054. Matches 28, 29 and 30

RWC2019 Match 28: France 23 Tonga 21

With all the leaks and speculation about the usual unhappiness inside the French team it was no surprise that they played un petit peu de potage.

Two tries in the first half showed a sniff of what they can do, but they only snuck home on the back of three penalties, against Tonga’s three tries.

Like most of the Tier 2 teams Tonga shows how much improvement comes from spending four or five weeks together.  Their fitness, combinations and belief have gone several notches, and they should feel aggrieved they could not quite repeat the heroics of 2011.


RWC2019 Match 29: South Africa 66 Canada 7

A ten try to one rout should count as helpful and hopeful to South Africa’s cause, but:

  • it was against Canada, who are far and away the worst team in the tournament, and
  • Canada was playing with 14 men for 45 minutes, after Josh Larsen misfiled into a ruck and connected with the head of a South African, and
  • even with just 14 men, Canada scored a try – just their second of the tournament.

So a bonus point win means job done for Rassie Erasmus, but without any sense for him or us of whether it means anything.

And I’ll say it again: Canada’s coach should be sacked and the board should resign. This is a disgraceful performance at a World Cup.


RWC2019 Match 30: Argentina 47 USA 17

Argentina finally released their running style in their last match at the tournament.  They’ll be going home with plenty of regrets about their opening game, a 2 point loss to France. Oy. Third place in their pool means automatic entry to RWC2023, but they coulda shoulda woulda been staying around for the quarters.

Seven tries to the Bargies, and the USA chipped in with two of their own. Their results against the three Tier One teams in their pool have not been a complete disgrace, but we’ll see how far they’ve really come in their final pool match against Tonga on Sunday.


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