The Wallabies could be relying on Bernard Foley’s boot if the World Cup final comes down to a shootout. Picture: AFP
The Wallabies could be relying on Bernard Foley’s boot if the World Cup final comes down to a shootout. Picture: AFP

Tie-breaker threatens to put boot into Wallabies hopes

New Zealanders won't be happy if badly thought through regulations cost them two World Cups in the space of five months.

In July's World Cup cricket final at Lord's, the Black Caps scored the same number of runs as England while losing fewer wickets, but still somehow the trophy ended up in the host's hands.

The Kiwis were left to rue scoring fewer boundaries in the decider. In hindsight, it was a very limp way to decide the world champion.

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Bernard Foley gets some practice in ahead of the start of the tournament.
Bernard Foley gets some practice in ahead of the start of the tournament.

In the hypothetical case of the full-time scoreboard for the Rugby World Cup final also being unable to provide a winner, authorities have made another dubious call on the ultimate determining factor.

If it's all square after 80 minutes, there'll be an extra 10 minutes each way played.

No result and there will be another 10 minutes allotted, with the first team to score points declared world champion.

Still all tied up after that and it's down to a penalty shoot out. Yep, the Football World Cup comes to rugby.

I thought rugby was invented because someone picked up a soccer ball and ran with it, and yet here we are, potentially determining the outcome of the code's most important match by reverting to a place kicking contest.

I know. It is hardly likely to happen but it doesn't seem right.

There is also the problem that, in theory, none of the five nominated kickers from each team actually misses.

We could still be in Tokyo kicking goals when the next World Cup is due to start in four years time.

Again, I'm not betting on that, but it would have been easier, if everything was still tied up after the extra playing time, to declare the winner as the team with the highest world ranking?

That would at least be definitive. What it wouldn't be is accurate.

Ireland enters the World Cup as the number one ranked team in the world.

True, Ireland have beaten the All Blacks twice in their past three matches, but that makes it two out of 31 overall, and while it indicates Ireland currently have a serious rugby team, they do not deserve to be rated superior to New Zealand.

Anyway, should they meet the defending champions in the final, and after a potential 110 minutes of hand-to-hand combat, I've no doubt they have five competent goal-kickers who'd give them a better than even money chance of causing an upset!

 

 

 

Which is where the Wallabies come into the equation.

For all the optimism we're clinging on to after the win over the All Blacks in Perth, and the undoubted improvement we have made in some areas, there is still one vital piece missing.

We don't have a goal kicker.

True, there is no shortage of players who can kick goals.

At various stages over recent years, kicking responsibilities have been given to Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Matt Toomua and Nic White.

 

However, Foley is the only one who could be considered a regular first-choice kicker, and after fluffing three very makable conversions against Samoa as well. as the fact he has a maximum range of around 40 metres, one wonders why we haven't been more focussed on developing a world-class international sharpshooter.

 

Names such as Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Handre Pollard and several others put Australia at an immediate disadvantage in the points scoring contest.

 

Should we somehow manage to reach the final, and then find ourselves in a goal kicking shootout, chances are we'll end up feeling just like New Zealand's cricketers.

News Corp Australia


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