Scotland’s blueprint to take on the All Blacks leaked to the press

Scotland’s coach Andy Robinson is reportedly furious after his coaching blueprint to take on the heavily favoured world champion All Blacks was leaked  to the press this week after one of the players left a copy in a nightclub after a bender.

Here is what Scotland are planning to do to counter NZ this weekend:

  • Braveheart marathon on Friday night (yeah!)
  • Morning of the game: squad listens to Metallica’s Master of Puppets album
  • Energy bars and espressos for everyone
  • First twenty minutes of the game: “take ’em on up front!” (coach’s words)
  • Rest of the game: … (we have nothing.  Impovise potentially?)

Andy is not pleased.  Now NZ know how to prepare for Scotland.

Damnit! They stole my ideas!

Congratulations New Zealand

The Rugby World Cup trophy - the William Webb ...

The Kiwis were worthy champs. Nobody can argue with that. Image via Wikipedia

Well done All Blacks. They were the best team in the Rugby World Cup by a long, long way and deserved the Webb Ellis trophy.  Some may argue about the quality of the refereeing in this tournament, but it has been pretty clear from the start that the Kiwis were the best team in the tournament and it stayed that way throughout.

France put on a massive performance this weekend to make the final so close – most of us had written them off completely (again) and were worried that the final would be a washout. But France stepped up big time and made the All Blacks sweat for their glory.  Had France got that final kick over, they would have been 10-8 up with just a few minutes to play and all the pressure would have been on the All Blacks.  For a side that was in complete disarray after the Tonga loss it was immense to play that well in the final.

You have to wonder though, if France had won, what would that say about coaching and strategy in general?

What could other coaches and teams looking to emulate the French do?  Go on massive booze-ups during the tournament? Rebel against the coach mid-tournament? Spend more time fashioning your ‘staches and sideburns than working on your set pieces? Sack the coach before the tournament starts but keep him on anyway, knowing as a lame duck he has no authority to enforce discipline?

New Zealand almost boggled this one.  One intercept or one penalty deep in their own half and the schadenfreude could have been cut with a knife . But it was not to be.  Well done Kiwis, worthy winners and all that.

Maybe it was the fact that the final was between two teams that I don’t mind winning the cup, maybe it is getting older, but somehow when my team got knocked out I wasn’t all that gutted. Life carries on.  Maybe all the rugby that is played these days devalues rugby overall or maybe it is just that you don’t stay fifteen forever.

If your team didn’t win the World Cup, the best thing about waking up the morning after the final is the thought that it is time to start a new era. It’s time to get rid of the dead wood. For the Springboks the theory that experience is everything can be put to rest and hopefully they can focus on putting the best team available on the park.  For the Wallabies, they have an exciting squad but need to focus on building up a tight five that can hold their own against other top nations. Wales look like they have a team to build on for the future, while Ireland are staring down the gun barrel of some pretty important retirement.

On Monday, the rugby world will look a little different. Old story lines have come to ending, some neatly tied up, some left unanswered.  But the chapter is closed on those tales.   And that’s not a bad thing.  The show must go on…

New Zealand vs France: Final Preview: Au revoir Marc!

Regardless of what you think of the French teams’ displays at this World Cup you’d be lying if you said Lievremonts’ presence didn’t add a little “joie de vivre” to the whole affair.

From a pure entertainment level we’re happy to give Marc a solid 8/10 for his efforts. In fact, for a coach who was informed that he would be out of a job before the tournament even began, we here at Big Daddy Rugby reckon that Marc has acted with considerable restraint and shown great courage in what must have been a rather testing time for him.

Bravo Monsieur! Bravo indeed!

With regards to a preview for “Le Big Game”, well I have it on good authority that Marc will be dressing appropriately for the occasion.

Here’s an exclusive sneak peak of his look for Sunday…

Marc Lievremont: ne regarde mes fesses grand en cela?


