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Topic: Rugby World Cup Return to archive Page: 1 2 3 4 5
10-20-03 05:06 PM
stewed & Keefed Scots struggle to down USA

Scotland 39-15 USA

Scotland 39
Tries: Danielli (2), Kerr, Townsend, Paterson
Cons: Paterson (4)
Pens: Paterson (2)
USA 15
Pens: Hercus (5)
Match photos
All the action
Match stats

Scotland failed to find their form against the USA with another scrappy World Cup showing.

Ian McGeechan's men were widely criticised for their patchy performance against Japan and were similarly rusty against the Eagles.

Simon Danielli set them on the way to victory with a quickfire brace in the first-half, but Scotland added only a further three touchdowns.

Gavin Kerr crossed in the first half after charging down a kick, and Scotland had to wait until the final 10 minutes for their fourth, from Gregor Townsend, and a bonus point.

They were also repeatedly warned by referee Jonathan Kaplan for ill-discipline, Tom Smith seeing yellow shortly before the break.

On the plus side wing Chris Paterson put on a solid kicking display, landing five of his seven efforts at goal, to go with a last-minute try.

Danielli marks McGeechan's card
The opening exchanges in Brisbane suggested that the Scots could struggle, and so it proved.

They were sloppy with ball in hand against an eager Eagles team who had pushed Fiji the distance and took a deserved lead with points from the boot of fly-half Mike Hercus.

But when Danielli went over for the first of his tries Scotland took the lead for the first time and looked to be up and running.

It was hard work and we're just pleased to get five points

Scotland's Gordon Bulloch
Scotland reaction
A stolen line-out on halfway gave Scotland valuable ball and a Ross Beattie break in midfield gave Danielli the chance to outstrip the defence for a try in the corner.

And the Bath right winger crossed in the left for a second moments later.

A typical jinking break from Townsend caused chaos in the American defence and Danielli was the man to profit.

Bouyed by his earlier effort he ignored support outside, opting to barge through four defenders for his fourth international try in only his fourth appearance.

But Scotland failed to maintain the momentum.

Elusive full-back Glenn Metcalfe made regular and telling sorties into the backline, one of which ended with Kerr's charged down try.

But the sin-binning of Smith, for hands in the ruck on his own line, denied the States a try-scoring opportunity and also disrupted his team's rhythm.

We didn't perform, played poorly and lost

USA coach Tom Billups
USA reaction
The suspiscion was that the USA, sporting an unchanged team, would tire in the second half, but they came out and showed a resolute spirit.

Victory was never likely, but they refused to buckle in their 11th consecutive World Cup loss.

A lot of handling errors and an unsympathetic referee, but the result was never really in doubt

From Thegreatbatmaz
Have your say on Scrum V

Hercus scored two penalties when Smith sat on the sidelines, and when it was back to 15 against 15, they held the Scots at bay.

Only when USA full-back Paul Emerick saw yellow did Scotland find the space to secure the bonus point.

Townsend finished off a fluid move among the backs, stepping inside to score at the posts, before Paterson added a deserved last-minute try.

The late tries added a gloss to the score in a tough game against a physical side, but France will have little to fear at the weekend on this evidence.


Scotland: G Metcalfe; S Danielli, A Craig, A Henderson, C Paterson; G Townsend, M Blair; T Smith, G Bulloch (capt), G Kerr, N Hines, S Grimes, R Beattie, S Taylor, J Petrie.

Replacements: R Russell, B Douglas, J White, M Leslie, B Redpath, B Hinshelwood, K Logan.

USA: P Emerick; D Fee, P Eloff, K Cross, R Van Zyl; M Hercus, K Dalzell; M MacDonald, K Khasigian, D Dorsey, A Parker, L Gross, K Schubert, D Hodges (capt), D Lyle.

Replacements: M Wyatt, R Liddington, J Gouws, O Fifita, K Kjar, J Keyter, L Wilfley.

10-21-03 02:07 PM
steel driving hammer LOL nice read!

I had no idea that Simon Danielli set them on the way to victory with a quickfire brace in the first-half, but Scotland added only a further three touchdowns.

