.


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
New Zealand is unstoppable.
New Zealand is unstoppable.
They look very good. I still think they are weak at outside center #13. If they face France, and I think they will, they will wish they had selected Ma' Nonu at center rather than the small, shifty Conrad Smith.


I suggest you tread lightly
Wackbag Staff
Wow! That was...


(what happened there?)