Commiserations @ardav that was one heck of a Welsh performance (apart from the refuse to kick it bit at 70 mins) and the French didn't deserve the win playing so poorly against a side a man down for 60 minutes. A sad day for rugby at this level :(
I could take playing a blinder and losing to a better team - that would be honourable.
I saw the game in the Millennium Stadium with my son, Llew this morning after driving all the way to Cardiff. It was going to be a match to remember, whatever the outcome, or so I thought.
How many minutes was it? 17/18? Dangerous tackle called - saw the incident in slo-mo and then cut to Sam Warburton sitting on the bench. I thought that a yellow card was a bit harsh for that, so imagine my surprise and that of approx. 65K supporters when 'SENT OFF' appeared below his name. Even the commentator was shocked and didn't believe it until NZ TV showed a clip of the carding.
I don't think I've ever felt so desolate. The stadium was hushed, reflecting the shock and incredulity of a whole nation. Well, 3/4 of a game with a man down - forget it. No chance. Wales, played amazingly well to stay in the game and could have sneaked it, but with Jamie Roberts having to go to play flanker in the scrums, our back line was down to next to no attacking options.
Adam Jones going off before the SW incident was a massive blow too. He could have taken the French loose head apart even without a flanker at his side. The replacement was a loose head - poor sod.
Loads of people are telling me that the ref was dirty. Ballocks. Nothing to do with the fact that he's half-French, half-Irish or that he was annoyed about Wales objecting to him reffing the game in the first place. The fact of the matter is, that the man is totally inept. He could have made the same decision against the French and you'd probably be getting the same type of post from a Frenchman.
This individual single-handedly ruined the World Cup. The final as mentioned, will be a non-contest now. Whoever wins tomorrow will win, no question. Well, for me, "That's All Folks!" - doubt I'll watch any more of the RWC - I certainly have no interest in the totally-pointless-let-the-advertisers-make-more-money 3rd/4th playoff.
Good luck France, hope you make a good game of it.
France have been shocking. How the hell they beat England, I'll never know. People are already on the old chestnut of 'which French team will show up next week'. It doesn't matter, they'll still get a right old tuning. Rolland has killed what could have been the most exciting final for decades (from a Welsh perspective).
I'm just gutted for Sam Warburton and his family. To do that to the (arguably) best young player in the tournament, a young man who has led by example and with humility and clean play, well, it's just plain wrong.
Anyway, no point whingeing. As mentioned, the sun came up today. Went to my son's rugby tournament in Cardiff where the his side were soundly thrashed in every pool game. :(
Welcome to Welsh rugby.
Couldn't agree more HG. I think Rolland is 'on the spectrum'. He must have a touch of autism about him if he sees everything in terms of black and white. For a man who played international rugby himself, he's got a remarkable lack of empathy with the game in front of him.
Reading the directives, you can understand the decision IF that was the way referees have been ruling. They haven't. I read a blog recently about Monsieur Rolland's RWC stats, it made very interesting reading:
Here’s one for you stats nerds. Rolland is the only referee yet to produce either a yellow or a red card at this year’s World Cup.
While that’s an interesting nugget in itself, it is also a key indicator of his refereeing style. Among his large number of penalties are 13 “disciplinary” infractions that are often deemed worthy of a yellow card e.g. for a high tackle or collapsing a maul. Rather than immediately banish offenders to the sin-bin, Rolland has preferred to give them a strong warning and one last chance.
With the tournament now down to the final four, will he be tempted to take a stricter line on Saturday?
Intéressante, mais oui?
Oh bugger, started whingeing again - curse the ground he levitates upon. Anyway, hope the boys will get up for the pointless one this Friday.
It strikes me that what Wales need, after the number of misses in the semi and now the number of misses in the 'bronze' play-off, is someone who can teach them how to kick a ball consistently under pressure...
Looks like they had all the enthusiasm for the game sucked out of them by Rolland Prat last week if you ask me. Really didn't play with the same hunger and drive as they had during the rest of the tournament. Hardly surprising, who gives a shit if you come 3rd or 4th?