World Cup In Words: Week 3

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Rugby World’s Paul Morgan takes a sideways look at the facts and figures, best and worst, weirdest and wackiest moments from another action-packed week at the World Cup...

Déjà Vu...McCaw won both his 50th and 100th cap against the same opposition, France

Picture Perfect...If there is one instance that captures the spirit of rugby then it was the moment when the Samoan and Fijian teams knelt in prayer together at the end of their game. Brilliant!!

Half Time Slip...Scotland were the only team in week three to be leading at half time (6-3), to yet go on and lose the match (13-12)

Caps Apart...Namibia’s starting 15 had only a few more caps than the South African front row alone when the sides met in Auckland last week

Playing Out of Position...Fiji had a hooker scrumming at prop, Russia subbed on a hooker to play flanker, Radike Samo was out on the wing, McCaw packed the scrum at 8, and Parra played at fly-half

England’s Crown Jewels...Ben Foden and Lewis Moody both suffered contact to an undesirable area
Solo...South Africa’s Frans Steyn is the only player to have scored a try in each of his country’s World Cup matches

MOTM...Three players on the losing side picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award this week; Russia’s no. 8 Victor Gresev, Japan’s openside flanker Michael Leitch and Namibia’s blindside flanker Tinus Du Plessis

Small Margins...11 of the last 12 games between Scotland and Argentina have now been decided by less than 10 points

Top Signs... “Cooper Need’s a Tackling Tutor,” “Kids, Just Popped Out to Get Milk, be Back Oct 24th,” and “Tell Mum and Dad to Pay our Fares to Get Back to Ireland”

Yellow Fever...It was the worst week discipline-wise in the World Cup, with a total of 7 yellow cards dished out, and almost half of them (3) when Tonga took on Japan

Nail Biter...Scotland v Argentina...what a dramatic match!
Super Support...Ireland fans must be the biggest travelling contingent, whilst there is little arguing that the Argentine supporters are the loudest!

Memorable Moment...The Haka-Off between Samoa and Fiji. Wow!

Ineffective...Scotland spent three times as many minutes in the opposition 22 against Argentina (11minutes-4minutes), yet still lost

Records...South Africa equalled their 10th straight World Cup game winning streak, Hugo Horn became Namibia’s most capped player and played in a Namibian record 10th World Cup match and Wilkinson made his 16th start at fly-half in a World Cup game to set a new record for starts in that position. Habana became the Springboks record try scorer, McCaw is the first All Black to reach 100 caps, while South Africa and Wales recorded their highest ever World Cup scores when they both faced Namibia

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