10-21-03 04:14 PM
stewed & Keefed I'm glad to see you are taking a interest in Rugby

[Edited by stewed & Keefed]
10-22-03 02:37 AM
Jumacfly yes!! thanks god there is an alternative to those horrible football posts...cubs wins, my mother wins, well, we don t care....
Anyway England seems favorite this year hu (grrrrrr)??The blacks too, with Australia...

Hey my scotish friends next saturday a certain Scotland France....wish you good luck guys!!

Cheers from france

Allez les petits!!!
10-23-03 04:46 PM
Kjell Being swedish and living in New Zealand one of the things you miss is Icehockey.
BUT, Rugby is a bloody good substitute.
NZ All Blacks rocks and will win the WC.
Tonight they will crush one more team (Tonga) on the way and we all go to the pub and get pissed.
10-23-03 05:00 PM
stewed & Keefed
Kjell wrote:

NZ All Blacks rocks and will win the WC.
Tonight they will crush one more team (Tonga) on the way and we all go to the pub and get pissed.

I'm glad you are into Rugby,but I'm afraid England will be winning the WC.
10-23-03 06:11 PM
Hannalee Swing low, sweet chariot...
10-23-03 06:42 PM
Madafaka What do you think about PUMAS (Argentinian Team)?
10-24-03 02:24 AM
Jumacfly really good team, they really improve during the last years....IMHO they re just behind the big nations, but very close...hope they gonna be ok pour the finals...

10-24-03 08:40 AM
Scot Rocks Hey mate hows things?

Looking forward to France v Scotland, we have not had a really good team for a few years now and France definately the favourites, however we still have some good players and Scotland always do well when we are the underdogs and not fancied to win.


10-24-03 09:06 AM
Jumacfly Mark!!
wish you good luck tomorrow! our french team is , and you know it, able to play a great rugby or to make the most awful match ever....
IMO we re not favourite in this world cup....i m very happy to play against Scotland cuz it gives me the occasion to hear the most beautiful anthem of the world: Flowers of Scotland of course !!!!(a nice stones boots too!!)


10-24-03 07:24 PM
stewed & Keefed Thorne hails NZ rout

Thorne's men defied the conditions
New Zealand captain Reuben Thorne declared himself satisfied after his side racked up the highest score of the World Cup so far against Tonga.
The All Blacks made light of a deluge at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium to run in 13 tries in a 91-7 victory, eight of them coming in the second half.

"We managed to keep going and keep getting the points so we are pretty happy, given the conditions," Thorne said.

"It was hot at the start and the ball was slippery when the rain came. But even so we managed to adapt, put the ball behind them and still get the points.

We had to have a lot of patience

NZ coach John Mitchell
"Tonga were competitive against Wales previously, but we were very focused on what we were doing."

Wales are New Zealand's final group opponents a week on Sunday, with the All Blacks having already secured their quarter-final place after a third straight win.

Ominously for Steve Hansen's side, Thorne indicated there is still plenty to come from a side that has already scored 34 tries so far.

"There were things we wanted to try that we weren't able to," he added. "But next week against Wales will be another step up so we are looking forward to that."

Coach John Mitchell also praised his side's performance against tough opponents.

Match report: NZ 91-7 Tonga
"There was some outstanding play, we had to have a lot of patience," he said.

"I thought the team-work was a lot better and the players came off the field pretty satisfied.

"We certainly know we're getting to a more difficult phase of rugby now and we're ready for it."

10-25-03 09:39 AM
stewed & Keefed Impressive France hammer Scots

France 51
Tries: Betsen, Harinordoquy, Michalak, Galthie, Brusque
Cons: Michalak (4)
Pens: Michalak (3)
Drop goals: Michalak, Brusque
Scotland 9
Pens: Paterson (3)
All the action as it happened
Match photos
France 51-9 Scotland
It had been billed as the decisive clash in Pool B but any pretensions Scotland had of upsetting France were soon dispelled in front of a massive crowd at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney.

After 30 minutes it looked as though a close battle was on the cards - the Scots were only 6-3 down and tackling everything that moved.

But France underlined their status among the tournament favourites with a 13-point burst before half-time and then pulled smoothly away from a limited Scotland side in the second half.

Serge Betsen, Imanol Harinordoquy, Frederic Michalak, Fabien Galthie and Nicolas Brusque crossed for French tries, while Scotland could only muster three penalties from the boot of Chris Paterson in reply.

