5 September 2011

Possessing my soul in patience...

Not long to go now. I am waiting, more or less patiently, for the beginning of New Zealand's biggest sporting tournament, Rugby World Cup 2011. I am a big rugby fan and am really looking forward to following the tournament over the next six weeks. Of course, I want NZ to win (and we're in with a chance) but most of all I want to see some good games.

I have also been watching the advertising for RWC with some amusement. I spotted the ads for the "rugby heaven app" on Stuff the other day and enjoyed the short article on them from Bosco Peters over at Liturgy.co.nz. Rugby is often described as NZ's state religion (although perhaps less so now than formerly?): there's certainly priests (Dan Carter, anyone!), theologians (who are busy pontificating over the airwaves at present!), and a huge lay presence (also busily pontificating...). But there's also those who don't really care less about the game (notably about half of my office, who are English and think that games should be played with a round ball instead of a pointy one).

All joking aside, I have spent some time over the last week or so making my final pre-Cup picks for the games. I'm going on record now:

Quarter finals:
  1. Australia v Fiji
  2. England v France
  3. South Africa v Italy? (not quite sure about SA's competition here)
  4. NZ v Argentina or Scotland
  1. Australia v England
  2. NZ v South Africa
And the finals:
  1. NZ v Australia, NZ to win but very close
  2. South Africa v England (B final), South Africa to win
There is a slight possibility it could be a NZ/England final, depending on how they go during pool play. What I am absolutely sure about is that it will be southern hemisphere teams in the first three places! France could do a sneaky one v England in their quarter, and if they do it's going to make the semi really interesting because it will be Australia v France (still picking an Aussie win in that semi).

The really embarrassing thing will be if we lose to South Africa in our semi.... or worse still, if we lose to our opposition in the quarter (I'm picking Italy for that one, but there is a slight chance Scotland will come second in that pool). But given the recent TriNations results, a loss to South Africa is a possibility - not one I want to entertain, of course!

So there you are. My picks. It will be interesting to see how close I am once the competition starts!

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