How much of an impact did the cancelled games have on the knockout stages?

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Post by miaow on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 11:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Pretty simple stuff.

Some dominant performances from England and New Zealand preceded a surprise showing from a spirited France where their physical edge over Wales nearly got them a win. All 3 teams built big leads in the opening quarter, often through extra sharpness and physicality. All 3 teams didn't play their final group game.

With SA and Japan having a much less first-half-centric match, with SA eventually pulling away through their extra bulk and stamina, it at least begs the question.

(don't take this TOO seriously...)

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Post by rodders on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:04 pm

I think Ireland would have beat the ABs by 20 points if they hadn't had the extra week off.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:11 pm

I think Wales would have beaten France by 2 points if they hadn't had the extra week off.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 2:57 pm

This question now raises its head again - unfortunately.

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:00 pm

We wud'a won the blasted WC had we gotten NZ after Italy had run them ragged!

The WC.... The Wud'a Cup

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:15 pm

Lol.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:38 pm

Oh, make your minds up. 

Before the Australia game we were told that England would be undercooked because they hadn’t really been tested and needed the France game to get ready for the real tests ahead. And then before the New Zealand game, we were told that England hadn’t really been tested by Australia and would be in for a shock against New Zealand.

But clearly now it’s the All Blacks who were undercooked, having ducked the relentless physical assault of Italy, which they really needed to prepare them for England.

Did Wales and South Africa look like two heavyweights thumping each other after ten heavy but inconclusive rounds because they’d been worn out by the extra game, or because they lacked the creativity to do anything else?

South Africa got beaten by New Zealand first up when they were both fresh, having got off to a good start but being unable to maintain control of the game to the end. England played New Zealand after they’d both played the same number of matches and faced similar quality of opposition, and controlled the game completely for all bar a couple of minutes.

The cancelled games are a bit of an irrelevance now. If South Africa win, they will have done it by beating the teams ranked number 7, 3 and 1 in the world. If England do it, they will have done it by beating the teams ranked 6, 1 and 2 in the world, and all four SAANZAR teams in successive games. That’s a tough enough schedule for anyone, but to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.
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Post by BamBam on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:50 pm

Like miaow said, only reason for arguments on this board are because Wales fans don't rate England

That is what he said isn't it? Because surely no one would be that hypocritical to try and find ulterior reasons why England got to the final after making that statement

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:54 pm

All I read was Miaow being complimentary to England Headscratch
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Post by Heaf on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:02 pm

miaow wrote:This question now raises its head again - unfortunately.

Only when people keep going over and over it again and again - not sure what they expect to achieve?

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:33 pm

What?

Thank you Oracle, I'm ignoring that WUM above.

Heaf - it's a question. Either engage with it as a point of discussion or ignore it. You gain nothing from trying to police the forum.

It's a legitimate question to ask in light of the two games being played next week have 1 team that missed a game, 1 team that didn't. You also compare levels of fitness, injury, and all round play - and is that extended break for players, coaches, and everyone involved a factor?

That's the discussion. We've had more rugby that would suggest that, yes, the break absolutely helped the rested teams put the kind of performances in that they did. That's my opinion, at least. It's not an exact science, but it's rare to see teams peak in the latter stages of tournaments - it's more about managing the attrition, particularly as the game gets fitter, faster, and equally big as it was 4 years ago. Does it detract from anything? Well, up for discussion as well.

If you have nothing to contribute - that's fine. Don't.

What do I hope to achieve? Fair and honest discussion.

Is that naive? Probably.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:38 pm

What teams would have expected france and england to out out though. How much would they have (had to) put into the match. Both teams qualifying plenty of people saying both would deliberately not be trying. You can understand it starts to sound like excuses.

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Post by BamBam on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:43 pm

The Oracle wrote:All I read was Miaow being complimentary to England Headscratch

He sure was in the match thread

So why does the question in the OP in this thread need to be raised again "unfortunately".

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:49 pm

Because it's relevant. Thanks Officer Bam. Move along.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:52 pm

Miaow it's been discussed over and over - and I did contribute previously as did many others.

I'm not trying to police anything and everyone is free to discuss what they want of course, but I just don't see the point of going over old ground again and again.