France now look certain to top their group and are likely to play the winner of Sunday's match between Ireland and Argentina in the quarter-finals.

France started tentatively and, after 15 minutes, the two sides were level at 3-3 thanks to a penalty apiece.

It took a refereeing error to nearly gift the French the first try of the match.

Michalak had nudged France back in front with a drop goal before David McHugh failed to blow for what appeared to be a blatant knock on.

Scotland were outclassed by the French and did not ever look like troubling them

From P McD
Have your say on Scrum V
Michalak took full advantage with a swerving break and the Scots only escaped when Harinordoquy's hands let him down with the line beckoning.

It was a lucky break for the Scots but a sign that France were finding their rhythm, a point emphasised by their burst of scoring in the run up to half-time.

First Michalak added his second penalty, after Glenn Metcalfe had been lucky to escape the sin bin when he high-tackled Fabien Galthie, and then the French back row combined for a classic score.

One-way traffic

Open-side flanker Olivier Magne charged through the Scottish midfield and fed Harinordoquy, who looped the scoring pass to fellow back-rower Betsen.

Michalak added the extras and, although Scotland hit back with a Paterson penalty, Michalak replied in kind on the stroke of half-time to give France a 19-3 lead.

Having lived with France for most of the first half, Scotland suddenly found themselves all but out of the match, unless they could significantly lift their game after the break.

The Scots had to score first but they soon found themselves further behind as Brusque landed a 40-yard drop goal, and after that it was largely one-way traffic.

Harinordoquy touched down after the French pack rumbled over before the French half-backs, Michalak and Galthie, both sliced over for fine individual scores.

The final word went to Brusque, who chipped ahead and regathered to score a fine individual try as France sauntered to victory.


France: N Brusque; A Rougerie, T Marsh, Y Jauzion, C Dominici; F Michalak, F Galthie; J-J Crenca, R Ibanez, S Marconnet, F Pelous, J Thion, S Betsen, O Magne, I Harinordoquy
Replacements: Y Bru, O Milloud, O Brouzet, P Tabacco, G Merceron, D Traille, P Elhorga

Scotland: G Metcalfe; C Paterson, A Craig, A Henderson, K Logan; G Townsend, B Redpath; T Smith, G Bulloch, G Kerr; S Murray, S Grimes; J White, S Taylor, C Mather
Replacements: R Russell, B Douglas, N Hines, R Beattie, M Blair, J McLaren, S Danielli

10-25-03 09:40 AM
stewed & Keefed Wales make last eight


Wales 27
Tries: M Jones, Parker, D Jones
Con: Harris (3)
Pens: Harris (3)
Italy 15
Pens: Wakarua (5)
All the action as it happened
Match photos
Wales 27-15 Italy
Wales have booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought win over Italy.

Mark and Dafydd Jones and Sonny Parker scored the only tries of a tense game, while the ever-reliable Iestyn Harris kicked 12 points as the Azzurri's World Cup dreams were ended.

The result has probably lined-up the Welsh for a quarter-final against England, unless they can win their pool by beating New Zealand next weekend.

Italy dominated the first half in terms of possession but some stout Welsh defence throughout the match and a lack of Italian invention in the backs halted their try-scoring hopes.

Academy: Mark Jones - sprinter turned rugby star
In the end the Azzurri relied on the boot of Rima Wakarua once more, who scored all of his side's points with five penalties.

In stark contrast, the Welsh looked immediately dangerous when they found themselves on the attack.

Hard to say if we won coz we're better or coz Italy were knackered

From Matt Dee
Have your say on Scrum V

That first paid in the eighth minute when Mark Jones slid into the corner after Martyn Williams broke from the scrum, popped it to Duncan Jones, who in turn fed it to his namesake.

They did damage again on the stroke of half-time as Ceri Sweeney ripped through Italy's defence. The ball was spread rapidly out to Sonny Parker, who scored with men to spare on his outside.

Harris converted both tries and added another two penalties as Wales went into half-time 20-9 ahead.

It's great to secure our way through to the quarter-finals

Welsh captain Colin Charvis
More match reaction

With the re-start came a flurry of changes from Italian coach John Kirwan, which seemed initially to make a difference as Wakarua quickly added two more penalties.

