So far this has got off to a good start with the biggest upset in rugby history when the Brave Blossoms of Japan beat the South African Springboks 34-32. Up until then, Japan had only won one match ever in major international competition.
Japan next faces Scotland on Wednesday 23 September and has received a double slap in the face just ahead of that: 1. Japan has moved ahead of Scotland in the world rankings 11th place vs. 12th place. 2. Even worse, bagpipes have been banned from the World Cup along with vuvuzelas and large umbrellas.
Winning teams so far after the first match are England over Fiji, Georgia over Tonga, Ireland over Canada, Japan over South Africa, France over Italy, Samoa over the United States, Wales over Uruguay, and New Zealand over Argentina. I love the first round because teams that you have never heard of get a chance to play, and then we usually wave goodbye to them immediately.
We went to a pub in Dublin to watch the Ireland versus Canada match. Even though we knew Canada would be beat by a lot, we still enjoyed watching it with the Irish fans. This morning, back in Canada, I was sitting on my couch screaming at the television watching the Italy versus Canada game, that was so close!
I didn't even know Canada had a rugby team! Whenever I look at Canadian news websites (well, only the CBC and not very often) they only talk about hockey. I even noticed that they have 2 separate sections: "Sports" and "Hockey".
I too was unaware of our rugby team bjd until the last few years. One of my doctors is from Ireland and a huge fan and former player. He played for his University in Ireland and when he moved to Canada the Canadian National team asked him to play for them, which he did for a short period. He is as passionate when he speaks about the sport as we are when talking hockey so we decided to watch and I am now a fan!
We arrived home from Ireland on our hockey teams season home opener night, I was tired, but I made it there!
Just finished watching Ireland versus Italy. Next weeks match against France will surely be exciting now. Tough matches past that for the winner and loser, most likely New Zealand for the loser and Argentina for the winner. I am enjoying learning the rules of this sport.