Quelle horreur

A happy CupShorts customer has this to say about our coverage of the snail-hunting, garlic-craving, cheese-eating, nuclear-bomb-testing beret-wearers:

"I am writing to you in disgust at yet another unnecessary cultural insult presented in this morning's CupShorts section. Having seen the French team referred to as the Cheese-Eaters previously, today the unnamed author sees fit to simply label them as the Garlic-eaters.

"This is at the very least ingracious, given that New Zealand is amongst the world leaders in dairy exporters, the All Blacks have just convincingly beaten the French at Eden Park, and frankly, New Zealand has at least won a single Rugby World Cup. Wouldn't it be slightly more gracious and sportsman-like to not single out another nation like this, despite past grievances?


"I understand the casual tone of the column, however, racism and xenophobia such as that is disappointing and unprofessional from a first-rate newspaper. It sickens me."

We stand corrected.

Packed too tightly I

The fat men have complaints about the skin-tight jerseys that are all the vogue these days.

"I feel that tight shirts are not helping for the amount of collapsed scrums," says Argentina prop Marcos Ayerza. "As a loosehead I find it hard to bind and attack a prop when he's got a very tight shirt."

It wouldn't have happened in Olo Brown's day. The great man just cut the outside sleeve off his jersey before taking the field.

Packed too tightly II

Ben Franks on the tight jerseys: "[Forwards] are usually the last ones to be thought of. I'm pretty sure the props didn't put in an order for super-tight jerseys from the get-go."

Tonga's Soane Tonga'uiha (1.91m and 126kg): "I prefer the loose ones, I prefer to breath. I don't like to hold my breath."

Live Chinese takeaway

A CupShorts contributor in Japan has found a way around the IRB's media blanket. He tells us anyone with a computer with a Chinese operating system can download at least two Chinese sports channels and watch all RWC games live and for free, either by connecting the computer to a TV or directly on the computer monitor. Commentary is in Chinese - so no less intelligible than some of the stuff you're used to.

'A complete eejit'

It smells like team spirit. When Irish lock Donncha O'Callaghan was asked whether he was with wing Tommy Bowe on Monday when they bumped into some Welsh players at the cinema, his answer was gold: "I try to keep away from Tommy Bowe [pause], because he's a complete eejit."

McTaffy's kilt confusion

Spotted walking into Waikato Stadium for the Wales-Fiji game on Sunday night: a fan (presumably a Celt) wearing a red Wales jersey, and a kilt. The thinking is he retained half his clothing from the night before, when the Scots bowed out to England at Eden Park.

Makes you wonder ...

The three-game ban handed to French back Fabrice Estebanez for a dangerous tackle in their loss to Tonga starts with Saturday night's quarter-final against England. It was handed to the luckless Frenchman by the International Rugby Board's judicial officer Christopher Quinlan, QC. The bans ends on October 24, the day after the final. Quinlan is English. Hmmm.