Rugby World Cup Shorts: Give the man a hand

Here's Dagg after scoring (right) and former wrestling star Santino Marella. Photo / Supplied, Greg Bowker
Here's Dagg after scoring (right) and former wrestling star Santino Marella. Photo / Supplied, Greg Bowker

Israel Dagg had crazy-hand-gesture experts nationwide wondering what his try-scoring celebration was about. Some said it was a French rooster; others thought it was a Crazy Horses gang sign out of the movie Boy. CupShorts' crazy-hand-gesture expert has cracked it. Here's Dagg on Saturday night, and wrestling star Santino Marella and his trademark cobra move.

Ngati TV3

TV3's Cup Talk host James Gemmell is the bright young thing in rugby broadcasting. He left these shores a couple of years ago, when it was clear that Guy Smiley-lookalike Howard Dobson was firmly ensconced upon the Sports Tonight throne. Gemmell went to the UK, where he's now a well-regarded telly presenter, and TV3 reportedly paid good cash to get him back for Cup Talk, the show that began life crippled by a dud gameshow formula.

Gemmell is a good host, but has he been away too long? Panelists James McOnie, Andrew Mehrtens and Ben Hurley weren't alone in having their eyebrows rise on Sunday night when Gemmell asked "is Piri Weepu Maori?"

A transtasman portent

A CupShorts contributor points out a comforting statistical oddity. The past three World Cups were all won by teams that had been knocked out in the quarter-final stage of the previous tournament. South Africa (2007 champions, beaten 29-9 in 2003, by the All Blacks), England (2003 champions, beaten 44-21 in 1999, by South Africa) and Australia (1999 champions, beaten 25-22 in 1995 by England). So, with Scotland and Fiji (the other quarter-final departees from 2007) both dog tucker, it's a good sign for the All Blacks and the Convicts.

Bok off

In the aftermath of his side's 87-0 thrashing at the hands of South Africa, Namibia captain Jacques Burger joked: "The IRB are looking into our game against the Boks. We have complained that they had 20 players on the pitch at one time."

The Saracens flanker was making a complimentary point about the smothering defence of the Springboks, but the sharp eyes of a CupShorts contributor suggests Burger was closer to the truth than he might have thought.

Several times when Namibia were hard on defence (which was quite often), the Bok reserves would be standing almost alongside them as they warmed up in the deadball area (which is still the field of play).

This has been happening often during the World Cup and is usually done by more powerful teams like the Boks.

CupShorts says enough of this rubbish - it's hard enough for teams like Namibia to defend their line without having the opposition reserves in your back pocket.

In other words ...

A spot of anagram fun.

Scots win World Cup: Clowns Crow Stupid.

Aussies win World Cup: Ludicrous Spews A Win.

All Blacks win World Cup: Awards Blown Click Pull.

- NZ Herald

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