27 Sep 2019

Rugby World Cup: News from around the globe

10:35 am on 27 September 2019

We know you're busy and there's a Rugby World Cup on. So, RNZ is reading all the coverage and picking out the best bits so you don't have to.

England's wing Joe Cokanasiga (C) is tackled by US prop David Ainuu (2L) as he runs to score a try  during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between England and the United States.

England's wing Joe Cokanasiga is tackled by US prop David Ainu as he runs to score a try during the match between England and the United States. Photo: AFP

Overnight there were a couple of games; neither riveting. They were like the opening episodes of The Bachelor - filler to get through.

Italy beat Canada 48-7 to go top of pool B, six points clear of New Zealand.

And England beat the USA 45-7 to give themselves a six point buffer over France in Pool C.

The most interesting thing is that USA flanker John Quill, surely the possessor of one of the best plain names of the tournament, was sent off for a shoulder charge on England's vital player, Owen Farrell.

In rugby speak he got the red card (the ref holds up a red card and points the miscreant to where he wants him to go, which is usually anywhere but on the field).

This is the first red card of the tournament. It is also USA's first red card at a world cup. Lots of outrage and disappointment this morning.

Disgraceful, said The Telegraph, as they should.

England coach Eddie Jones told reporters that Farrell is okay but "missing half his nose".

The sending off comes after a long week of discussions about how to deal with such things.

Australian winger Reece Hodge was suspended for three games for a dangerous tackle in the early Fiji versus Wallabies match, and discussion on what refs should do is still reverberating.

For a different take, check out The Samoa Observer. It has a very good editorial calling out refs for policing Pacific teams hard on high tackles and letting other teams get away with it.

The Observer says that Pacific players tackle hard and should be punished if they go high; the problem, says the paper, is that Pacific teams are scrutinised, others aren't.

"You would think we are in an era of modern rugby, where stereotypes are a thing of the past and equal treatment is afforded to everyone. This is not what is happening. This is woeful."

A couple of other stories keep rumbling on - like the haka.

At least the UK's The Ruck has done something useful - it's given advice on five things you could do during the haka, if you are not a fan.

One option is to square up to the All Blacks, says the website. Their example is when one Richard Cockerill for England advanced up to Norm Hewitt, eyeball to eyeball.

"What the hell have you done," the great Martin Johnston is said to have hissed at Cockerill. New Zealand won 25-8. Cockerill eyeballing Hewitt was the closest England came to the All Blacks, remarked The Telegraph drily.

The Ruck has also gone where others haven't, best Rugby World Cup Dad jokes. What do you call a Welshman in the Rugby World Cup finals? Nigel Owens.

Samoa's centre Rey Lee-Lo (R) scores a try  during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Russia and Samoa at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Kumagaya.

Ray Lee-Lo has been hit with a three match ban for a dangerous tackle during Samoa's win over Russia on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

The question of timing matches is another perennial. Usually it is the minnows who back up with a second game within a few days at a World Cup. This time it was one of the heavyweights, England, so naturally much more coverage.

There is a thoughtful piece over at Americas Rugby News. Their answer? More teams. Expand the cup to six pools of four teams (rather than four pools of five, which means someone has to play two games in short succession) and play a round of 16.

Everyone loves the Japanese fans and is amazed by their demeanour. Well, most people.

The Irish Times has lengthy analysis of an incident in which a drunken Japanese man emerged, trouserless and enraged, from something called "Boobies" and began throwing his shoes at fans coming back from the Wales vs Georgia match.

The police dealt with it, smartly, by leaving the man and dispersing the fans.

The column contains the arch and hurtful line by writer AA Gill that the Japanese are like aliens.

"It's not that they're aliens, but they are the people that aliens might be if they'd learnt human by correspondence course and wanted to slip in unnoticed."

Elsewhere, everyone is much happier; there has been comment on the way Cup teams are embracing the Japanese and Japanese the rugby.

There's the bowing after matches.

And the fans.

Steve Hansen has even been made an honorary police chief of Beppu.

Maybe he could send patrols to deal with incidents at Boobies.

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