excellent start

September 9th, 2007

So it looks like the All Blacks got their World Cup campaign off to an excellent start. Of course, it was only against Italy. Not exactly the most threatening team. Still, there are a couple of causes for concern:

Tensions threatened to boil over early in the second spell, with the Italians targeting Carl Hayman and Chris Jack.

English ref Wayne Barnes went to his pocket, showing the yellow card to Hayman.

The start to the second half wouldn’t have impressed the All Black coaching staff.

Italy dominated possession stakes and the All Blacks were pressured into making errors.

In the context of this game, big deal. Italy vs the All Blacks is one of those match-ups when the question is not who will win, but how much will the ABs win by. But the ABs are going to have to face tougher competition. A sloppy start to the second half is the kind of thing teams like the Wallabies or England will seize on and use to beat the ABs back into submission. And discipline, well, goes without saying.

Anyway, excellent start. Let’s see this kind of performance continue.

Oops, forgot: follow that link and click on “results” in the “results/schedule” box on the right. England-USA 28:10. What? Is that all? Australia-Japan 91-3. To be expected. But the best start to the World Cup so far: Argentina-France 17-12. Go the Pumas!!!!!!

Update: Libération confirms what I suspected about that England-USA game.

Laborieux. Le XV de la Rose n’a pas montré grand-chose ce samedi contre les Etats-Unis.

Laborious. The 15 of the Rose [guess that means England] didn’t show much this Saturday against the United States.

Yes, my French is really, really rusty. Anyway, it goes on to describe quite a mediocre performance from England, with the US actually managing to hold them even at the start of the match. Really, an England-USA match-up should be fairly similar to ABs-Italy. So it seems quite a mediocre start from England, and even worse from France. I suspect, though, that both teams are going to see their first games as all the more impetus to come out firing on all cylinders for the rest of the competition.

2 Responses to “excellent start”

  1. Romain Guerel Says:

    You did the right translation! “le quinze de la rose” means England. Shame on the French team that I oversaw last night at 3 AM. France can be the best and the worst in same competition. Look at World Cup 2008, they struggle in the first round against Switzerland and African team but they made it to the final! Hope they have the same luck this time!

  2. wangbo Says:

    Thanks for checking my translation. It’s been too long since I studied French, and the only practice I get these days is reading things like libe and le monde online. I was surprised to see England referred to as “la quinze de la rose”. It makes sense, but so far as I know, we don’t have a nickname for them. Well, we don’t have any polite nickname for them, at least.
    Yeah, France is one of those frustrating teams. When they’re good, they’re brilliant, and then they go and screw it up. Still, the All Blacks can be even worse- they may well be the best team in the world, then they get to the semi-finals or finals and choke.