Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, October 04, 2007

True Glory - A Tribute to the Minnows

With the group stages of the World Cup over and the Quarter Finals of the tournament starting this weekend, we take a look back at some of the stars of the first round.

They came to the World Cup as nobodies. Not many of them play top flight rugby and the majority are amateurs. One thing is certain though, they left the greatest tournament in the world with their heads held high.

These doctors, plumbers, shop owners and school teachers took to the field against men who literally get paid to play rugby, full time. Men who spend most days of the week in the gym and are on intensive fitness and skills training programs. And yet, this bunch of amateurs we've come to know as the 'Minnows' have fronted up and in some cases, struck real fear into the hearts of the top teams.

We've all been thoroughly entertained and enamoured by these players that have given there all and sacrificed a great deal to represent their respective beloved countries. In the process they've made the world sit up and take notice of them.

As in the past with previous traditional minnows Argentina, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, these sides will one day grow if given the opportunity.

What some of us don't realise is that these are not the bottom of the bottom in terms of world rugby. These teams qualified for the tournament, with some very competitive qualifying stages in each of their parts of the world. So they've earned their place. And now, the IRB want to cut the tournament down to 16 teams in 2011.

I think I speak for all when I say we want to see these teams and these players in New Zealand in four years time.

Please show your support by leaving a comment and maybe mentioning your favourite minnow moment of the tournament. If you have a contact at the IRB, do your part to make a change by sending them the link.

Fuelling the Flame by CRASHCARBURN (formerly Tweak)

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  • My favourite minnows team has to be Japan, not for the results but because of the effort they put in. They just threw themselves into every tackle, and scored two of the best tries of the tournament. But all the minnows did really good, Georgia, Fiji, Tonga, Portugal etc. The IRB would be mad to reduce the teams to 16 next time

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 8:52 pm  

  • How can the sport grow to the non power nations of rugby if only a select group are alowed to play.
    Sounds like bullies on a play ground. You don't own the sport, the sport made you. Share it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 8:59 pm  

  • awesome video minnows need to play it helps expand the game it creates dreams for players that would never play otherwise

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 9:14 pm  

  • First sorry about my english. It´s time for the IRB to allow play in regular tournaments others country, why the tri nations couldn´t be four nations with relegation to the las and create a 4 nations "B" that could promote other teams? Doesn`t exist a 6 nation B, the first coul play the following year the main 6 nation and the last be relegated, it´s not logical. For example Argentina in all our history has defeated all importants team except the All Black, why we cannot play tournaments??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 9:43 pm  

  • Great video. Really inspirational to see that at their best, many of the minnows can compete with the big boys, if only for a few plays.

    By Blogger Unknown, at October 04, 2007 9:49 pm  

  • Namibia is it ... they have no money, hardly any supporters (other than family and friends), usually 2 to 3 players prefer to play in the Currie Cup with their SA Clubs ... still they came to their third world cup in a row ... yet they never won a single match. Their performance against Ireland was impressive. I hope they will come back in 2011...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 9:50 pm  

  • I loved the video, and finishing it off with the Eagles wing, Z, leaving Habana in the dust was the perfect ending.

    By Blogger Unknown, at October 04, 2007 9:58 pm  

  • Mine are Japan, for the awesome game against Canada, and Fiji, who's performance against Wales was superb and for their obvious love for the game.

    I loved Namibia's game against Ireland as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 10:05 pm  

  • My fave minnows hav got to be georgia and Portugal. Geogia were inspirational when they played ireland. It was brilliant. Portugal have got to be mentioned for their performance against new zealand. However Japan have got to be mentioned aswell for their draw against canada. And the IRB shouldn't cut it to 16 teams because they are the best matches to watch. Long live the minnows.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 10:07 pm  

  • First of all, a big round of applause for the minnows. They may not win the cup anytime soon but they put up one hell of a fight! Without you lot the Cup wouldnt have been as interesting. Here's to you all!

    Japan would have been my favourite, they were on fire against Wales and gave us one of the most exciting matches of the tourney so far, against Canada. However I want to mention Portugal aswell, newcomers and scoring a try against the masters of rugby. What a feeling must that have been, it would have made all the time and effort justified.

    Could anyone tell the iRB that elitism is the thing thats holding rugby to grow? Their attitude is mindboggling retarded, as if they want to keep this sport for a few select teams. Bugger off, you lot!
    Let everybody play who makes the effort for it!

