Couch Critic Reviews Last Week’s Games
Couch Critic #03
ITALY V AUSTRALIA
The Wobbalies limped into this clash and for the opening quarter of the match one wondered whether either side would be good enough to get themselves over the whitewash. In the end the Aussies were just marginally less bumbling than their hosts.
Betting Wise: I was on Folau as anytime tryscorer and inexplicably he seemed to be stuck in mud after intercepting an Italian pass late in the game! Italy on the first half cap was also a popular play but somehow the canaries were able to hold onto a few passes during the 2nd quarter to sink that bet. If you backed the Prada wearers on the full-time cap you would also have come up short but had you gone for the convicts you were in the money (but nervously sweating throughout).
Heads-up: The Aussie backs are a shadow of their former selves and I see the English having them for dinner rather than their usual pie and gravy fair come Saturday evening.
ENGLAND V JAPAN
The English stuttered with a number of new faces, the Japs impressed with their industrious play and in the end the home side had enough in the tank to take care of business.
Betting Wise: This result was more certain than Koos cursing his chopsticks at the all you can eat buffet at The Red Dragon Restaurant. Wish I got more involved (was on the half time cap).
SCOTLAND V SOUTH AFRICA
Some ignorant couch surfers out there might have expected a smoother ride against the Scots but this was always going to be a tight tussle. The men from the south put in a dominant, physical first half showing which eventually proved to be enough despite a late scare or two from a determined second half effort from the Wallace’s.
Betting Wise: Having taken a handicap of Scotland +5.5 I know a whole host of people who (like me) were grabbing for a stiff dose of Scotland’s finest when The Brave looked to prove that they had something substantial under their kilts by opting to send a late penalty into the corner rather than have a shot at goal. Needless to say, this ploy did not come off anywhere near as smoothly or effectively as a Bond punchline.
Heads-up: A clash against Argentina promises to be a mouth-watering affair between two sides having a great year and setting a cap could prove tough. It will however be tough for me to oppose these warriors at Murrayfield anytime soon.
IRELAND V NEW ZEALAND
Now this was a proper rugby match. Gone were the big scoring “pretty” encounters and out came traditional uncompromising, hard as nails test rugby. Everyone expected the Irish to come hard at the All Blacks but few felt they had it in them to keep this up for the entire 80. Break out the Jameson and celebrate the fact that the Irish proved the Kiwis do in fact bleed when confronted by a brutally physical and disciplined opponent – think a mixture between Rocky and Connor McGregor.
Betting Wise: Some expected an All Black backlash, others had faith in the Irish replicating a successful recipe in being able to triumph over the tyrants of world rugby. The latter walked away with the dough. Had you taken the clover leaves on the board – a tip of the hat to you.
Heads-up: The All Blacks must be looking forward to the clash against the Italians with more relish than housewives are eyeing out Black Friday sales! Things could get messy for the Azzurri as New Zealand look to restore some pride after what can only be described as a dismal year for the men in black (by Kiwi standards).
FRANCE V ARGENTINA
The last lady for a shave. The Argentines started fast but couldn’t maintain that pace. Perhaps a long season just caught up to the South Americans toward the end of this contest but they just weren’t quite able to produce their Champagne-like style in France.
Betting wise: The French started about 6-point favourites. With fifteen minutes to play the game and the handicap was still up for grabs but it was the home side who finished stronger and left the Les Blues fans singing Olé-olé long into the night.
Looking Ahead: The Argies have a tough assignment at Murrayfield whilst the Frenchies should be out to show some of their best attacking play against a Fijian team who is keener to run than David Hasselhoff is to show-off his chest hair.
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