Wales' only point-scoring opportunity in the third quarter came when Harris sliced a penalty.

But it all changed in the 62nd minute when flanker Dafydd Jones touched down for his first international score.

After a good 10 minutes of intense pressure, the Italian forwards finally capitulated as Jones forced his way over at the back of a Welsh maul.

From there, Wales never looked in danger of losing as the Italians felt the effects of playing their fourth game in 14 days.


Wales: K Morgan; M Jones, S Parker, I Harris, G Thomas; C Sweeney, D Peel; D Jones, R McBride, A Jones, B Cockbain, G Llewellyn, D Jones, M Williams, C Charvis (capt)
Replacements: M Davies, G Jenkins, R Sidoli, J Thomas, G Cooper, S Jones, R Williams

Italy: G Canale; N Mazzucato, C Stoica, A Masi, D Dallan; R Wakarua, A Troncon (capt); M Castrogiovanni, F Ongaro, A Lo Cicero, S Dellape, C Checchinato, S Parisse, A Persico, A de Rossi
Replacements: C Festuccia, S Perugini, M Phillips, S Palmer, C Bezzi, F Mazzariol, M Bergamasco

Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

10-25-03 09:41 AM
stewed & Keefed Australia annihilate Namibia

Australia 142-0 Namibia

Australia 142
Tries: Latham (5), Lyons, Mortlock, Tuqiri (3), Penalty try, Rogers (2), Paul, Giteau (3), Grey, Turinui (2), Burke, Roe
Cons: Rogers (16)
Namibia 0
Match photos
All the action as it happened

Australia narrowly missed out on a world-record score against Namibia in an overwhelming victory in Adelaide.

The Wallabies won by a record margin, running in a World Cup record 22 tries in the process.

Chris Latham, Lote Tuqiri and Matt Giteau all scored hat-tricks, with Latham finishing with five touchdowns.

The full-back became the first Australian to claim more than four tries in an international.

And Mat Rogers, playing on the wing to make space for Latham in a largely second-string team, ended with 42 points - another national record - having assumed the kicking duties.

A little under 24 hours earlier, New Zealand had surpassed Australia's 90-point tournament record score with a 91-7 win over Tonga.

The Wallabies won that honour back in fine style, but were unable to eclipse the overall record their old foes ran up against Japan in the 1995 World Cup.

At least Japan got on the scoreboard in their 145-17 defeat to the All Blacks in South Africa. Namibia never threatened.

The Adelaide Oval is more renowned as a cricketing venue, but the scoreboard operators can rarely have been made to work harder.

We got a rugby lesson - they were ruthless

Namibia coach Dave Waterston
More Namibian reaction
The board ticked over with more frequency than any of the 139 Test centuries scored in the home city of Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman.

The early exchanges of the World Cup have been littered with one-sided contests, but this was a whole new ball game.

It was one-sided and one-way from the first whistle, with Latham running in his opening touchdown within two minutes.

By half-time the score was 69-0 and three figures came up on 53 minutes when the impressive Giteau completed his hat-trick.

As an exercise in try-scoring it was consummate and clinical, but Australia coach Eddie Jones will have learned little in terms of assessing his support players.

The coach saw his backs combine well to run in tries at will, although they often ignored support, opting to barge through weak tackles in order to get a try to their name.

The pack, which welcomed back David Giffin as a second-half substitute, found nothing to test them in the forward confrontation.

Latham, who is frustrated at being over-looked for the Wallaby first team, stood out, completing his hat-trick in 25 minutes, equalling New Zealander Craig Green's Cup record.

It feels great to get that record

Chris Latham
More Australian reaction
He was up to four by the break, Green against Fiji in 1987 is the only other player to get a first-half quartet, and finally went in for his fifth with a matter of minutes remaining.

However, whether Latham has done enough to displace Rogers is debatable.

The league convert showed great pace on the wing, and like his team, his individual haul was only four points shy of a new record having landed a world Test best 16 conversions.

Jones will also have been impressed by Stirling Mortlock before withdrawing him on 50 minutes.

Mortlock ran in his second try of the tournament in the first half and will be pressurising Matt Burke, a sustitute try scorer, for the outside-centre berth in future outings.