    By Blogger Sea-Bass, at October 04, 2007 10:19 pm  

  • Portugal, they showed a real latin spirit and to me demonstrated real passion that lies in rugby where a sport like football holds so much more popularity and money.

    As a true sportsman it was a pleasure to see all the minnows play with such ferocity and more importantly a love for the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 10:41 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger murphy, at October 04, 2007 10:41 pm  

  • don't forget ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 10:45 pm  

  • there is no rugby without the minnows because they're what it's all about - heart, guts and pride even if you don't stand a chance... You fight and die on the pitch, and never ever surrender! Such players and teams need a chance to compete with the most powerful nations... so what if they lose? It's the battle, not the outcome that counts for most rugby fans. (my favourites 2007 - Georgia & Japan)

    By Blogger murphy, at October 04, 2007 10:51 pm  

  • I honestly hope the IRB don't cut out the minnows, they play the most exciting rugby at times n most importantly have a huge passion for the game which many of the big guns seem 2 lack at the moment...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 10:52 pm  

  • the best minnows are portugal, for their national pride, and georgia, for their great effort. argentina was a minnow and these two things helped them to improve and now the pumas are in quarter finals, after beating the hosting team and ireland.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:03 pm  

  • we`ve seen the true spirit of rugby this world cup!just watch portugal players singing their anthem or georgians.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:09 pm  

  • Portugal were amazing, never let their heads drop, even after playing 4 games in 16 games, which most professional teams would have found daunting.

    My favourite minnow team would have to Georgia, what a step up from last world cup, deserve to be included in 6 nations. I agree with the anonymous,w e should have a relegation system, two leagues in each competition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:11 pm  

  • Thank you for this great video, as portuguese of course my favourite minnow is portugal. All of these players have a job, they have a wives and childrens to support, they train between 8 and 10 o'clock at the nigth but they've played with all they had, with heart, and if we all want the rugby developement we need that irb beleive us and gives us the chance to be in new zealand, because we know that with a lot of work and (of course) with 20 teams we can reach rwc again! I talk as portuguese but i think that the other minnows though the same... Thank you for the video again, and congratulations for your good work

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:23 pm  

  • my fave minnows are probably portugal, america with ngwenya and tonga

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:32 pm  

  • As a portuguese, my favorite minnow momment was seeing the portuguese anthem, "A Portuguesa", being singed by the players and a full packed stadium at Saint-etienne, against scotland. It was a dream come true to all of the portuguese players!!

    I think IRB is being very unconsious in reducing the RWC to 16 teams. Is just unfair leave teams with less ability to compete out of the RWC. How can they evolve and improve their Rugby?

    I wish good luck to Fiji so they can prove that minnows can play as good rugby as any other Team.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:34 pm  

  • jk brought his team with something totally different, geogia and namibia need to play in some big games, why not propose tours to play teams in the s14 or in the premiership comp in the uk.

    i know most of these "minnows" are amateur players but they certainly put up a big fight/fright against some of hte established team.

    how can we not forget the pacific islanders. flair, composure which was a surprise because most of our polynesian boys are livewire and very easy to tick, but they showed they can control themselves for the benefit of the whole team.

    thorburn in paticular have some serious arsenal at his diposal, shame he's leaving if i heard right. if the eagles can tap into the grassroots i'm sure the game will be big in the usa, also need to grow with the pains too.

    awesome video....faafetai tele lava

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2007 11:46 pm  

  • 16 Teams would suck, hopefully they don't cut it.

    Although I support NZ, I was happy to see Portugal get a try against us, and also the enthusiasm for their national anthem was brilliant, really made them look like they truly achieved something making it to the WC.

    To whoever said Argentina have only not beaten the all blacks, you haven't beaten SA or British and Irish Lions either, but I'll admit I didn't think you'd do so well in your pool against France and Ireland. You've got my vote to get into a regular competition, but not the Tri-Nations.

    I really think the Tri-Nations should be expanded to a "Southern Hemisphere Six Nations", with Fiji, Samoa, Tonga (who are always my favourite teams to watch at the WC, for flashy tries and huge hits). Maybe even have the top 2/3 of each hemispheres' Six Nations compete in a global cup.

    Perhaps the Americas need their own cup? They have a few teams there (Canada also was good to watch in the WC) like the USA, Canada and Argentina (perhaps a Tri-Nations there?). Either way I'm all for rugby being more globally promoted.

