What a week it was for Pool A
He has lived and breathed Tokoroa rugby for decades. David Foote gives his perspective on Pool A
IN A packed stadium, the All Blacks and Tonga met in the first game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup at Eden Park. The All Blacks soon took control with a try to Israel Dagg.
Then our own Richard Kahui came into his own, scoring two tries and having a hand in another, earning him the Man of the Match award.
Having the best of an entertaining first half, Tonga went into the second half and gave the home side some hurry up.
They took it to the All Blacks in the forwards and the All Black scrums were not as effective as they were in the first half. This was especially noticeable when Woodcock came off and the Tongans seemed to have the advantage, severely testing the All Black scrum.
The final score 41-10 was a fair indication of the game which was probably pleasing for Tonga but left the All Blacks with plenty to think about.
The other game in pool A was a highly entertaining one – Japan versus France at North Harbour Stadium.
Japan played a fast game keeping the French busy but even with seven Kiwis in the Japanese team the French eventually prevailed, winning 41-21.
The games to watch in Pool A this week are Tonga playing their second game against the Canadians, who are playing their first of the tournament in Whangarei at 5pm, Wednesday.
The weather forecast looks good so a fast game should be on the cards.
The Tongans will be looking for their first win of the tournament but don’t write off Canada just yet.
The other games this week – in Hamilton on Friday the All Blacks take on Japan. This will be All Black captain Richie McCaw’s 100th game so he will want to lead from the front and come away with a big win.
The big interest this week will be Sunday’s match between Canada and France in Napier. This should be a good game in the Hawke’s Bay and a big day for the Hawke’s Bay rugby fans.