Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Others World XV

The Others XV - Players L-R are as in 1-15 in list below.
There has been a lot of talk about how the ‘Minnows’ in this World Cup, how they have stepped up, and its true ... but so true that the word ‘minnow’ just sounds, well ... impolite. What do we replace it with? ‘Tier 2’? That still sounds a bit condescending given the nervous moments they caused a lot of teams. They are already ‘developed’; they have all (with the exception of Russia) been to World Cups before.

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.


Anonymous said...

I think the back row should be different, based also on the "Man of the Match" awards and performance... Should be
6-Kleeberger (CAN)
7-Gorgodze (GEO)
8-Gresev (RUS)

Something like that... The rest looks ok for me. Nice XV, anyway...

Team Dave said...

Hiwasa was awesome. Probably got the best pass of any half back in the world at the moment. And most games he played just a third of a game to the other bloke (Tanaka?).

Van der Merwe is another great call. Incisive, quick and intelligent - set the Canadians up for their win over Tonga. Like him a lot and imagine he's nailed himself down a decent contract next year somewhere after the RWC.

I would put Gorgodze over Burger at 7 just like Anonymous said. He was a mountain. Kotze at 10 is nice and guarantees The Others points.