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Five Reasons The Minnows Are Competitive 2 views 0 Comments
13 September 2011 by The Swede Eaters
 

The minnows have been competitive so far at the Rugby World Cup here are five reasons for this.

The first matches at the Rugby World Cup 2011 haven't been as one sided as anticipated.  Although there haven't been any upsets so far, there have been some close shaves with England, Scotland and South Africa narrowly escaping with victories.  Here are five reasons that I think the margins are lower and this is important for punters in pick the margin competitions.  It must be remembered that there has only been one weekend of matches so far.


Here are five reasons the minnows have been more competitive so far


1)  The smaller teams are more professional these days.  Georgia, a minnow, has 13 overseas based professionals and so their players are likely to be fitter than in the past when the minnows often only had a few professionals.  The IRB has also provided fitness and coaching for the minnows and this has also helped them.  I think both the XV and the professional sevens circuit also helped the smaller countries improve, because they have been playing the more powerful countries more regularly in tournaments like the Rugby World Cup and Hong Kong Sevens.  This gives them experience so they now know what to expect.  Some of these minnows also have overseas coaches from the bigger countries to assist in their development.


2)  The smaller teams started their campaigns with their top sides playing in emotional tournament opening matches in front of massive crowds who have been supporting the underdogs.  The adrenalin and emotion has helped them remain competitive for long periods of time before going down in the end in all of the matches so far.  Unfortunately many of these minnows will have their depth tested with a short turnaround of games and a lack of depth which could see them struggle as the tournament progresses into week two and three.


3)  The conditions in New Zealand has made it difficult for the big teams to score as many points.  As they say, the wet weather is a great leveller.  New Zealand is currently experiencing a cold snap in spring and this an most matches being played at night time make conditions slippery and difficult.  It is also windy at this time of year so lookout for that in future matches.  People who think New Zealand is a tropical paradise are mistaken.  The Fiji vs Namibia game was high scoring, but played in the sunshine during the day.  Compare that to the South Africa vs Wales match.  Just ask Shane Williams about how slippery it was.  Hopefully once we get into October, conditions will improve as we get closer to summer.


4)  The big teams will be looking to peak at the business end of the tournament and will slowly improve as the tournament advances.  The last few pool games will probably see the big guns playing their full strength sides as they get closer to the knock out stages.  They have superior depth which will allow them to field a strong team no matter who they put on the field from their squad of 30.    


5)  Teams like South Africa and England play a style which doesn't necessarily thrash the opposition but strangles them into submission.  They seem to just do enough, but unfortunately for the other top teams these two teams have the ability to keep on doing this until the final no matter who they are playing against.  Teams like the All Blacks or Australia are more likely to thrash the minnows, but can come unstuck against the big South Africa and England packs.


I think there will be bigger scores in the late stages of pool play once the bubble bursts on the small teams and they get some injuries.  The bigger teams will then flex their muscles with their superior depth and as they look to peak at the business end of the tournament.


What do you think of the competitiveness of the Rugby World Cup 2011?  I have loved it, but it would be great to see an actual upset.  I think Georgia could provide that tomorrow against Scotland.

rugbyworldcuptips.com

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