This weekend just gone was the weekend of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
First up Wales played South Africa, and although I find it difficult to recall what happened four games ago, Wales were doing well. South Africa scored an excellent try at the end though, there was no defence on the blindside to stop the winning try. So Wales fell. It was a shame, I thought Wales had a chance against RSA, but it wasn’t to be.
Next up France played New Zealand and fit stuffed – that match was on Saturday night at 8pm. The odds were so against France, and France had played well against the All Blacks in past World Cup events, that I thought it was worth a small flutter. Well, there is a reason why the All Blacks are the tournament favourites, and that was £2 wasted. Every time France had the ball they seemed to be confronted by a wall of black shirts. On the other hand, when the Kiwis had the ball, they seemed to dance through the chinks in France’s defence with ease. So it was goodbye to France, and my £2.
Sunday was a new day, this was much more straightforward. Ireland were favourites to beat Argentina and Australia were odds on to win against Scotland. I even put a little bet on, a double that both Ireland and Australia would go through. The talk before the Ireland game was of how dangerous Argentina were, but I poo-poohed that suggestion: surely Ireland were the more professional, organised side? Yes Argentina had passion and flair but they wouldn’t be able to last eighty minutes against the men in green? Well, yes they could, actually. They blitzed Ireland and were 17-0 up after 15 minutes. Ireland then woke up and got back on terms, but Argentina then broke through their defence several times to score and take the game away from Ireland. So even before the final quarter-final of the day, my bet had already gone bad.
Actually, after the Ireland match, we went out for a walk in Arundel. I was planning on catching up with the highlights later, because surely it would be a walkover for the Aussies? Well no, as it turned out. We got back to the house at half-time, and before I could close my eyes and not see the score, it was 16-15. So we whizzed through the first half and sat down to watch the second half semi-live… It was a gripping match, and ended 35-34 to Australia. The final points were awarded dubiously, Australia were given a penalty instead of a scrum, and they took the three points as well as the lead.
Scotland are a much-improved side and I look forward to seeing how they do in the Six Nations next year.
I had already put a pound on Australia to win the whole thing, and after New Zealand’s performance, I’ve also put £2 on them to win. It looks like it might be an Australia – New Zealand final, so I’ll be happy either way, but given the upsets in this competition so far, it’s not a given.
Bring on the semi-finals next weekend!

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