Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The best rugby team in the world and the French

Well, it's quarterfinals time in the Rugby World Cup and, as a New Zealander, I'm nervous as all billy-o. The New Zealand team, the All Blacks, are comfortably the best rugby team in the world. They sit on top of the rankings, they have the best win/loss record in the game, and like the Australians in cricket, are the team that every other team measures themselves against.

The All Blacks are famously tough, they never give up, and they marry strong forward play with exciting backs and a desire to play an attacking style. Only a handful of other rugby-playing nations has ever beaten them. Three of the other quarter finalists (Ireland, Scotland, Argentina) have never beaten an All Black side, and the Welsh have not won against the All Blacks since 1953.

And then there are the French.

We play them in Cardiff. They are our most feared World Cup opponents, have won two brilliant victories to knock out All Black teams in 1999 and 2007, and almost rallied to beat us in the 2011 final.

The first rugby names I remember from my childhood are French. Lescarboura , Sella, Blanco, Condom. They were formidable then and their players are formidable now.

On paper we should waltz in, but rugby is not played on paper. The French bring a particular mix of apparent insouciance, actual brilliance and a lack of concern for personal safety that can unsettle the All Blacks. Every so often they seem to be able to find something that we can't account for.

It's a wonderful game, a wonderful match up, and the uncertainty is killing me! I can't wait for it to begin.

To give you some idea of what the French can do, here is the try from the ends of the earth.

But first there is Wales against South Africa...

Good luck to all the teams, and may the best win!


  1. That was a lovely thing to watch, thanks!

  2. Game just finished. All Blacks, no worries!

  3. wow! fantastic team work by the french...

    my favorite Try of All Time, 1973 All Blacks vs. the Barbarians


  4. That was a pretty special game. Like you I had a lot of nerves, but that ABs performance was exceptional!

  5. That was pretty cool Aaron. Not good for New Zeeland but yeah. What a performance!

    1. The October 17th, 2015 performance was pretty good though John, thankfully!


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