Sunday, 16 October 2011

Semi Final 1: Wales v France

Heartbreak for Wales as Alain Rolland sees red

Travesty!  What the hell was Alain Rolland thinking?! You do not give a player a red card in a semi final of a world cup. Why? Because people have paid hundreds of dollars for the privlege to sit in the stand and watch an intense battle. Immediately, this was taken away by a referee's stupid, thoughtless decision. Who does he think is? Referee's need to help the game, not be the key playmaker of the game. The world cup is once every four years.  How could you Mr Rolland?

Wales have been robbed. The only team to score a try, even though they were one man down for an hour of the game. How can France - a team that has lost twice already in this world cup - deserve to now be rated as first or second in the world by making the final? I'm speechless. I'm wild. I want to scream out loud. 

Sam Warburton's tackle was over exuberant, and yes, as Warren Gatland very eloquently said in his post match interview - a yellow should have sufficed. But from the moment Rolland reached deep into his pocket for red, this game was going to be an Everest for Wales to climb without their captain and star player.

What was incredible was that they so nearly did it. They played a mature game, the game of their lives. To have it taken away from them, well I know how the Welsh are feeling right now. And quite frankly, I have shed a few tears for Wales this morning myself. The injustice of it all. As Slugso so wisely said, the RWC is a cruel mistress.

If only Leigh Halfpenny's kick from over half way in the dying minutes of the game had just found some extra legs. If only Stephen Jones had managed to convert Mike Phillips's quite wonderful try. If only they could have found themselves in the right position to try for a drop goal in the dying seconds. This could have been the most magnificent victory, a statement to the world that Wales mean business. That they would be hard to beat in the final.

Instead, a mediocre France, a team with an extra man yet still couldn't manage to break the Welsh line, have muddled through.  It is appalling. It is so unfair. It is dramatic, operatic, incredible rugby at it's best and worst. This game will be talked about for the next 100 years. I feel for you Wales. I'm heartbroken for you.


Anonymous said...

I still can't believe what happened. Not only did this spoil the semi-final but the whole outcome of the World Cup. If France can't beat Wales with an extra man for most of the game then they don't stand a chance against Australia or NZ in the final. I hope they get hammered so that this mistake is further magnified!!!

Shelagh said...

I'm gutted that Wales have lost in this fashion. If France had played a great game, it would have felt so very different. This just feels depressing. I think the remaining Welsh players did a standout job for the rest of the match. Very well done to all of them.

I'm pinning my hopes now on the AB winning tomorrow. i'd love to see them wipe the floor with France next week. Both NZ and France deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe it. Wale must be pissed off.The true world cup final is now tomorrow. This tournament has become a farce with France making it through to the final.

Anonymous said...

Wales missed several kicks at goal though.Just saying.

Nursedude said...

I thought the red card was harsh, indeed.

In the end, France was more accurate with their kicking game.

Is there anybody outside of France who really wants Marc Lievremont's men to be called World Cup champs?

Ferdy said...

Yes Nursedude! A certain total flanker wants the French to win. (But I've taken him to task!)

Not watching the game tomorrow. My heart can't take it. Too nervous. Please watch my team for me and send them all the good vibes that you can muster (and you have many, so I'm trusting you now).

To Wales, I'm still gutted for you. You should have been in the final.

[ the clean slate ] said...

I am utterly speechless in the face of France winning. Wales' courage and heart was unmatched in the face of so much adversity. First Adam Jones and then Warburton. Their set piece was left in shambles.

As much as players are held to account for their actions on the field - I certainly hope that Rolland (and all officials for that matter) is reviewed and held to account for his.

ABs to the end! (whether I have the heart to watch the game or not remains to be seen)

Anonymous said...

Rolland was a disgrace. The IRB through his appointment, and their backing, have now set rugby back many years and laid a wonderful game open to accusations of the kind normally laid at Sepp Blatter's door. I have now lost all interest in this tournament and am absolutely gutted for a wonderful Welsh side (although I am not a welsh supporter) who didn't need to foul to win, unlike some others. The IRB need to think very carefully about the consequences of ignoring overwhelming public condemnation of Rolland's actions. The welsh team were a credit to their country and the game. More than one can say for Rolland or the IRB. The IRB's victimisation of Warburton, who had to plead guilty to avoid a longer and harsher ban, smacks of the notorious assises of Judge Jeffries, where injustice was committed with indecent haste.

Anonymous said...

France was crap. But Wales can only lame themselves.

- Stupidest spear tackle (and IRB has made it crystal clear the refs would be merciless, and yet Sam went for a spear tackle. Probably the worst foul of the tournament so far)
- Worst kicking ever
- No drop goal attempted in 20 minutes.
- Missed penalty (Halfpenny's) on an imaginary foul

Even the best rugby cannot win if you don't take the point.

France did play the most horrible rugby (they totally admitted this) but the welsh were in NO WAY robbed. They just let victory slip from their hands. Not a surprise, scenario was similar against the Boks.

And I really feel sorry for the Welsh as they had a tremendous side and were a joy to watch. But neither the ref or the french are to blame.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately what could have been a brilliant world cup has been spoilt by an almost unbelievable decision by Rolland. There was a very similar tackle made on Dan Lydiate in the Wales v England match, no sanction from the ref not even a penalty. The name of the ref on that day - Alain Rolland. Yep, u could not even make it up.