|The Others XV - Players L-R are as in 1-15 in list below.|
I have no real answer, so for now I will call them ‘The Others’... like in ‘LOST’, due to their ability to burst out of the undergrowth and scare the bejeezus out of opposition. I think it is fair to say most crowds here have loved watching these teams and their never-say-die attitude, even when there was 10-20 IRB ranking spots between them and their opponent on the day.
I think they deserve more games, more tours ... or at least put the four third placed teams into two play-offs, to find two teams to fight it out for a ‘Plate’ - this could replace the Bronze Medal game that interests no one. I’d rather watch that than a 3rd/4th playoff between two losing semi-finalists.
So, here is my Others XV - based on what I saw, both in games, and in terms of post-match interviews and smiles, and I think there are at least four actual team captains in here:
1 David Khinchagishvili GEORGIA
2 Marius Tincu ROMANIA
3 Mike MacDonald USA
4 Ilia Zedginidze GEORGIA
5 Jamie Cudmore CANADA
6 Adam Kleeberger CANADA
7 Jacques Burger (C) NAMIBIA
8 Takashi Kikutani JAPAN
9 Atsushi Hiwasa JAPAN
10 Theuns Kotze NAMIBIA
11 Vasily Artemyev RUSSIA
12 Paul Emerick USA
13 DTH van der Merwe CANADA
14 Kosuke Endo JAPAN
15 Chrysander Botha NAMIBIA
I think there should probably be more Georgians and Romanians, what do you reckon? Perhaps a bench could flesh this out.
For me, the above players’ attitudes enhanced their abilities, and therefore enhanced the 2011 Rugby World Cup for us as spectators.