Rugby World Cup Preview - Teams To Laugh At

Admit it. It's about the little teams.

It's about seeing Namibia losing by 100 to Australia. It's about unpronounceable Georgian names. It's about seeing the Americans get spanked in sport. It's about Canadians boasting about being the best in North America. It's about teams that don't have a clue making school boy errors. It's about debating whether your club colts team could beat a nation's best.

Well like schoolkids that go to a selective school only because their Dad went there and not because of any academic talent, the Rolling Maul has decided to sit the World Cup minnows down for a stern talking to about some of the harsh realities of life:

The Rolling Maul's Advice to The Teams That Have no Chance Whatsoever Ever Ever of Making the Quarter-Finals and Probably Wouldn't Be There in The First Place if it Wasn't for the IRB Finding a Way to Satisfy the Yanks and the Japanese

The USA
Ever since you won that Olympic Gold Medal in 1920 you've liked to think you know a thing or two about Rugby. That only two teams were competing is irrelevant. And so what if Grid Iron evolved from Rugby Union, humans evolved from monkeys but that doesn't mean we should play poker with them. And so you beat Japan twice (in World War 2 and in Gosford in 2003), well we don't care. You're only here because we like to see you lose at every sport we care about (Athletics isn't a sport by the way - running fast for the sake of it is pointless unless you have a ball under your arm and don't get me started on the triple jump or even worse - race walking).

Japan
A nation full of sumo wrestlers and you can't produce one decent front rower. Don't give me that rice diet and raw fish excuse, I've seen Fijians go all day on a strict diet of yams and kava. And what kind of a line-up do you call this - James Arlidge? Glen Marsh? Luke Thompson? Bryce Robins? At least Luatangi Samurai Vatuvei is pretending to embrace Japanese culture but really - Samurai? Stick to Nintendo and your Sony playstations.

Canada
Don't tell me you shouldn't be in this list. I know you made the quarter-finals in 1991 but that's only because South Africa were still under suspension. Still it could be worse I suppose. If it wasn't for you the Americans would be unbearable. And the other thing I don't get with you guys is why you play like the English when it's that little French rump of yours that has all the jois de vivre (excuse my French).

Georgia
The Lelos? What the hell is that? When I was a kid we floated on them in the kiddie pool. Oh I see - it's a traditional Georgian game that's similar to Rugby. Well using that logic the English should call themselves the Walls. And let's face it, no one knows where Georgia is except that it's not that one in the USA. Well at least you have that going for you. Nice jerseys though.

Namibia
142-0. That's gotta make you wonder. The Wallabies did better than a try every four minutes against you. And if that's not enough when you went home you had more political squabbles than the South Africans. Must be tough knowing you're the second best team in Africa. Now that's a frightening thought. What's third best like? Boy, that clash against Georgia is going to be worth staying up for.

Portugal
Welcome to first grade. I read it took you 31 years just to get your first win and that was in 1966. Well I predict it will be at least 131 years till you get your first win in the World Cup, but won't that tournament in 2138 or thereabouts be a ripper? So you're playing the All Blacks. A piece of advice - when they do the haka pay close attention and enjoy the moment. It's the closest you'll get to them on the scoreboard and the only chance you'll get to stand toe to toe with them.

Romania
So are you called the Oaks because you don't move much on the field or because when you do you lumber? OK so that was a pretty bad joke but so is Romanian Rugby so it's all in context. Anyway, I know it's a cliche but have you considered getting some of your vampires in the front row? Would give a whole new meaning to the term blood bin. Where do you get one of those anyway?

Tonga
1974 was a long time ago. I know you beat the Wallabies then but now you can't even beat Japan. Maybe you should spend less time working on your spear throwing war dance and more on your catching and passing. But then again, your war dance is worth the price of admission.

England
Just wait...

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