However, those meetings will be a world away from this and Australia know that their campaign to retain the William Webb Ellis trophy kicks-off now.


Australia: C Latham; L Tuqiri, S Mortlock, N Grey, M Rogers; M Giteau, C Whitaker; D Lyons, D Croft, G Smith; N Sharpe, J Harrison; B Darwin, J Paul, M Dunning
Replacements: B Cannon, B Young, D Giffin, J Roe, M Cockbain, M Turinui, M Burke

Namibia: R Pedro; D Mouton, D Grobler, E Wessels, J Booysen; M Schreuder, H Husselman; J Van Lill, H Lintvelt, S Van Rooi; E Isaacs, H Senekal; N Du Toit, C van Tonder, K Lensing
Replacements: P Isaacs, A Blaauw, S van Der Merwe, S Furter, N Swanepoel, D Grunschloss, M Africa

10-25-03 06:08 PM
Kjell And tonight England might have some hard time against Samoa but will surely win. Aussies looking really strong and will be hard to beat in the final (by England or All Blacks).
10-26-03 08:09 AM
Monkey Woman
Allez les petits!!!

Your cheers have worked wonders, Ju!
10-26-03 09:59 AM
Hannalee It's a shame England and South Africa are in the same group as it makes it harder for any of the smaller teams to progess to the next round. Unless, of course, Samoa beat the Springboks...
10-26-03 11:21 AM
Jumacfly yes MM, it worked very well..but now the real challenge begins...Anyway, i receive the cds at home tomorrow i guess i send them as soon as possible!

10-26-03 11:48 AM
stewed & Keefed England survive Samoa scare


England 35
Tries: Back, penalty, Balshaw, Vickery
Cons: Wilkinson (3)
Pens: Wilkinson (2)
DG: Wilkinson
Samoa 22
Try: Sititi
Con: Va'a
Pens: Va'a (5)
Match photos
Match stats
All the action as it happened
England 35-22 Samoa
England survived an almighty scare as they stuttered into the World Cup quarter-finals with a lacklustre display against a scintillating Samoan side in Melbourne.

Samoa won the plaudits of the crowd with some superb attacking play, while England struggled with their handling, ball retention and general positioning.

Even the ever-reliable Jonny Wilkinson looked out of sorts as England led by a solitary point with just 10 minutes remaining.

In the end, though, their superior fitness was enough to steer them clear, with a penalty try and scores by Neil Back, Iain Balshaw and Phil Vickery, as well as 15 points from Wilkinson's boot.

The victory means England play either New Zealand or, more likely, Wales in the last eight.

Wilkinson's opposite number Earl Va'a, the smallest man at the World Cup at 5ft 5ins, enjoyed a great night, continually picking gaps and rarely failing with the boot.

Samoa dominated the first half, playing arguably the greatest rugby in their history. They boasted almost 100% of possession in the opening 10 minutes, during which they stretched 10-0 clear.

Their only try of the night came after a risky move by Tanner Vili in his own 22 saw the ball spread through backs and forwards along the length of the field. Semo Sititi touched down at the end of it.

England can take from the match that even when they were playing badly, they still won by 13 points

From Garryowen Boy
Have your say on Scrum V

Va'a added the conversion and three penalties to keep Samoa's points tally ticking over.

England temporarily escaped their disarray on the half-hour mark from a line-out just metres from the Samoan line.

From it, England's pack drove forward and Back forced his way over with ball in hand. Wilkinson added the conversion and another two penalties.

His innacuracy followed at the start of the second half - with his side 16-13 behind - when an attempted drop goal went awry as England struggled to gain the upper hand.

It took 52 minutes for them to finally take the lead, as coach Clive Woodward revamped the front row.

With Phil Vickery and Steve Thompson on the field, the English were awarded a penalty try after Samoa were found guilty of collapsing the scrum on their line.

We have to look at ourselves as we're not good enough

England captain Martin Johnson
More match reaction

But that lead was shortlived as Va'a nudged his side 22-20 ahead with 18 minutes left on the clock.

In a nailbiting final quarter, Wilkinson finallly found his aim with a drop goal after Iain Balshaw had enjoyed a rare moment of space on the break.

Balshaw stole the limelight moments later as Wilkinson fired a looping kick into the hands of the Bath paceman, who scored with ease.

