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A rugby fanatic’s World Cup tour

Posted on | September 27, 2011 | No Comments

Rugby fanatics around the world will be in sporting heaven over the next few weeks as the world’s best teams come together to battle it out for the Rugby World Cup. Lucky fans who have made it to New Zealand can look forward to enjoying world-class rugby and fabulous Kiwi hospitality.

The Rugby World Cup is getting back to its roots this year; the first ever tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand (along with Australia) back in 1987 and this country of rugby fanatics are overjoyed to have it back.

New Zealand’s very own All Blacks are the favourites to win (although they have yet to be tested), closely followed by Australia (the Tri Nations champions); but England and Wales also have a fighting chance. England recently won the Six Nations, which gave them a boost of confidence and, despite a shaky beginning, are starting to find a bit of form, running in six tries against Georgia.

France are also looking strong, dispatching Canada and Japan with ease; however, they still have to face New Zealand, a game that is sure to be a titanic encounter. Japan have proved themselves to be stronger than expectations and although they won’t make it out of the group stages, they have put up quite a fight and proved they really deserve to be in the tournament.

Ireland’s recent win over Australia came as a real surprise to many fans, although, as England found out when they played the Irish at the end of the Six Nations, they are a strong savvy unit and difficult to beat when they perform well.

South Africa’s demolition of minnows Namibia will no doubt send a strong warning to the other challengers for rugby’s biggest prize. The reigning world champions certainly meant business during this encounter, scoring 12 tries and maintaining a 100 per cent kicking record; it would seem as though, as we reach the business end of the group stages, they are starting to work through the gears after nearly losing to Wales.

Interestingly, if the remaining games in the tournament go according to seeding, we will see a split between the southern and northern hemisphere teams in the knockout stages. England, in the top half of the draw will likely face France and Ireland; while New Zealand, South Africa and Australia will be left to fight it out in the bottom half. One thing is certain: the final is sure to make world class viewing when it is held in Auckland on October 23rd.

Those of us who can’t go to New Zealand will have to content ourselves with watching matches from the comfort of our sofas. If you are watching at home you will have the added bonus of being able to sit back, relax and maybe even play an online game or two during the ad breaks and half time. Unfortunately, due to the time difference there’s no chance of catching any of the matches in the pub, with a nice cold pint.

However, don’t let the excitement end with the game, check out some online fruit machines for that ‘real’ pub experience and the chance to win big. Try a classic fruit machine game such as Pub Fruity; everyone has had a go at this game at their local pub and this online experience is just as exciting with great chances to win. Another fantastic online game is Ladbrokes Blackjack. You can download the games or play in an instant and with so many to choose from there’s bound to be one to suit your style.

Several details have been revealed so far in the World Cup: Ireland mean business, England have a long way to go, and South Africa are as ruthless as ever. However, as many questions (if not more) remain unanswered: can France provide yet another World Cup upset? When will New Zealand finally settle on a starting 15? And will Scotland even make it out of the group stages?

All of these questions and more will be answered as the tournament moves into its later stages; so make sure you put the dates of the key games in your diary, get your mates sorted, or locate a pub that will open early enough.



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