Rugby Planet’s November B&Bs
November 30, 2006
This morning I checked Rugby Planet's "November's brickbats and bouquets." A few selections got my forehead wrinkled...
Team of the month: A noble mention to Ireland. We go on and on about the All Blacks, but the carnage they left behind them was almost predictable. Not so predictable was the way in which Ireland produced 40 minutes of intensity not seen since the All Blacks blew France away two years ago to snuff out Australia's challenge in Dublin. Finally a candidate to push the All Blacks in next year's World Cup. Unfortunately, the draw has ensured that it may happen in the quarter-finals rather than the final...
Of course, Rugby Planet awarding their "Team of the Month" gong to Ireland was actually more predictable than the carnage the All Blacks left behind. Because in truth, RP's predictions were actually rather lame.
Dare to compare...
Test ONE. NZ vs. England.
Rugby Planet predicted NZ would win by 12 points.
Actual result: NZ won by 21 points, setting a new record 41 points against the World champions at Twickenham.
Test TWO. NZ vs. France.
Rugby Planet was too frightened to make a prediction, and instead made it a toss-up.
Actual result: NZ won by 44 points, setting a new record 47 points scored against France in France.
Test THREE. NZ vs. France (2).
Rugby Planet predicted NZ would win by 15 points.
Actual result: NZ won by 12 points. Two-test sweep at the home of Six Nations champions and the IRB #2-ranked team in the world.
Terst FOUR: NZ vs. Wales.
Rugby Planet predicted NZ would win by 16 points.
Actual result: NZ won by 35 points, setting a new record 45 points scored against Wales at Cardiff.
In summary: The All Blacks swept all four test matches. They defeated the reigning world champions by a record score. The swept the current Six Nations champions in two tests, again by a record score, against the #2 team in the world. Then they beat Wales by another record score. Three nations faced: three record scores. All on the road. Did Rugby Planet *really* predict all that? Not even close.
Whereas, Ireland impressively beat the #3 and #5 ranked teams in the world. At home. And that is why it is entirely predictable that Rugby Planet would award them "Team of the Month."
...And then later down the scroll, we see this:
The 'Dark Horse' award - Ireland showed conclusively they are the only side who look capable of stopping the All Blacks. A shame we didn't get to see them doing battle, but then there is always the World Cup final....
Let me get this straight: RP's pick for "Team of the Month" is also their "Dark Horse"...? And one paragraph they've got the two teams meeting in the RWC quarter-final; then down the scroll they've got them meeting in the Final. Rugby Planet, once again, hedging their bets.
Oh well, at least they named Jerry Collins "Player of the Month."
I'll crawl back into my hole...