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Adriaan Fondse

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From a South African perspective the rugby calendar makes little sense. The way the international fixtures are currently set out does not really allow for any competition to run its course to completion, it has therefor been proposed that there will be a break in the Super Rugby competition next year to allow the June tour window, and then the Super Rugby competition will resume. In between all this, there is a Currie Cup that will now take a further step back to accommodate the Super Rugby and International fixtures.

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South African referee Craig Joubert will referee Sunday’s World Cup final between the All Blacks and France. It will be his first World Cup final.

Joubert, who controlled yesterday’s semifinal between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park, becomes only the second South African to take charge of a final after Andre Watson who has controlled two.

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Though long have our Kiwi cousins walked in the shadow of the Valley of Death, through World Cup loss after World Cup loss, as an entire people plumbed the depths of despair, now, nowthe hour is upon them. The promised land is now just up ahead around the bend…

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All Blacks (14) 20 / Wallabies (6) 6 (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies did battle in the First Semi-Final of Rugby World Cup 2011 at Eden Park, Auckland 10:00 SA Time (21:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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The All Blacks were ruthless and commited and deserve their place in next Sunday’s Final. It was however a brave effort by Australia but Quade Cooper should have clicked earlier for them to have any chance.

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It began, again, somewhere around the 70th minute.

Jean-Baptiste Elissalde had just converted a Yannick Jauzion try, scored off a missed forward pass, giving the French a 20-18 lead in their 2007 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against the All Blacks in front of a packed Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

The All Blacks were the best team in the world. All they needed was a penalty, a drop goal, a try. Momentum, that age-old All Blacks’ drive.

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Danny Svoboda (in picture) played for Rhodesia in 1970 on the wing. The picture here shows him playing against the 1970 All Blacks touring side.

Danny’s widow, now living in Thailand, has contacted me in search of information about Danny.

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All Blacks (12) 33 / Pumas (7) 10 (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and the Argentianian Pumas did battle in the Fourth Quarter Final in Auckland at 09:30 SA Time (20:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.

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The All Blacks progress through to the semi-finals, but only after the galant Argentinians gave them a bloody good go in the process.

The final four are now decided, they are Wales vs France and All Blacks vs Wallabies.

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All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen says Richie McCaw will play against Argentina this weekend, despite fears that a troublesome foot injury could keep the New Zealand captain on the sidelines for the quarter-final at Eden Park.

“He’s great,” Hansen told a press conference at the team hotel. “He’s going to play on Sunday.”

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Jeremy Paul the ex-Aussie hooker made an interesting comment after the NZ / Canada game namely that on the evidence of the Canada game NZ would not be able to win the RWC.

Weepu was not convincing on 10 neither was Slade. The rest of the NZ game was, in my, appreciation pretty good. They lost some form in the second half -which is understandable considering the scoreboard at that stage- but the big concern according to Jeremy Paul is the fact that the NZ halfbacks will have less time and space  (than against Canada) when playing against quality opposition.

Paul obviously has the NZ/Aus Brisbane game in mind where the Wallabies secured a win by cutting down the space of the NZ halfbacks.  Continue reading

All Blacks (37) 79 / Canada (8) 15 (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Canada did battle in Wellington at 04:30 SA Time (15:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.

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As expected, the All Black ran riot and scored 12 tries against Canada. Canada could muster 2 good tries but wasted many more and they never stood a chance against New Zealand.

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Dan Carter is out of the World Cup!

All Blacks first five-eighth Carter has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament because of the groin injury he suffered at yesterday’s captains run and Colin Slade will now be expected to wear the No 10 jersey for the crucial play-off matches.

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All Blacks (19) 37 / France (3) 17 (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks hosted France at Eden Park, Auckland at 10:30 SA Time (20:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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After a strong France start, the All Blacks had a purple patch, where they scored 3 quick tries and from then on France was always just chasing the game.

5 Tries to 2 for the All Blacks.

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Peter de Villiers surely did put the attention back on the Haka with his remark that over-performing it will impact on its effect.

The other side of the coin is that the more it is performed in the streets the more it connects the people to the tribe/nation.

I often get the impression that New Zealanders –especially the Islanders- have difficulty understanding that the rest of the world just don’t have the same romantic obsession with the Haka than them.

As an outsider one can feel that they just don’t get it namely that outsiders tolerate it and are not in awe of it. That outsiders are being polite and not overwhelmed by it when they make compliments and positive remarks about it.

For outsiders it is hard to understand how the Haka connects the individual to the Soul of the nation. For the kiwis the Haka is a serious war dance.

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A Maori leader has backed Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’ comments on the haka being overused, saying it has been “hijacked by rugby people” for commercial purposes.

PETER LOVE: “The haka in our culture is something which is regarded as special and should not be bastardised by sport.”

De Villiers’ comments attracted over 270 responses on Stuff.co.nz yesterday, with opinion split on whether the haka was overused.

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All Black Captain Richie McCaw and key players Dan Carter, Mils Muliaina and Israel Dagg all look set top play in New Zealand’s crunch Rugby World Cup pool A match against France in Auckland on Saturday.

The match is set to decide the runner up of the pool and therefore who will face the winner of Pool B which includes England, Argentina and Scotland.

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Ireland’s upset over the Wallabies really has put the cat among the pigeons at this World Cup..in more ways than one.

You don’t have to draw too long a bow from the best match of the tournament so far to realise the result, potentially, has serious implications for the All Blacks.

I’m really interested now – and concerned in the same breath – to see how the French react to this result.

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All Blacks (38) 83 / Japan (0) 7 (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks hosted Japan in Hamilton at 10:00 SA Time (20:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & 4, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.

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The All Blacks scored 13 tries to 1 and ran riot!

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Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina are both out of tomorrow’s test against Japan.

Both players have been ruled out of the All Blacks’ second game of the World Cup because of injury, while Israel Dagg has also picked up an injury, following a training session at St Peter’s College in Cambridge late yesterday afternoon.

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All Blacks star Daniel Carter is injured and won’t play in this week’s World Cup match with Japan.

Carter, who suffered a sore back in the opening clash against Tonga, was replaced by Canterbury’s Colin Slade in the starting XV, with halfback Jimmy Cowan coming on to the bench, and Piri Weepu moving out to provide first–five cover.

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Pool A will have matches on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. On Wednesday 14 September Tonga will play Canada in Whangarei, on Friday New Zealand will play against Japan in Hamilton and the last pool a match will be in Napier when France play Canada.

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