The famed computer has been dragged out of the basement to give its flawless SHIT/GOOD™ judgement on the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Its motherboard is plenty proud of it. After all, it provides the only ratings that matter.
Ireland – Started their World Cup with great hopes as the host nation, but they grew worse and worse as the tournament progressed. Two unconvincing victories were followed up by three quite frankly embarrassing defeats. They didn’t even manage to automatically qualify for the next World Cup. A hopeless implosion on par with England’s 2015 fiasco.
The French Lineout – Beyond dreadful. The French hookers’ throws were so skewed, they made the Amsterdam Canal Pride look as straight as a German highway.
Rugby losing its only professional women’s XV team – What more needs to be said about this utter backroom brainfart of a decision? For starters: it’s SHIT. But beyond that, it’s a massive step backwards for what is arguably the branch of our sport with the biggest potential to grow. That it’s the decision of the richest union in the world makes it all the sadder.
Depth – The computer contemplated putting Hong Kong here, but that would have felt like blaming a toddler for not understanding quantum mechanics. So instead this spot goes to all unions, which have failed to promote women’s rugby to any significant degree since the last tournament. WRWC2017 was great, but would have been a whole lot better if the finalists hadn’t been a sure bet from day 1.
Portia Woodman – She is the undisputed superstar of the women’s game at the moment. The Black Fern speedster has everything one could possibly want from a wing: speed, agility, wicked sidestep, vision and a massive fend. Her Amazonian rampage through the US defence in the semi-final was particularly brilliant. An absolute force of nature.
The USA back three – Thomas, Tapper and Emba were the standout performers for this tournament’s surprise package. Between the three of them, they managed to score at least one try per match. To be fair they could improve defensively, but as all three of them are 24 or younger, they should be the full package come 2021.
The England pack – They fought like wolverines this tournament. There’s no doubt England were the delight of the purists this World Cup and their rolling maul in particular was an almighty weapon. Special mention must go to 20-year old tighthead prop Sarah Bern, who made the switch to front-row only a year ago and was arguably the best forward of the tournament. The computer expects big things to come from this special, special talent.
The Final – It was absolutely magnificent. It had both teams dominating phases of the game: England bullying the Kiwis in the opening encounters and New Zealand coming back at them with a vengeance in the second half. The tries were brilliant and plenty. It even had that rarest of rugby union unicorns: a prop hat-trick. This match will live long in memory and congratulations to New Zealand for a deserved win.