The game was finally killed off as a contest when Vickery slid in for England's final score as the tiredness began to show for Samoa.


England: J Robinson; I Balshaw, S Abbott, M Tindall, B Cohen; J Wilkinson, M Dawson; J Leonard, M Regan, J White; M Johnson, B Kay; J Worsley, N Back, L Dallaglio
Replacements: S Thompson, P Vickery, M Corry, L Moody, A Gomarsall, M Catt, D Luger

Samoa: T Vili; L Fa'atau, T Fanolua, B Lima, S Tagicakibau; E Va'a, S So'oialo; S Sititi (capt), M Fa'asavalu, P Poulos, L Lafaiali'i, O Palepoi, J Tomuli, J Meredith, K Lealamanua
Replacements: M Schwalger, S Lemalu, K Viliamu, D Tuaivi'i, D Tyrell, D Rasmussen, D Feaunati

10-26-03 11:49 AM
stewed & Keefed Ireland edge out Pumas

Argentina 15-16 Ireland

Argentina 15
Pens: Quesada (3)
Drop goals: Quesada, Corleto
Ireland 16
Try: Quinlan
Con: Humphreys
Pens: Humphreys, O'Gara (2)
Match photos
Match stats
All the action as it happened

Ireland made heavy weather of beating Argentina but can now look forward to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

In a must-win match for each team, Ireland sneaked home by one point having scored the only try of the match.

Argentina now return home after a disappointing campaign that promised much but resulted in defeats when it mattered most.

It never mattered more than this match which was tight and tense throughout. What it lacked in quality it more than made up for in excitement.

Alan Quinlan crossed midway through the first-half for the game's only try, but his effort failed to ignite the Irish.

They played second fiddle to their opponents for large parts of the game, only coming to life in the final quarter after Ronan O'Gara replaced David Humphreys at fly-half.

Even then it was a stop-start performance, but O'Gara did the basics with aplomb, kicking his penalties and finding touch.

They took their opportunies and we didn't

Argentina's Diego Albanese
More Argentina reaction
Albanese recalls the 1999 win

He also injected some pace and invention into a previously sedate Irish backline, although the men outside him could just as easily point to fear being their motivation.

Ireland were knocked out of the last World Cup by Argentina in dramatic fashion, and were determined not to let lightning strike twice.

The majority of the massed ranks at the Adelaide Oval were swathed in green, but despite that support and being fired by memories of 1999, Ireland were strangely subdued in the opening exchanges when the Pumas took a deserved lead from the boot of Gonzalo Quesada.

At times of greatest need it is often left to the talismanic Keith Wood or Brian O'Driscoll to change Irish fortune with a bit of magic.

Ireland have mastered the art of playing badly but winning! Job done.

From Gary B
Have your say on Scrum V
O'Driscoll has been out of sorts down under and it was Wood who finally gave the Irish hoardes something to cheer.

The skipper pounced on a loose Argentine line-out tap back, burst through the midfield and off-loaded to Quinlan, who dislocated his shoulder in going over.

Humphreys added the conversion and a penalty soon after, but just as the men in green looked to be finding their feet, Argentina came back.

Ireland gifted three points to their opponents with a poor re-start that gave Quesada the chance to land an ugly drop goal, despite a fumble in receiving the ball.

Another penalty saw Argentina turnaround one point adrift, and, playing the better rugby, they looked the more likely victors.

It can't get any closer than that and it's a fantastic feeling

Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll
More Ireland reaction
With his side struggling, Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan threw on O'Gara midway through the second half, a plan that looked to have immediately back-fired.

The number 10 missed touch and Ignacio Corleto made him pay the price, landing a mammoth drop goal.

But O'Gara proved his worth with two crucial penalties.

In a nervy finish Argentina again closed to within one point, but Ireland held on to send their sizeable Adelaide support away in delight, and Argentina home.

Ireland are likely to face France in the last eight, unless they can pull off an even more memorable win over Australia next weekend.


Argentina: I Corleto; J Piossek, J Orengo, F Contepomi, D Albanese; G Quesada, A Pichot (capt); R Grau, F Mendez, M Reggiardo, I Lobbe, R Alvarez, L Ostiglia, R Martin, G Longo.
Replacements: M Ledesma, M Scelzco, P Albacete, S Phelan, N Fernandez Miranda, M Gaitain, Juan M Hernandez.

