The skill and luck of the bokke

crossref


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For me South Africa were the team of the tournament.. fantastic set pieces, good discipline, able to play multiple game plans, and a seemingly endless box of innovative tricks

But hey @shebeen . .. overall, big picture, SA got the rub of the green in the refereeing decisions in those three close knockout games, didn't they ?

Seems like the era of the great anti-bokke reffing conspiracy is over.
(It's Fiji's turn now !)
 

shebeen

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For me South Africa were the team of the tournament.. fantastic set pieces, good discipline, able to play multiple game plans, and a seemingly endless box of innovative tricks

But hey @shebeen . .. overall, big picture, SA got the rub of the green in the refereeing decisions in those three close knockout games, didn't they ?

Seems like the era of the great anti-bokke reffing conspiracy is over.
(It's Fiji's turn now !)
Very hard to be objective on this one currently. There will be a massive roadshow here now, and there is the slight matter of a new coach and some player exodus to deal with but the signs of a dominant legacy similar to ABs in the early 2010s building are there.

Last november the springboks lost close games to Ireland in Ireland, and France in France - would easily have been world #1 with those victories (so maybe some false confidence from up north?) Boks most definitely did not get the rub of the green there, and Rassie put very mild tweets about this on twitter - and got banned*. They seem to have worked out a better way to deal with referees going forward, so maybe it wasn't not a conspiracy after all. Kolisi has matured into an incredible captain, he appears to have

Innovation seems to be a key. 4 scrumhalves in the WC squad and 7-1 bench come from bizzaroland but it's hard to pick an issue when you get the trophy.
Crucial injuries to Pollard meant working with Libbok at a very late stage in the 4 yr cycle, and the gameplan could shift.
Crucial injury to Marx during the tournament meant a bizarre high risk strategy with only one recognised hooker in the squad. They pulled it off somehow, Fourie managed a full game at hooker in a WC final (having last played the position in 2017) was a huge risk.

Back to the original topic.
QTR final - B O'k gets critiscised by DuPont in the official press conference. No real issue that he can bring up though. No ban or even talk of repercussions for the king? Are captains allowed to complain about the ref now?
Semi - B O'K gets torn apart by uk media, pundits and fans for one crucial decision. Genge knee was on the ground first, why is this even a debate?
Final - the Cane/Kolisi RC/YC debate will be polarised till kingdom come, but the bunker made the big call there. Not sure what other big ref calls cost the game, so I think WB will not get anything like the 2007 treatment from the Kiwis (or the 2022 from the boks).
 

BikingBud


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Very hard to be objective on this one currently. There will be a massive roadshow here now, and there is the slight matter of a new coach and some player exodus to deal with but the signs of a dominant legacy similar to ABs in the early 2010s building are there.

Last november the springboks lost close games to Ireland in Ireland, and France in France - would easily have been world #1 with those victories (so maybe some false confidence from up north?) Boks most definitely did not get the rub of the green there, and Rassie put very mild tweets about this on twitter - and got banned*. They seem to have worked out a better way to deal with referees going forward, so maybe it wasn't not a conspiracy after all. Kolisi has matured into an incredible captain, he appears to have

Innovation seems to be a key. 4 scrumhalves in the WC squad and 7-1 bench come from bizzaroland but it's hard to pick an issue when you get the trophy.
Crucial injuries to Pollard meant working with Libbok at a very late stage in the 4 yr cycle, and the gameplan could shift.
Crucial injury to Marx during the tournament meant a bizarre high risk strategy with only one recognised hooker in the squad. They pulled it off somehow, Fourie managed a full game at hooker in a WC final (having last played the position in 2017) was a huge risk.

Back to the original topic.
QTR final - B O'k gets critiscised by DuPont in the official press conference. No real issue that he can bring up though. No ban or even talk of repercussions for the king? Are captains allowed to complain about the ref now?
Semi - B O'K gets torn apart by uk media, pundits and fans for one crucial decision. Genge knee was on the ground first, why is this even a debate?
Final - the Cane/Kolisi RC/YC debate will be polarised till kingdom come, but the bunker made the big call there. Not sure what other big ref calls cost the game, so I think WB will not get anything like the 2007 treatment from the Kiwis (or the 2022 from the boks).
Cause and effect - what does having a hooker bring to the game?

With the total acceptance of the blatant squint throw in to the scrum, the hooker is not a hooker.

So Fourie was in effect the 4th back row and produced a game around the park that matched that observation.

