* A recap of the 2015 Rugby World Cup as if it was recent. Ran from September 18th to October 31st*
–Biggest Disappointment. Clearly the biggest disappointment was the host nation. England dropped the ball, but it was that big of a shock. They have the stupid national rule that if you want to play for the national team, you must play club in England. But with France just next door offering huge contracts in one of the best leagues in the world, it’s not a shock their talent is leaving the island. But, still. Playing in front of your countrymen in a world tournament and you can’t make it out of pool play, eliminated before your final pool game is an embarrassment.
–Best Defensive Stand. Australia was down 2 men in a pivotal game against Wales and they showed that they came from the criminals of Great Britain because they put a beat down on the attacking Welsh team. Purely evil to deny a team like that. The Aussies played about 10 straight minutes on defense down 2 men in the late stages of the game. They held the Welsh up over the try line not just once, but twice. This help them accumulate over 130 total tackles in the game. Truly heroic defense. But what do you expect when one of your world class players is wearing a floral speedo under his shorts. The Aussies had quite the tournament.
–USA. Not a shock that America went 0-4. They did show some promise. They held South Africa to 14 points in the first half…then got raped losing 64-0. They couldn’t beat Samoa twice this season and couldn’t even salvage a victory of Japan in their last pool play game. And I hate how Mike Petri constantly box kicks the ball. He doesn’t even do it with skill. Just keep the ball in hand and bash it up. That’s what America does, we shove ourselves down the world’s throats whether the like it or not.
But there is hope for America. Our 7’s team is hitting their stride right now heading into the Olympics. They are sitting in third place after the first two legs of the World Series of 7’s.
But every cloud has a silver lining. The Eagles are now being led by their new coach former All Black player and head coach John Mitchell. He’ll bring the best out of the Eagles 15’s squad much like what Mike Friday is doing with the 7’s squad. Both of these teams have a bright future and hopefully will keep improving over the years especially when combining great coaches with a professional league coming this April to America.
–Player of the Tournament. It was a toss up between Dan Carter (NZL), Brendan Foley (AUS), and Julian Savea (NZL). Dan Carter came back at the ripe age of 33 to redeem himself after last tournament where he got injured. And he did, he scored 82 points and was a general of the All Black backline. He also won the 2015 World Rugby Player of the Year award for the third time in his illustrious career. Brendan Foley was dynamite with his foot. He helped lead the Aussies to the final, only to fall short to the powerhouse All Blacks. But the player of the tournament is Julian Savea. This winger was electric on the field. He scored 8 tries in only 6 matches and allowed Carter to accumulate the 82 points. This bad man would not be denied on offense or defense.
–Moment(s) of the Tournament. Clearly there were two major moments of the tournament. First, The amazing Japanese upset of South Africa. 19 phases in the final minute of the game to complete the biggest upset in World Cup history. I haven’t seen dedication like that from the Japanese since WW2 Kamikazes and some Japanese perv trying to build a sex robot alien in his basement. It was pure magic and will be remembered vividly every 4 years. Bryan Habana would get his balls back tho, setting the record for career tries in the tournament passing the late and great Jonah Lomu.
There was no doubt that New Zealand wasn’t going to win the World Cup heading into the tournament. They had the easiest pool and the best players in the tournament. Anytime you have Sonny Bill Williams coming off the bench, you have a stacked lineup. But the real hero was Richie McCaw. He will always be known as one of the best All Blacks to ever play and was able to cap off his career with another world cup victory. Cheers Richie!