#Scrum5 podcast: All Blacks first, daylight second…

ESPNscrum.com: The All Blacks dominated the Rugby World Cup final from the opening whistle, smashing the gainline and executing basic skills, but they also certainly benefited from the majority of the 50-50 calls against “fatigued” rivals – particularly in “the championship minutes”. Andy Withers, Sam Bruce and I round up the talking points in the final Scrum5 podcast of the year..

Normal service to resume…

It’s been a busy end to the rugby season, and it was nice to have a few days off after the NRC and Rugby World Cup wrapped up last weekend.

I’ll be posting all the wrap-ups from last week over the next little bit, but in the meantime, here’s me getting the way of the professionals at Ballymore last weekend, and how my pic shows it probably wasn’t worth it. Also, it might be time for a haircut…

my NRC pic

Return of the Cheap Seats: the RWC Final special edition

Ryan O’Connell and I have reconvened for a very special Rugby World Cup Final edition of the Cheap Seats podcast.

Whispers of a return were well received, and spawned a new batch of RWC #AskTheCheapSeats questions, most probably to ensure the boys had something to talk about.

In the most anticipated RWC Final in trans-Tasman rugby history, topics in the lead-up to the Australia-New Zealand decider included the fitness of Israel Folau, the prospect of wet weather (including a terrible BBC voice), the big performers for either side, tactical kicking, the likelihood of free-flowing attack, the Wallabies’ improvements under Michael Cheika, the moments of RWC2015, the whole Craig Joubert episode, the point of the 3rd v 4th Playoff, and the Player of the Tournament, among others.

In short, if there’s something you’re wondering about to do with the Final, we’ve got you covered.

As always, you can get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, on Soundcloud, iTunes, and the TuneIn radio app. And stay cheap – you never know when we’ll be back!

#RWC2015: the dream Final we weren’t entirely confident of getting

David Pocock’s calf muscle evidently held up very well, but his preparation this week should comprise nothing less than the full Ryan Harris treatment: cotton wool, soft pillows, double malt vanilla milkshakes and whatever the hell else he needs to present ready to go next Saturday. Image: ABC Grandstand

“David Pocock’s preparation this week should comprise nothing less than the full Ryan Harris treatment: cotton wool, soft pillows, double malt vanilla milkshakes and whatever the hell else he needs to present ready to go next Saturday.” Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: Coffee consumption at McSport HQ is reaching new peaks of late, and after another early morning thriller on Sunday saw the Wallabies through to their fourth Rugby World Cup Final, it is now highly likely that by this time next week that I’ll be measuring blood levels in my caffeine stream.

Oh, man, what a weekend of early starts it’s been. What a weekend of rugby it’s been. And what a week of cracking build-up and nervous anticipation we now have before us.

The very easy and obvious starting point would be to throw out there that I did indeed pick a New Zealand-Australia Final pre-tournament. It is, however, fair to say that there have been numerous times since the tournament began when that prediction has looked a bit shaky…