After nearly 50 years of watching, playing, refereeing rugby union I have never seen such an unispiring set of matches as some of those turned out in this year's RWC. I found the final contrary to all perceived comments to be dour and wholly lacking in anything close to the principles of the game:

Object​

The game’s objective is to score as many points as possible against an opposing team by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball, according to the laws of the game, its sporting spirit and fair play.​

Teams persistently kicking possession away because they want the opponents to make a mistake rather than trusting in their own skills and abilities. Those same skills and abilities eroded by continuously ignoring the laws of the game. The most exciting players within the world game being ignored by playing to game plans that demonstrate only fear of failure not the joy of ambition or desire to entertain.

And when this occurs the few crucial decisions, that might allow or disallow critical scores, are viewed at best as injustice and at worst referee
bias.

Rassie discussed taking ownership, keeping the referees on side and not allowing those marginal decisions to affect the outcome, did that happen? No. But the PR campaign worked and we see yet again SA deliberately killing the games through negative play that then forces other teams to a negative game as well.

I don't really have any thought generally about Sexton but feel his appeal to BOK was an observation could be applied to the subsequent games with BOK and others, coaching SA out of penalties.

All coupled with the totally unbelievable lack of a red card and subsequent sanction for any significant player that would have lead to modified behaviours. The 2 ends of the spectrum being Curry Red for player landing on him, Kriel not even looked at!

Perhaps that perspective of protecting the product has gone too far!

To paraphrase: for me, it's just not rugby!
 

shebeen

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After nearly 50 years of watching, playing, refereeing rugby union I have never seen such an unispiring set of matches as some of those turned out in this year's RWC.
for me the strength v strength games were incredible. Those two qtr final matches will go down as all time classics. A lot of the pool stuff is mostly a waste of time, effort and resources - but I doubt an alternative system will be found.

granted there were some narrow victories in here, but this graphic shows the final result of the tournament being a deserving one.

1698764695606.png
 

Rich_NL

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After nearly 50 years of watching, playing, refereeing rugby union I have never seen such an unispiring set of matches as some of those turned out in this year's RWC.
This seems histrionic. Have you forgotten Gatlandball, or the 10-man style the England ground out their win with in 2003? Have you tried rewatching games from the 80s, where 5 passes or tackles without a knock-on were remarkable occurrences?

Against that, the quarterfinals this year were fantastic, and there were some classic pool stage matches - France NZ opening, Portugal-Fiji closing.
 

Stu10


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for me the strength v strength games were incredible. Those two qtr final matches will go down as all time classics. A lot of the pool stuff is mostly a waste of time, effort and resources - but I doubt an alternative system will be found.

granted there were some narrow victories in here, but this graphic shows the final result of the tournament being a deserving one.

View attachment 4692
Not quite fair on England... England were ranked #8 when they beat Argentina on 9 Sept, at which time Arg were #6.
 

didds

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or the 10-man style the England ground out their win with in 2003? Have you tried rewatching games from the 80s, where 5 passes or tackles without a knock-on were remarkable occurrences?

Against that, the quarterfinals this year were fantastic, and there were some classic pool stage matches - France NZ opening, Portugal-Fiji closing.
I think you mean the 10-man style of england in the early 90s .
By 2003 they had regular scorers in the likes of greenwood and robinson for starters. They had orcs on steroids, but that did see space made for robinson to score reasonabl;y often.
 

shebeen

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Not quite fair on England... England were ranked #8 when they beat Argentina on 9 Sept, at which time Arg were #6.
life's not fair, this is the top6 end of tournament (hence the asterisk).

The rankings could be a lot better devised, and the 3rd place playoff should probably be for 1/2 points reflecting how much people care about it. but Eng only won that game by 3 points, a late try and they're out of the top6 totally.
 

didds

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Not quite fair on England... England were ranked #8 when they beat Argentina on 9 Sept, at which time Arg were #6.
and that was based effectively on the Fiji warm-up game result. the week before that Eng were #6, and arg #7

the reality is there are clumps of rankings that have fag paper's brteadth between the teams.

the top four is one such clump.

The pool with Wales, Aus, Fiji and georgia were ranked going into the tournament at 8,9, and 11 or similar.

Then as an aside you had Scotland's pool where three of the top five (2,3 & 5) were in it
 

didds

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life's not fair, this is the top6 end of tournament (hence the asterisk).

