Flipping heck: interesting times in the man vs beast challenge! Check it out…

Handsome XV: 99

Unfortunate XV: 102

Yes, the awkward boys have managed to sneak into the lead! The main issue for the Handsome XV seems to be the continued injury problems plaguing Matfield and Easter. I should have replaced them earlier in the tournament, and I feel like it’s too late now.

Unfortunate XV coach Martin Johnson was typically suave when I called him with the news:

I don’t mean to be crude here, but this man must be blessed in the trouser department in order for his wife to stick with him. Imagine waking up next to that face!

Part of me is hoping that the Handsome XV will surge ahead in the last round of pool games. This may depend upon whether Kahui is selected for the All Blacks v Canada game this weekend: if he is, and scores a couple of tries, it would be helpful. Similarly, if O’Connor could have a good final game (or even get on the field for Australia) and score a try or two, it would help.

Although it seems that my natural inclination is to join most of the world in favouring attractive people over the fuglies, I must admit that I will see it as a superb victory if the Unfortunate XV can do the business and beat the pretty boys. If Beale could score a couple of tries for Australia it would be good news for these chaps, but he’s played every game so far, I think – I suspect that he might be on the bench soon. Or would he be? He’s playing for a team that runs a serious risk of only coming second in its pool, so Robbie Deans, the Australia coach, might play his best possible team to ensure that Australia gets a bonus point victory (they’ll definitely get a victory, since they’re playing Russia – the question is whether they score enough tries for a bonus point).

One thing I should note here is that Canada and Japan had the RWC’s only tie yesterday, so I credited it as a victory for both Kirwan (the Handsome XV and Japan coach) and the relevant Canada players. That’s just how I roll.

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