The small matter of the Rugby World Cup is currently being contested a short way across the pond in England and everyone involved is taking it pretty seriously.

While the pundits over-analyse how good people are at knocking other people over and avoiding being knocked over themselves, here’s an alternative view from the Rugby World Cup to lighten the mood.

Mission Incroyable

The French tactics of targeting Ireland’s Jonny Sexton backfired somewhat yesterday during at the Millennium Stadium. It was as though the team had all been programmed like robots to carry out their mission of obliterating Sexton. However once they’d successfully carried out their mission, sending Sexton off the field injured, they didn’t have a secondary game plan and powered down into standby mode.

Ireland's Ian Madigan celebrates after the game. Photo by ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ireland’s Ian Madigan celebrates his award for dodgiest boots at the Rugby World Cup. Photo by ©INPHO/James Crombie

Green giants

It proved to be a great few days to be green with Ireland’s table topping heroics in the rugby, Northern Ireland qualifying for the European Championships as group winners and the Republic securing a play off place for the same tournament.

Rory McIlroy was trolled on Twitter for attending Thursday night’s NI game at Windsor Park followed by the Ireland game at the Millennium Stadium.

Rory’s response involved a great use of emoticons…

As good as the Holywood golfer’s comeback was he should have just replied, “Aye, yer ma!”

Ghostly goings on

Days before their match against Australia, some of the Wales players said they’d seen ghosts in the team hotel. Dan Lydiate was reported to be most spooked by the goings on and his absence from the starting line up may have been no coincidence.

In the game against Australia at Twickenham, Wales came up just short.

Rugby Wales

At one point they were only up against 13 men, but just couldn’t make their extra two players count against a dogged Australian defence. Such was the ferocity of their defending I’m convinced it was the Aussies who had extra bodies on the pitch.

Come to think of it in one of the many replays of George North getting stopped just short of the line I’m almost sure I saw a ghostly apparition put in an amazing tap tackle.

Name game

The clash of cultures, battle lines being drawn, bodies on the line, the walking wounded, moments of magic – international tournaments such as the Rugby World Cup produce moments to be remembered for a lifetime. Which is why it’s great fun to forget all that and just have a laugh at some of the players’ names.

Many have said Uruguay deserves a huge clap on the back for their never say die attitude, none more so than Nicholas Klappenbach. And as for his team-mate Matias Beer, someone should buy that man a pint.

If toilet humour is your thing, then New Zealand’s Woodcock will have you sniggering with his surname that sounds like he could star in the porn version of Pinocchio.

Rugby pinocchio

Canadian back rower John Moonlight has proven to be a much better player in the evening kick offs than the daytime ones, while in England’s final pool game Nick Easter proved outstanding. I’d particularly love to see him in a back row alongside Steal Christmas and Pilfer Ramadan.

Talking of great combinations – how good a pairing would Pape and Mumm be in the second row?

Criminal performance from England

Having been tipped by many to win the tournament, England bowed out of the Rugby World Cup with a mauling of lowly Uruguay.

Some people expected Uruguay to have more bite, but that might be something to do with the antics of Luis Suarez at the last football World Cup.

Anyway, having failed in their bid for glory, England ran in nine tries in against a defenceless Uruguay. It’s a bit like a team of master criminals failing in the bid to steal some priceless jewels from a museum, instead breaking into a pensioner’s home, beating them senseless, then making off with a toaster and a kettle.

Rugby England

The England team get into position for their next match

You’ve some neck on you

Finally, the award for thickest neck in the tournament goes to Welsh prop Samson Lee. England coach Stuart Lancaster may feel like he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, but Samson Lee looks like he could genuinely support it.

Rugby Samson

 

 

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