In the end inexperience, or what some might say is known as the ‘Napoleon Complex’, can be the reason why the talented Welsh team were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup. That and losing their captain and pragmatic star, Sam Warburton, in the early stages of the game.

It wasn’t that the French so much as beat the Welsh, but rather the Welsh didn’t have the nuance to foresee their greatness and believe that they were able to reach a World Cup final on their own strength. For this Wales, with its abundance of talent and impassioned approach, could well have offered the All Blacks a real challenge in Auckland next week. They would have, at least, if they had played with the exuberance and determination we know this Welsh side can display.

…somehow managed to wangle their way into the final…

However, after suffering the early setback of an unjustified sending off (I think the vast majority have agreed on this conclusion), the men in red forever seemed to struggle to assert their dominance on the once again woeful French outfit. If only Stephen Jones had had the confidence and presence of mind to kick that much-needed drop goal in those last dying minutes, it would have been France who would be playing for third place next week, and not those Welsh dragons. Unfortunately it was not to be, and the sly French team have somehow managed to wangle their way into the final against possibly their favourite World Cup adversary’s (going on previous World Cups) in Auckland this coming Sunday.

However, unless something down-right far-fetched happens, I cannot see the French coming out as victorious on this occasion. They are not a particularly strong rugby side at present, highlighted by the fact that they have been using a scrum-half in the fly-half position for the last two matches.

…has controlled the game to a certain level of efficiency…

This little experiment, of which only the flamboyant French would dare to try for the first time in the knock-out stages of a World Cup, has not really had much impact on their victories, other than maybe that Morgan Parra has been quite good kicking out-of-hand, and has controlled the game to a certain level of efficiency that the French are prone to lack. Whatever your view on this, the team in general, other than the indomitable Imanol Harinordoquy, who plays like a man possessed, have been all round as blasé and erratic as one might expect from any given French rugby side.  

 

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