It is starting to look a bit like you're trying to go out of your way to devalue it should England go on to win, although I'm sure you'll claim otherwise.

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Post by BamBam on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:55 pm

That's exactly what he's doing Heaf

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:56 pm

I officially Devalue this WC by order of the UN Security Council. Now everyone go home peacefully or we will open fire!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:57 pm

I'm sure hes not. He will add detail onto thebintial thought and pick apart why france didn't benefit and why england are actually just looking pretty decent against even opposition who also had a game written off for safety.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:03 pm

Posters should worry less about fictional motivations and just discuss the topic at hand, or not at all.

It's not old ground as new games have been played, and as such, a few statements from each poster would be enough to see where we all stand on the matter. It doesn't need to be a 10 page thread, but it's a legit topic of discussion all the same.

There are those whose minds are made up - the game doesn't matter, any winner will deserve it, the RWC is in no way devalued etc. etc. That's fine. They have nothing more to add after this weekend's games. There are those who feel the opposite - that it's ruined the RWC, their team was cheated etc. Don't see too many of those, no doubt if it were Scotland in Italy's place we might though. But then everyone else is in the middle, where the discussion can be made in any way people see fit by staying on topic.

This is a great job of derailing the thread at present - questioning the legitimacy of the discussion and not the topic itself.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:12 pm

I've made a couple fo points and questions tbf. How many england players got the rest. Youd say sinkler would have got about 30 less min cole the opposite. Marler for ten. Etc. Why didn't France and New Zealand benefit as much. How much of this is based on england being good and perhaps better than some thought?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:18 pm

Are miaow and Dirty Dave the same? Seem to be repeating the same thing over and over again...

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Post by BamBam on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:21 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Are miaow and Dirty Dave the same? Seem to be repeating the same thing over and over again...

I had the same thought after Dave's 60 posts on the morning he joined Laugh

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:22 pm

BamBam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Are miaow and Dirty Dave the same? Seem to be repeating the same thing over and over again...

I had the same thought after Dave's 60 posts on the morning he joined Laugh

Might be a job for Pagemaster then? Gatekeeper and Snowflake are of their depth here Wink.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:23 pm

The new games had 2 teams that had missed a game playing each other and 2 that had played all their games playing each other, so I'm not sure what that adds to the discussion.

But OK - I don't think it made any difference to the outcome of any matches and I've not heard anyone say their team was cheated?

Also as mentioned before it's all hypothetical as who knows for example what would have happened if the England France match had gone ahead - France might have been a bit sharper and beaten Wales - or the French idiot could have done that against England and been banned and not even made the Wales match and they may have kept 15 men on the pitch?

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Post by Heaf on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:25 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Are miaow and Dirty Dave the same? Seem to be repeating the same thing over and over again...

hmmmm ... chin

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:34 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I've made a couple fo points and questions tbf. How many england players got the rest. Youd say sinkler would have got about 30 less min cole the opposite. Marler for ten. Etc. Why didn't France and New Zealand benefit as much. How much of this is based on england being good and perhaps better than some thought?

To start at the end and how much is this to do with England being good - minimal up until this weekend, but no doubt it adds to the question. When raised - and in terms of my own views - it's a minor contributory factor. That game against Irelan convinced me that England had a level above what Wales and Ireland can get to, and if they brought it against NZ - which they did - they could win the RWC. Along with keeping Tuilagi fit. So England haven't been inconsistent with my pre tournament thoughts at all. One of the main factors I thought they would struggle with was the '5 games' back to back, starting with Argentina, involving NZ, and culminating in a final. So...yes, England's success does inform my views, but not massively. It's just a big question whether they would have performed and succeeded had they not had that rest game.

In terms of what is 'gained' by the rest you're looking at things the wrong way. You don't go back to 'brand new and fresh' after 5 days' rest. It's the mental aspect of not going through another game, but more importantly the extra attrition and bumps and bruises the bodies take. France are a big, tough old team. Nevermind the potential for cards, players would be doubling up from the Argentina game to France and then some more again to Oz. Some would do all 3. That's tiring, wearing, and when fatigued, the likelihood of injury increases massively - just look at Wales as a prime example of ateam relying on success through work rate and then breaking down mid to late tournament.