The rankings could be a lot better devised, and the 3rd place playoff should probably be for 1/2 points reflecting how much people care about it. but Eng only won that game by 3 points, a late try and they're out of the top6 totally.

au contraire. the rankings are pretty much a good reflection of strengths in any one week.

what could have been a lot better devised is not the rankings system, but drawing the pools almost three years before the RWC when the rankings had a lot of time to change - and "oh what a surprise" - they did.
 

kudu314

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What I similarly enjoy and hate about Rugby is the fact that the laws are interpreted and applied by a human being. That means that there will be room for interpretation and furthermore, there will be things missed or mistakes made. The responsibility always lay with the teams and what they can control in overcoming incorrect decisions. Whether referees like it or not, they WILL always be in the spotlight and expected to take responsibility for their decisions. I think that if they are willing to learn and improve then you'll see a masterclass like we saw from Wayne Barnes. Compare WB from 2007 QF to today and you can see he has done the work and will end his career as one of the best to ever pick up wth whistle.

All that being said, I honestly find it perplexing that the Springboks can't be appreciated or applauded without there being some condition attached. No one outside of SA can say, the Springboks are great. There's always a caveat, rub of the green, luck, they are actually boring, they're not as good as the 2015 AB's etc etc.

As a South African, I am extremely proud of the SPringboks. They played the Top 6 teams in the world over a month, lost to one of them and took the whole competition by the end. They are 4 time World Champions, 2 being back to back. They are the first Springbok team to really buy into transformation and they represent us in every way possible. They play every game not for themselves but for their country and the people of SA. They innovate and change the game. They know how strong defenses are and know they can't just run the ball for 50 phases and make 1 meter gain in territory. They use a masterful kicking game to give them the highest possible chance of regaining the ball, making territory and scoring absolute magic tries from the chaos. They don't play 10 man or 15 man rugby, they are the only side out there today playing 23 man rugby. They deserve respect and admiration from everyone outside of SA. And the funny thing is, even if they don't get that, they wouldn't care. And that's what makes them special.
 

crossref


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When reffing decisions don't go South Africa's way, they love to point it out
So in this RWC it behoves the rest of us to point out that, let's face it, they were luckier in that respect.

But IMO they were the best team in the tournament (I would love to be able to say that was France .. but it wasn't. SA beat them)
 

kudu314

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When reffing decisions don't go South Africa's way, they love to point it out
So in this RWC it behoves the rest of us to point out that, let's face it, they were luckier in that respect.

But IMO they were the best team in the tournament (I would love to be able to say that was France .. but it wasn't. SA beat them)
That's true for any nation, I don't think SA is special in pointing out or complaining about referee decisions. They might be more vitriolic in their sentiment but I certainly don't find it unique. Just looking at the Kiwi's, the pity tour and blame the ref brigade are in full force from regular fans to respected journalists and former players. Same happened with France recently, leading to death threats toward a Springbok player and his child. And the Irish have been an absolute joke in thier navel gazing endeavours.

The sports movie narrative said France must win, but reality intervened on that one (un)fortunately!
 

Stu10


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au contraire. the rankings are pretty much a good reflection of strengths in any one week.

what could have been a lot better devised is not the rankings system, but drawing the pools almost three years before the RWC when the rankings had a lot of time to change - and "oh what a surprise" - they did.
I've always said it makes no sense seeding for the RWC three years in advance!!!
 

kudu314

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I don't recall any other country's DoR banned for making a video attacking a ref !
Neither do I, but looking at events following the ban it seems quite harsh doesn't it?
 

crossref


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Neither do I, but looking at events following the ban it seems quite harsh doesn't it?
i don't think so.

in fact i worry about the reverse, it seemed to me that - overall - SA were lucky with the refs in the RWC KO games, and I hope that was just the natural luck of things, and not referees subconsciously erring on the side of avoiding more attack videos...

[To be clear, I don't think that was the case, I think it was random - the coin just happened to land springbok-side up a few times]
 

shebeen

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I don't recall any other country's DoR banned for making a video attacking a ref !
I suppose we'll never really know for sure but it's pretty much accepted down here that that video shifted the 2021 Lions tour result.

As your analogy goes, the coin started landing up springbok side up in matches 2 and 3.
 

shebeen

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That's true for any nation, I don't think SA is special in pointing out or complaining about referee decisions. They might be more vitriolic in their sentiment but I certainly don't find it unique. Just looking at the Kiwi's, the pity tour and blame the ref brigade are in full force from regular fans to respected journalists and former players.
officially, they are not amused. Not sure exactly what they penalties have an issue with, we have to guess for now.

 
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