Replacing love with hate: finding a reason to stay passionate about the World Cup

Many of us are licking in wounds after our team was knocked out the World Cup either in the group stages (poor Scotland) or last weekend in the quarters.  At times like this, it can be tough to stay motivated to get up and drink beer at 7 am in South Africa / go to the local pub in London and have to put up with the ex-pats still in the tournament / face Joseph the Saint’s surly demeanor and blood puddings in Greenwich Village’s Red Lion because it is the only place in New York City with a great vibe showing the game.  Here’s a tip I learned early on in kindergarten when you need to stay motivated:

If you can’t find something to love, find something to hate.

Hate is a pretty good substitute for love.  And it will keep you interested in the World Cup.  So instead of finding reasons to try and support a team that is still in the World Cup, I say, screw ’em.  Let’s find a team to hate and have our rugby viewing fueled by an intense irrational hatred for a country you’ve never been to.  Who will be your team to hate?  Do you need a few good reasons for each team?

New Zealand:

Damn, I hate them. They’re so good.  So damn good.  Why does my wife seem strangely aroused every time Dan Carter is on screen?   (Him and that werewolf guy from Twilight). What’s up with that little biscuit Weepu leading the haka?  Are they trying to turn the haka into a comedy routine?  Because it really isn’t scary when Weepu leads it.  Damn, did I mention they’re too good for my liking?  Also, it would be pretty sweet to see an Aussie run up to Richie McCaw at the full time whistle, middle fingers extended, shouting “four more years, fellas, four more years”.  One more thing Graham Henry is a sour, sour man who reminds me of my high school physics teacher.  I didn’t like that guy.


You know you hate them, because they just get your hopes up. They’re everything you want to them to be one week, and then the next they’re cold and woeful, leaving you feeling like you just got a lap-dance from a stripper who was crying.  You feel ashamed for believing in their promise.  And just when you’ve fully given up on them – they totally redeem themselves with a bit of magic in the backline.  The kind of magic you used to dream about when you were running barefoot in the back garden, rugby ball tucked under your little shoulder, picturing yourself covered in glory on a rugby field somewhere, someday.  Then they spit you out into the gutter.


Yeah, yeah, they’re the plucky underdogs who’ve never made it to a final.  Still.  I don’t like them.  They’re too arrogant for a side that hasn’t done anything since the 1970s.   That’s forty years since you did anything of substance. You’ve beaten the Boks once in over a hundred years.  Once!  Wipe that smug smile off your face, Welsh rugby team.


Quade Cooper. Enough said.  Also, teams with crap scrums should never win World Cups.  That’s just wrong.

The team at Big Daddy Rugby were very careful to padlock and secure their laptops for the Quade Cooper interview.

World Cup preview: The rarely seen double haka!

The World Cup is an opportunity to see that rare treasure in rugby union – the double haka.  Here’s a clip of Tonga facing off against New Zealand with both teams performing simultaneous hakas.  If this is a sneak peek of what we’re going to be able to witness tomorrow, then I’m officially ready for the World Cup!



Are the cracks starting to show?

New Zealand national rugby union team

Let the cracking begin... Image via Wikipedia

Tip of the hat to the Wallabies for winning the Tri-Nations this weekend for the first time since 2001. They did it by beating the Bok A team in the Republic and by repelling a full strength All Black team this weekend.  Nicely done, gents.  Nicely done.

Tri-Nations farce over, we can now turn our attention over to the World Cup.

Will two losses in a row trouble the fragile confidence of the Kiwis? You bet it will.  I wouldn’t want to face the stern headmasterly looks of disapproval Henry must have given his squad after the loss.  I suspect the self-medicating has already begun and half of the Kiwi backline have already downloaded some Enya tracks to “calm the nerves”.

The All Blacks are favoured to win this World Cup – as they always are.  But that also makes them favourites to choke yet again.  But will the home ground advantage make it better?  Or will it make the choke even more spectacular?

Which teams can knock the All Blacks back into the quivering choking territory? I suspect only the Wallabies, the Boks and the French have the potential to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.  This is a strong All Black team who are unlikely to go behind on the scoreboard against anyone.  But if… and it’s a big if.. they do go behind in the scoreboard in a knock out game – it’s not going to be pretty.  Just ask the Proteas.

But the Aussies deserve their moment in the sunshine in this overscheduled season.  Tip of the hat to Wallabies fans everywhere. May your Bundaberg influenced hangovers grant you a much deserved day off work.