Friday, October 19, 2007

Le Grand Denouement, Part Deux

Third-place playoffs are normally renowned for being pretty dire affairs, with neither team's heart usually in it. But I gather the France vs Argentina rematch was anything but.

I'm spitting feathers at ITV4, who I thought were showing the match. But when it came time to record the game (I was out on for the evening), all I got was several episdoes of "Police, Camera, Action". Merde alors!

So I'll have to content myself with reading the match reports from BBC Sport and the official Rugby World Cup website. Sounds like I missed a good 'un. [Right, Aurelien Rougerie]

The French must be kicking themselves too; having lost to the Pumas once in the pool stage, the hosts were surely looking for revenge and a chance to save some face. But it wasn't to be - especially with Argentina running in five tries to the Frogs' one! Clement Poitrenaud [left] scored the only French try. Not the way Mad Bernie Laporte would have wanted to end his career as French coach, before ascending to the heady heights of Sports Minister.

Still, the Argentinians can hold their heads up high at a job well done. They've had a momentous World Cup, and have surely done enough for their case to be let into a major tournament to be taken seriously. They have also entertained along the way, showing some superb flair, flowing rugby and silky skills - just a shame it didn't happen against South Africa last weekend!

[Argentina smash a French attack during their pool game on 7th Sept.]

Quite a few of the players from both sides will be retiring now, so it's certainly the end of an era all round. I'm sure the Pumas will remember it more fondly than the French!

Finally, I heard a great joke the other day:
Q: What do you call the playoff for 7th and 8th place?
A: The Bledisloe Cup

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