STAT OF THE DAY
A total of 231 tries were scored during the World Cup stages – an average of almost six a game.
But no team could match the flying Fijians when it came to scintillating running rugby, as illustrated by centre Vereniki Goneva’s touchdown against Pool A opponents Wales in Cardiff. Trailing 17-6, Fiji launched a thrilling counter-attack from deep inside their own half, with wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma wrong-footing Wales tacklers by throwing a dummy pass and then scorching through a huge gap.
With chasing Wales players closing in, Tikoirotuma delivered an inch-perfect long pass to Timoci Nagusa, whose unexpected angle of running further mesmerised the Welsh defence, then Nagusa’s under-arm pass saw Goneva finish off. It was a try of breathtaking adventure and stunning execution.
IRELAND NOW THIRD IN THE WORLD
Ireland’s win over France has jumped them two places in the World Rankings, moving up to third after the drop in the previous rankings list. France, South Africa, Wales, Fiji and Tonga have all dropped one place while Argentina, Japan and Italy moved up one. England have held onto their eighth place ranking despite failing to reach the quarter-finals. Scotland are the sole quarter finalist outside the top 8, they currently reside at ninth.
The new rankings mean South Africa v Wales is fifth playing fourth, only a single ranking place between them. But Australia v Scotland throws up the biggest gulf, second playing ninth.
The last time Scotland won a game at Twickenham the uncle of their current captain was a try-scoring scrum-half. Roy Laidlaw scored the opening try for Scotland against England 32 years ago. The modern record for Scotland at Twickenham is not unusual with the Scots only winning four times at the home of English rugby in 104 years. However all of those games were against England and this time they face Australia.
Scottish back Sean Maitland has his own family ties for this fixture with his cousin Quade Cooper in Australia’s squad. The two played against each other in Murrayfield two years ago in what was a victory for Australia.
Both were born and raised in New Zealand but have found themselves plying their rugby trade abroad.
While Maitland is almost certain of a place in Scotland’s match-day squad, his cousin is less likely to appear given he has played only once in the tournament so far.
JOIN IN THE PUNDITRY
Boast, the world’s leading audio social media app, is giving rugby fans the chance to take part in a unique Rugby World Cup quarter-final preview event tonight from 7.30pm.
From the comfort of their own living rooms, rugby fans will be inserted into the conversation alongside Boast’s panel of rugby experts including; Isa Nacewa (Leinster), Kevin McLoughlin (former Leinster), Tania Rosser (Ireland) and Mick Galwey (former Lions, Ireland and Munster). Using the Boast App on their phones fans can put their thoughts, opinions and questions directly to the panel who will reply to their queries. The app is available for free download on iOS or Android.
TV SUCCESS FOR RWC
Chairman of World Rugby Bernard Lapasset is hailing the TV viewer numbers for RWC 2015. Lapasset said “rugby World Cup 2015 is proving to be a magnificent and record-breaking global celebration of rugby that has reached, touched and inspired audiences in a truly incredible way.
“From full stadia, to packed fanzones and record broadcast and social media audiences, Rugby World Cup 2015 has captivated and the competitive, compelling rugby has been at the heart of the success story.”
TV3 had a record peak of 1.42m viewers for the Ireland v France pool decider on Sunday, reaching 72% of the potential adult audience.
Apparently their coverage wasn’t to everyone’s taste, Balls.ie reported a twitter exchange between TV3 presenter Tommy Martin and viewers who were offended by the length of the ad break during half-time. The wholly commercial station reportedly had approximately 14 minutes of ads during half-time on Sunday.
Martin stepped in to defend his employers on twitter after Newstalk’s Colm Parkinson called the length of ad breaks “disgraceful”.
“There are commercial realities involved which you should probably check out before saying things are ‘disgraceful’,” tweeted Martin.
“Frustrating but necessary alas. It’s free. No subscription, no licence fee. Cost of rights and 50 min halves at RWC also factors,” he continued.
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