Fall-out from Friday night’s Italian Job is still rumbling around the media. Neil Best assures us that there is no need to panic, and it was just a case of early-season jitters. (Planet Rugby)
Both of our main competitors in Pool D were in action this weekend as well. Argentina won 38-6 against a cobbled-together Belgian side, which included a number of French players on loan. The match left the Pumas with a few injury worries. (Indo)
France, meanwhile, had a comfortable win over Wales in Cardiff, 34-7. (Indo.) Gareth Thomas came out of that one the worse for wear. (Planet Rugby) French homme de caverne Sebastien Chabal reckons that there are “30 Zinedine Zidanes” in the French squad. (PR, again.) Well, that’s a potential new game plan then. Eddie should be coaching the Irish players in the fine art of insulting your opponents’ womenfolk in French, in the hope that Laporte’s men will react with headbutts and get sent off. And speaking of Chabal, it was a bit odd to see him play lock against the Welsh. I wouldn’t like to have been the prop charged with lifting him at lineout time.
Munster were in Chicago over the weekend to provide the opposition to the USA Eagles for their World Cup warmup. The men in red prevailed 10-6. (IrishRugby.ie)
The All Blacks responded to the flak that came their way last week from Bernard Laporte, Rob Andrew and Phil Kearns by using possibly the most worn-out cliché in this sort of situation – “We’ll do our talking on the field.” (Planet Rugby)
By the way, if you come across any good stories, or if there is a feed you think I should be reading, let me know in the comments.