Ireland: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie; D Humphreys, P Stringer; R Corrigan, K Wood, J Hayes (capt), M O'Kelly, P O'Connell, S Easterby, A Quinlan, V Costello.
Replacements: S Byrne, M Horan, D O'Callaghan, E Miller, G Easterby, R O'Gara, J Kelly.

10-26-03 12:21 PM
Monkey Woman Tough competition...
10-26-03 12:58 PM
stewed & Keefed Your right Monkey Woman,Phew that was close
10-27-03 04:36 PM
stewed & Keefed USA defeat Japan in thriller

Japan 26-39 USA

Japan 26
Tries: Kurihara, Ohata
Cons: Kurihara (2)
Pens: Kurihara (4)
USA 39
Tries: Hercus, Eloff, Schubert, Van Zyl, Khasigian
Cons: Hercus (4)
Pens: Hercus (2)
All the action
Match photos

The USA have won their first World Cup match in 16 years with a hard-fought victory over Japan.

Five tries helped the Eagles end a record of 10 consecutive World Cup defeats, but it was Mike Hercus who was the real hero.

The fly-half orchestrated their efforts and his late conversion to seal the win exorcised memories of the one he had missed against Fiji.

Japan gave their all after conceding 14 early points, but were unable to overhaul the deficit.

They edged to within one point early in the second half, a margin that still split the teams going into the final 10 minutes.

But in a frantic finale Riaan van Zyl's try finally gave the Eagles some breathing space before Hercus slotted the conversion to take them eight points clear and his tally to 19.

Kris Khasigian crossed in the corner in the last minute to add a gloss to the score that did not fairly reflect Japan's efforts in an entertaining match.

The USA's last World Cup victory was also against Japan, a 21-18 win in May 1987.

It feels great to get that win after so many years

USA captain Dave Hodges
More American reaction
This contest was equally close despite the Eagles taking full advantage of a slow start by the Japanese in the opening exchanges.

Within eight minutes the USA were 14 points to the good and looked set for an easy evening.

Clean-cut Hercus, who has played in the Rob Andrew-mould of a number 10 in his country's previous matches, opened the scoring with a try.

A show of the ball gave him the glimpse of a gap which he accelerated through with the aplomb of the best running fly-halves in the tournament.

Phillip Eloff joined him in scoring under the posts moments later with a break, from halfway on the left flank, beyond poor Japanese tackling.

The match was the toughest we've played

Japan coach Shogo Mukai
More Japanese reaction
The Japanese looked jaded, this their third game in 10 days, but with their first real attack of the match they scored through Toru Kurihara.

The wing benefited from George Konia's straightening of a drifting backline, to score in the corner.

Kurihara's accuracy with the boot put pressure on the Americans and the teams played out a tit-for-tat match from thereon in.

Penalty matched penalty with Kurihara eating into the lead, which stood at 10 points at the break, and in the second half tries were exchanged.

While I'm happy for the USA, it's a shame they had to beat Japan to do it. Japan played 120% in every game

From GP
Have your say on Scrum V
Hercus slipped a tackle and then a pass to feed Kort Schubert for a simple score and at the other end Daisuke Ohata ran in with blistering pace on the left-wing for his 42nd international try after a turnover.

And Ohata made an equally telling contribution with a try-saving tackle on Van Zyl.

However when the American crossed with time running out, Japan's fate was sealed, Khasigian adding a fifth try in the last-minute.

Japan leave the tournament without a win to their name, ironically this being their 10th consecutive World Cup defeat, but they have won plenty of plaudits with whole-hearted displays.


Japan: T Matsuda; D Ohata, G Konia, Y Motoki, T Kurihara; A Miller, Y Sonoda; S Hasegawa, M Amino, M Toyoyama; A Parker, H Kiso; N Okubo, T Miuchi (capt), T Ito.
Replacements: M Yamamoto, M Sakata, K Kubo, Y Saito, T Tsuji, H Namba, H Onozawa.

