Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I mentioned earlier that I had been asked to be a guest commentator on a World Cup Rugby website. Scary thought, that.

Anyway, here is my first submission. Hopefully the moderators will find it worthy to publish.

American Perspective
I'd rather hoped to have my first post be about the amazing USA defeat of Fiji. But I have to say, if I can't post about that, I'll be happy with the game the boys played and the bonus point they earned by losing by less than 7.

I think the Eagles played fairly well, certainly above what everyone seemed to expect. I thought Fiji would still be reeling from their loss to France, and although they did seem a little sluggish at first, they woke up in the second half. I had also hoped that the local crowd might be a little more pro-Eagles than it was (didn't Nick say Aussies love the underdog?) since the Eagles always seem to play better for a good crowd. Ah, well. No matter.

I have to say my favorite moment was Van Zyl's try coming off Hercus' cross-field kick. While I was pleased with the score up to that point (6-3) and I certainly think penalty goals have their place, there is nothing like a well-executed try to make your blood sing, especially when it's your team. Of course, the bar erupted on the USA's second try by Kort Schubert (in his first World Cup match). Clearly our bar was as pro-USA as the Suncorp Stadium crowd was pro-Fiji. If only Hercus had been able to get that conversion . . . .

Perhaps one of the other commentators could let me know, were the Eagles doing really well with lineouts, or was Fiji just doing poorly?

Now to respond to something Christopher said in his previous post. They are drowning in Rugby bullshit in Oz. Wish I had your problem, mate. There is nothing in the news here about rugby. Some of the US web sites (CNN, NY Times, etc.) ran the AP article about the match, but that's it. I live in New York and I'm finding it hard to find bars that are showing the matches. Fox Sports Channel is showing them on a three-day delay. That's killing me. Since all the bars have a $20 cover to watch a game, I have to be very choosy about which matches I watch. And in order to watch the games live via satellite, I have to get up at ungodly hours of the morning.

Of course, I'll gladly do it if it means I get to see the matches before the lazier guys in my club. Nice to be able to rub their noses in the games I've seen and they haven't. Plus there's the whole drinking before going into the office thing. I'm getting to like that.

Still, I'd love a little taste of the rugby coverage that other countries are getting right now.

I guess that's it for me until the Eagles' stunning come-from-behind victory over Scotland next week. What can I say? I'm an optimist.

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