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Get Your Tackle In, and Tear Those Boys (and Girls) Apart

By Glenn Cowan

Our sporting attention for this month’s article in The Pattaya Trader magazine sees us turning our attention to rugby.There are a whole host of games coming up during “Movember” (reference to the Global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health) - there’s a great article on why you should grow your tash during the month, written by Felix - so don’t miss it!

Back to Rugger (union style), as I said, the games come thick and fast for the 2017 Autumn Internationals. In fact some of the games start on the 21st October and run through for 7 weeks, right up until the last game on the 2nd December with Wales hosting South Africa.

For those who aren’t familiar, these sets of games feature internationals in the Northern Hemisphere played out predominantly by visiting Southern Hemisphere countries (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and the following sides from Europe, including England, France , Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

Kicking Things Off

The first games we know kick off on the 21st October, with what can only be described as a mouth-watering game. All attention will be turned to Lang Park, Brisbane when Australia take on New Zealand with the Wallabies hoping to avenge the defeat inflicted earlier on in the year. Rugby enthusiasts will perhaps recall a top game in which Australia sped to a 17 points to nil lead. Sadly for the Aussies they went down 35 points to 29 at the final whistle thanks to a terrific fightback from the All Blacks.

The game was as tight as a “Pattaya lovely’s” grip (on yer wallet) going into the last 10 minutes, with the Wallabies leading by 22 points to 21, thanks to Ben Smith going over on 71 minutes. New Zealand had to dig very deep to come up with the win.

There are some really spicy encounters scheduled, including:

  • Wales vs Australia - November 11th

  • France vs New Zealand - November 11th

  • Italy vs Argentina - November 18th

  • England vs Australia November 18th

  • Wales vs New Zealand - November 25th

  • Ireland vs Argentina - November 25th

  • France vs Japan - November 25th

Check the times for games at your local sports bar. You can expect the likes of Retox / Robin Hood, I-Rovers, The Sportsman, Legends et.al. to have the games covered.

Rugby League World Cup 2017

If that isn’t enough Rugby to send you do-lally then don’t worry, the “fest” continues!! League fans will not be disappointed as the Rugby League World Cup gets underway, with no less than 3 host countries.Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea all host a number of games with no less than 28 matches scheduled between start and finish. To be fair the lion share of the games are in the larger two countries.

A mixture of global sports providers will ensure that you don’t miss a scrummage, line-out, penalty or try. All you need to do is pop along to your local sports bar, get a couple of beers in and sit back to enjoy the action! After the group stages the real action starts to warm up - some refer to this as the tournament proper starting. Quarter-finals get underway on Friday 17th November at Darwin with most likely Australia or England facing Samoa. Saturday 18th sees 4 more quarter finals being played out, I’d have a guess at the line up being something like this:

  • Scotland vs Italy

  • New Zealand vs either France or England

The final game in this set of 4 is will feature the runner up in Group A and the winner of Group C. So in reality this could conceivably be a matchup of England or France playing Wales or Ireland. Tasty stuff indeed!! Brisbane Stadium will host the final on the 2nd December, which could easily see a repeat of the 2013 final in which Australia pummeled the Kiwi’s 34 - 2. Of course, the other 12 represented nations will have a thing or two to say about that! The headline, those who can remember that far back has suggested tearing the boys and girls apart. This isn’t as odd as it might sound, as not to be out done by the guys the women also have their own Rugby League World Cup.

Women’s World Cup

For the first time in the history of this tournament the Women’s Rugby League World Cup will be played as a standalone event. The popularity of the tournament combined with a partnership with Harvey Norman has helped to elevate the status of the ladies competition to new levels.If you are lucky to be in the vicinity then you can watch the action close up with tickets on sale from just $10. Children under 16 and concession card holders get in for free!

No fewer than 13 host cities will get to showcase games for the ladies tournament, helping to bring the appeal to a local level throughout Sydney and Brisbane.The tournament has been part of the fixture list since it’s inception back in 2000, when the UK hosted the inaugural outing. The competing nations might have been excused for giving up, as New Zealand went on to win the first 3 competitions. (it's’ obviously not just the guys that have a great rugby team!).For those who are newbies to this form of the sport, here’s a look back at the tourney winners so far:

New Zealand 26 - 4 Great Britain (2000)

New Zealand 58 - 0 Maori (2005)

New Zealand 34 - 0 Australia (2008)

Australia were able to inflict a level of retribution in the 2013 final, running out winners by 22 to 12.

So whether you are a fan of Union, League or just ladies (what’s not to love) there are some cracking games coming up soon. Who needs football when there’s this much rugger coming up ?!