The Rugby World Cup (#RWC on Twitter) is currently underway in New Zealand. Well, it’s almost over – the semi-finals are next week. Here in the USA, college football dominates the Saturday night sports channel lineups, so last night I forked out $29.99 to watch Australia take on South Africa in the quarter-finals. It was the most intense $29.99 I’ve ever spent, and I was up until 3:30am enjoying every cent.
A young Australian side narrowly defeated the older, defending champs from South Africa, 11-9, in a game riddled with with errors on both sides. Here’s a more in-depth review of the game from the BBC. Judging by the Bokkie fans who took to Twitter last night, you might easily get the impression the refs were biased and should be fired, but the NZ commentators I was listening to called it a fair match with good, solid refereeing. I guess it’s always agonizing to be on the losing end of such a gripping World Cup game. Although the Boks maintained more than 50% possession and territory for more than 3/4 of the game, the Wallabies scored an important try early on, and their defense, including some spectacular turnovers, kept the Boks from scoring a try of their own. Almost ever Wallabies player, especially scrum-half Will Genia, stepped up the game to make up for the team’s mistakes.
Although some superb kicking from Boks fly-half, Morne Steyn, put South Africa ahead by one point in the last quarter, it was a beautiful penalty kick from winger, James O’Connor, that sealed Australia’s victory in the end. Flanker, David Pocock, was well deserving in being named Man of the Match for his tireless tackling and tenacity on the field.
I don’t get to watch a lot of Rugby Union here in the States, but when I do, I’m reminded why I love this sport so much. It’s gruelling, fast-paced, incredibly tough, and the shirts the players wear are nice and tight. Seriously ladies, check out a game on the TV or your local YouTube channel, post haste.
So what’s next? The semi-finals – Australia vs. New Zealand and France vs. Wales. it’s going to be another epic round of matches, and I for one am hoping the Wallabies will prevail again!