It's also the time period to rest and prepare for coaches - more mental than anything, emotional, the time to relax, and allow their players to forget rugby for a bit. To not have the camp in game prep, to effectively go through the 6Ns rest week. But more than that, it's the tactics - England seemingly have been preparing for NZ for a long, long time, and no doubt not having to worry about will they, won't they beat France helped. You don't have to do test prep on France, ou don't have to play them, you don't have to go through the skills of beating them. Instead, while some teams still had 2 group games to go, they literally knew and were preparing for Oz, with a healthy eye on the ABs as well.

All things told, this is the practical result of the missed games, unfortunately. And no doubt more as well. In terms of the latter end of the tournament, it's the cumulative effects.

Perhaps in SA they are playing a team that isn't really that impacted by them, as they had a tough game first up, walkovers in the group, and then a relatively non-physical QF - but that's being generous, it was still a tough old game. Now, with an extra day of prep, will that attrition and England's relative lack of it be a factor in the final? And, likewise, in the game few people really care about, the NZ and Wales game?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:39 pm

Kind of ignores the point that a lot of the team would likely have been rested for both france and england. We also didn't see France take advantage. Given england looked a step up again vs nz perhaps they did need that extra game for a bit of sharpness. Hey ho. I wont be bothered come sunday one way or the other. I do think that extra day is more important post semis though. And far more impact are those 4 days turn arounds. All very good when in the past when you say well its only japan but let's face it we'll now be saying we cant have a 4 day turnaround, its japan!

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:51 pm

No it doesn't, 7.5. Just because the first team players don't play, that doesn't mean they don't train. It doesn't mean the whole squad isn't focusing on France etc. Perhaps you're not really 'getting' what it actually means, the difference between playing and not playing. All the things that happen off field, as well as the factors of playing a game, immediate and cumulative.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:57 pm

Oh I've already accepted that training would be altered. Just think it's been overdone in regards to impact.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:59 pm

Well yes, because it's not just training. But I take and accept your view that you don't think it has an impact.

The next relevant question would be backing up big performances, and how much that is impacted by things like the cancelled games - but, also, injuries, playing styles, the extra day's rest Eng have having played a day earlier etc.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 6:05 pm

England having a day more comes much more into it leading into the world cup. The ability to have a day completely off for the players without having to focus at all is important psychologically (I assume they got the day off completely though no doubt will have watched the match this morning). Playing styles I think was always going to be tweaked. The midfield etc to suit. I think it's a big call to match the midfield vs Australia given how well ford played again. That's what the coaches get paid to do.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 8:28 pm

Right up until last Saturday, the prevailing view on here was that England would be undercooked from having a week off. 

Then they won.

Then the prevailing view was that New Zealand were a class apart (presumably because they’d used their week off a bit better).

Except England reached a level that New Zealand couldn’t get to.

These weren’t narrow victories squeezed out in a last gasp. They were convincing wins where England were in control for all but a few minutes of each game. 

If the week off made any difference to those performances, it was pretty marginal. You don’t produce that kind of dominance from an extra week’s training.
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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 9:08 pm

The prevailing view was they would be undercooked? Don't think so. And even so, just because one set of people thinks something, doesn't make it so. It also doesn't make them exclusive - the idea that you're either undercooked or battle hardened is pretty facile. It also comes across as an excuse. Now, when it comes to fatigue and/or injuries and/or attrition - all aided by having an extended mental and physical break - that you can quantify.

What we cannot quantify is the effect it had. You said it's marginal - who knows. Fair enough if you think that. I'm not so sure.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 9:14 pm

It’s not really anybody else’s fault if you make such hard work of Uruguay, Georgia and Fiji.

Work on the squad depth so you aren’t so pushed by ‘lesser’ sides.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 9:27 pm

"You"?

Good one.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 9:41 pm

PoorFour said Except England reached a level that New Zealand couldn’t get to.


The Reason New Zealand couldn't get to that level that England reached on Saturday.
Is simply New Zealand was not expecting that sort of game from England.


We kept hearing before the game how good is Reatlick, Beauden Barrett, Richy Mounga, Scot Barrett. simply because they was ABs. No body gave England a chance.