USA: P Emerick; D Fee, P Eloff, S Sika, R van Zyl; M Hercus, K Dalzell; M MacDonald, K Khasigian, D Dorsey; G Klerck, L Gross; K Schubert, D Hodges, D Lyle.
Replacements: M Wyatt, J Waasdorp, J Gouws, O Fifita, K Kjar, J Keyter, J Buchholz.

10-27-03 04:41 PM
glencar USA Rawks!
10-27-03 04:47 PM
stewed & Keefed Will this make the game of Rugby grow in the USA ?
10-27-03 04:52 PM
glencar Nope. It'd take a miracle. They've tried with soccer for years but it just never breaks into the big time. Quite frankly, I had no idea we had a rugby team.
10-27-03 06:29 PM
stewed & Keefed wrote:
Will this make the game of Rugby grow in the USA ?

No they like girls sport like American Football, Tennis & Golf. Rugby is for men.
10-27-03 06:32 PM
stewed & Keefed lol
10-29-03 01:25 PM
stewed & Keefed Canada survive Tonga assault


Canada 24
Tries: Fauth, Abrams
Cons: Pritchard
Pens: Ross (4)

Tonga 7
Tries: Kivalu
Cons: Hola

As it happened
Match photos
Canada 24-7 Tonga

Canada won the battle of the Pool D minnows on Wednesday and condemned Tonga to finish bottom of the table in the process.

In a hard-fought clash, the Canucks finished the stronger of the sides, despite losing inspirational captain Al Charron to a ferocious tackle.

Charron, playing in his 76th and final international, was stretchered off with blood pouring from his mouth after being hit heavily by Pierre Hola in the second half.

He was later cleared of serious injury and Canada wrapped up the win with tries from Sean Fauth and Aaron Abrams.

Tonga threatened out wide through the pace of replacement Sukanaivalu Hufanga, but they never looked likely to break down an impressive Canadian defence.

In a bruising encounter, the North Americans also lost Nik Witkowski in the first half when burly Tongan wing Pila Fifita trod on the centre's face after bursting through a tackle.

Canada had the advantage of a strong breeze behind them in the first half and they came out of the blocks quickest, taking the lead through a Bob Ross penalty after five minutes.

Al Charron was in a lot of pain and I feel bad for the guy

Canada wing Winston Stanley
Charron fine after horror tackle

It was quickly followed by the game's opening - and Tonga's only - try.

Canada could not cope with a surging drive from the Pacific Islanders and number eight Benhur Kivalu was on hand to reach over for the score.

Hola, who had earlier missed a simple penalty, added the conversion and Tonga should have scored a second try after a fine break from Tongan hooker Ephram Taukafa, but Nisifolo Naufahu managed to drop the ball with a four-man overlap available.

Canada made the most of their let-off and nudged back into the lead through two Ross penalties, despite Tonga continuing to have the upper hand territorially.

After the break, Canada again started the stronger and extended their lead with a fine try.

Quick ball was worked down the line and Sean Fauth crossed in the corner. Ross, who had just missed a very kickable penalty, also failed with the conversion from the touchline.

I can't complain about the way the boys performed

Tonga captain Inoke Afeaki

Tonga tried to respond but they created few clear chances.

Hufanga looked threatening when he came on but most of his breaks were from deep and Canada were able to snuff out the danger.

The injury to Charron, playing his last World Cup match, cast a shadow over the last 10 minutes, but Canada maintained their discipline.

A Ross penalty edged them further ahead before Abrams wrapped up victory with a converted try as the Canadians claimed a hard-earned victory.


Canada: Q Fyffe; S Fauth, N Witkowski, M di Girolamo, W Stanley; B Ross, M Williams; R Snow, M Lawson, G Cooke, A Charron (capt), M James, J Cudmore, A van Staveren, J Jackson.
Replacements: A Abrams, K Tkachuk, C Yukes, J Reid, E Fairhurst, R Smith, J Pritchard.

Tonga: G Leger; P Fifita, J Ngauamo, J Payne, S Fonua; P Hola, S Martens; T Lea'aetoa, E Taukafa, H Lavaka, M Ngauamo, I Afaeki (capt), N Naufahu, J Tu'amoheloa, B Kivalu.
Replacements: V Ma'asi, K Tonga, U Latu, I Fenukitau, D Palu, S Hufanga, V Vaki.

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