Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some Rugby

Why France will win

Tonight is the big night, the Rugby World Cup quarter final between France and New Zealand. When looking at the impressive All Blacks line-up for this evening's game, it is difficult not to think that this will be the end of the tournament for the French team. But things are becoming less certain after England's win against Australia this afternoon (12 - 10) which - in my opinion - will represent a strong incentive for the French players, stronger than the perspective of winning against the fearless All Blacks - who have already lost against France in the 1999 World Cup semifinals. England proved that this world cup has not yet been abandoned to the powerful countries from the Southern Hemisphere and that they can actually be defeated like any other mortal rugby teams. So now I'm more confident, but there is still one last thing qui me chagrine. I don't understand why Bernard Laporte decided to start tonight's game with Raphael Ibanez and Fabien Pelous instead of Frédéric Michalak and Sébastien Chabal (Chabaaaaaaaal !!!!). It's not that the first two are at the end of their career - Ibanez actually decided to quit last year or so and finally changed his mind - while the latter two are in their prime, it's that Michalak and Chabal are simply in better shape and they proved it during the entire competition.

Lousy publicity

Speaking of Michalak, he appears in a campaign spot against AIDS-based discrimination together with two other rugby players. Everything is OK except the final catchphrase of the spot : "Would we still be part of the XV de France if we had AIDS ?". Well guys, probably you wouldn't ! But not because someone would feel like discriminating you, it would probably be because, while having AIDS, it would be quite difficult for you to look like a 120 kilos pack of muscles and run a 50 meters sprint in 11 seconds, no offense.