These players had the same time off as England did and yet could not make any inroads into the England goal line, except When England made a mess of a line out in England's red zone and Savea scored off a faulty England throw. Other wise they looked/was very vunerable all over the field.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 29 Oct 2019, 9:38 pm

The disparity of turnaround times between games has been a talking point for a while in RWCs and World Rugby are clueless to resolve the problem. However having nearly half the teams in the quarters playing one game less is patently unfair.
Whatever spin is put on it the teams that play more games are more likely to suffer injuries and suspensions than the ones who don't (never mind fatigue). This will be the first Cup to be won by a team that hasn't won all its matches so that is a difference to all the previous tournaments and as such will always be open to criticism. That criticism shouldn't be directed at any team though but should be pointed at World Rugby who have made such a horlicks of their showpiece.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 29 Oct 2019, 9:48 pm

It’s been a great World Cup. The fact that a once in a generation (or two) weather system caused some disruption to the competition (as well as causing mass devastation to the country) isn’t something you can properly prepare for.

I’m not a huge fan of World Rugby, but they would be criticised whatever they do.

There’s no indication any of the cancelled games had an meaningful impact on the way the games have gone. No more so than the usual issues with turnaround times and squad depth.

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Post by miaow on Tue 29 Oct 2019, 9:57 pm

There's quite a lot of indication if you care to look for it, Cyril.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 29 Oct 2019, 10:18 pm

No more than any other World Cup. The smaller nations and those with less depth will always be at a disadvantage.

On a different tack, the 6 Nations is never a ‘fair’ competition due to the home/away discrepancy.

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Post by miaow on Tue 29 Oct 2019, 11:53 pm

Oh right, yeah, all those other world cups where they canelled games...of course. No more. You're ofc correct...


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Post by Cyril on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 12:03 am

Miaow, i’ll just refer you to Eddie’s reply to Gats and hope you enjoy your play-off. You really are so contrary for the sake of it. Replying with a meme is pretty low.

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Post by Heaf on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 12:08 am

miaow wrote:There's quite a lot of indication if you care to look for it, Cyril.

No - there's quite a lot of assumptions, guess work, theorising ... but nothing to actually indicate any games would have turned out differently - unless you have a crystal ball that is ...

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 3:53 am

Look this is obviously a devalued RWC. Whoever wins will not have won all 7 matches, and thus really the WC should not be awarded.

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Post by Dirtydave on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:17 am

Of course it's not devalued...

But there has to be an asterix, similar to 1987 no?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:20 am

In the history books theres still an additional win for wales over England and 1 less grand slam despite wales fielding a combined 15 rather than a welsh team in the 6 nations: so no asterisk.

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Post by Dirtydave on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:30 am

You just proved my point.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:33 am

Hows that then?

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:38 am

The bottom line is that every match in the QFs went with the World Rugby Rankings.

There were three teams in the QFs who had had cancelled matches, two of them beat opponents ranked lower than them, one of them lost to an opponent ranked higher. 

And there was nothing in any of those matches that was out of line with what we expected in terms of the nature of the performance. New Zealand exposed flaws in Ireland that we all knew were there. England continued their dominance over Australia. France built a lead against Wales and then imploded.

It’s just about possible that the scorelines were flattered by one team having had a little more rest, but the results were what we’d expect.
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Post by robbo277 on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 7:42 am

I remember when France won the devalued football world cup in 2018. Yeah they were imperious in the knockouts and won the final, but they also drew with Denmark in the pool stages 0-0. They barely celebrated in the end. Hugo Lloris looked embarrassed to lift the trophy if anything.

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Post by profitius on Wed 30 Oct 2019, 8:33 am

Of course the cancelled games had an effect. How much of an effect is the question.


I would say this for England. They got a horrible fixture list. Playing Argentina and France in their 2 last pool games was the worse case scenario. A scenario that funnily enough, happens to northern hemisphere teams a lot more than southern hemisphere teams. Just a coincidence. laughing


I believe they were given those pool fixtures to tire them out for the knock out matches. They've been the best team and if they win on Saturday I doubt anyone will be questioning it because of a cancelled match.
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