Posted by: Gerry | October 14, 2007

Champions Oust The Hosts

Imagine going into Paddy Power’s the day before the World Cup started, putting €100 on the counter and asking for an accumulator on the following series of events:

– France to lose their opening match to Argentina
– Ireland to fail to progress from Pool D
– The All Blacks to be beaten at the quarter final stage
– England to beat Australia in the quarter final
– France to be knocked out by England
– England to reach the final

Any one of the above on its own would have yielded a tidy profit for that €100 stake, but if you had all of them together, you could be contemplating early retirement this morning.

England’s renaissance continued last night, with another dogged performance that consigned France to the third place play-off. They now face either South Africa or Argentina for a shot at being the first team to successfully defend their world title. Now I would love to see Argentina come through their semi, as there is great rivalry between England and Argentina, although much of it is away from the rugby field. The football world cup of 1986, the Falklands/Las Malvinas, etc., etc. However, I think my head must overrule my heart on this one, as it looks like the South Africans will be too strong for an Argentine side that have performed way beyond all expectations so far.

If it does end up as a rematch of the Pool A decider, then Die Bokke will more than likely have their victory speeches in their back pockets running out onto the pitch next Sunday night. They humiliated England 36-0 on 14 September. But they would do well to remember that this England team were destroyed by France in two matches in the run up to the tournament. (From an irish point of view, it’s also essentially the same team that our lads beat out the gate at Croke Park last February.) An England-South Africa final would be a very different prospect to the pool match.



  1. an unbelievable result and sequence of events as you say gerry. will england turn out to be the most unlikely favourites for the title of all time? in which case we’ll then go and lose ignominiously. how wonderful to be the underdogs.

    i’m just relishing another win against our very good neighbours. check out blog

  2. Edited your url there, FPB.

    Best of luck to your lads in the final!

  3. that’s very gracious gerry. thank you.

    SA looked pretty formidable tonight. I don’t think percy’s missed a kick all tournament. it would be s stretch to win it now but who knows.

    i really like this web site. will it continue after RWC?

  4. Not sure yet, fpb. It was originally set up just for the World Cup (hence the url), but I intend to canvass opinion among fellow scribes to see if there is a future for it or something like it post-RWC.

    Thanks for your kind comments, by the way 🙂

  5. keep it going g.
    i may not be an irishman but i enjoy reading the excellent, thoughtful, insightful opinions and comments. makes a change from some of the rabid ranting on some sites.
    have just done a posting on who’d star in the spoof (but you never know) hollywood movie of england’s RWC story. i’d be very interested to know who your readers think should be cast in the roles of the Ireland team equivalent. I hesitate to say horror movie but it must feel like that. Dennis Hopper as E O’S?

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