    Good world cup, and here's hoping that NZ win it instead of blowing it again :D

    By Blogger failsandwich, at October 04, 2007 11:59 pm  

  • that romanian #2 is a monster. props to him

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 12:26 am  

  • my fav is portugal...so much passion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 12:38 am  

  • Chabal power :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 12:46 am  

  • I have to take my hat off to Portugal for there emotion and the passion that they played with and sang there national anthem with. This was a real occasion for them and they stepped up, a lot more than can be said for the other northern hemisphere teams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 1:00 am  

  • I am from Spain, and here and in Portugal people think rugby is American Football...
    So my favorite minnow is Portugal, then Georgia, it a very little country and very poor buy even they are great. Japan also are great, even if they are not very big they played like bees going very fast to every ruck.
    My final favourites minnows are the pacific ones, they are small, realy small but very good rugbiers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 1:01 am  

  • I cant believe they are even considering such a thing.
    I was amazed by the amount of heart that all of the minnows have put in and have actually been supporting them in many cases.
    Im English and i live in the USA ,and i play rugby.At he moment the sport isn't very well known but after some very good perfrmances in both international,and at the level im playing at, I can see USA being a dominant force in the years to come. That is of course if they are allowed to play in 2011

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 1:05 am  

  • When Takudzwa Ngwenya of the USA left Brian Habana sipping his tea. Fantastic.

    By Blogger Hamzah, at October 05, 2007 1:25 am  

  • I hope that the IRB understands that the so-called "minnows" are actually part of the show. The actual format of the World Cup allows people to get closer to the game.
    Go the minnows!!! Teo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 1:53 am  

  • Reducing the world cup down to 16 teams is not in the best interest of the sport. USA, Canada, Portugal, and Namibia each finished last in their pools; Samoa, Japan, Romania, and Georgia finished second last in their pools; the tournament would not have been the same with any of these "minnows" missing. Some of the best rugby was played at this level.

    Have to give it to Portugal. So much heart.

    Australia and Argentina for the final, with Australia barely winning. :)

    Congrats to all the minnows!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 1:53 am  

  • Portugal, they have the biggest balls i've ever seen... Also i like the way namibia played france and ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 2:03 am  

  • I would have to say that Fiji's final kick and the smirk on his face right as he goes to boot it are one of the things that stick out in my mind. I hope they keep it to 20 teams. The game needs it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 2:22 am  

  • decepti0n:

    Argentina has beat England, South Africa (South America XV/Sudamerica XV), and the other year they got a draw with the Lions.

    By Blogger knoed, at October 05, 2007 2:40 am  

  • Dropping the cup down to 16 teams would be catastrophic. For starters Media Zone would not be able to charge people for as many games and wouldn't have as much fun banning videos that are, in all reality, promoting their sport.

    The minnows provide the most entertaining games, the greatest heart, and the underdog victories which ALL of us love regardless of who we support. Spreading the sport to nations which are not traditionally rugby countries should be part of the mantra of IRB.Get it together ! Drop to 16 and you drop your own future in countries to which you should be welcoming this great sport...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 2:42 am  

  • Fiji beating Wales is my favourite minnow moment so far! beautiful rugby...Georgia almost beating ireland also good...Tonga one bounce of the ball away from drawing and possibly beating SA, mind boggling...
    japan's length of the field team try...USA length of the field team try against SA...

    What we need is a global season! where all club rugby is finished (so players can be available to play for their countries) and only international rugby is played in a 10week window every year! (there's so much problems, even for the English Team to get a team together, let alone Tongan, Argentinian and Fijian players), with every international team getting 7-8 games (with different teams) every year...with points allocated to each victory, to decide yearly ranking of the best team on the planet... (victories against Top 5 teams worth 5points, next 5 3points, next 5 1point...) and each country gets to play like a possible 30points each year (if they win every game)...

    And if we have a dream list, how about the winner of Super14 team vs
    winner of Heiniken Cup to decide the best club side in the world comp... Southern Hemisphere would win this every year...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 3:25 am  

  • in order...

    Portugal (pure passion)
    Japan (awsome game against canada)
    Georgia (pure stregnth)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 3:53 am  

  • Exelent video !!!
    the true winners, or not ?
    my favourite minnows is portugal
    they leave everithing in the field !
    and play with heart !

    Go Argentina for the World Cup !!!
    exelent web man !
    Rugby, a way of life !

    orgulloso de ser Argentino !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:14 am  

  • Minnows need to play the next tournament, IRB can not exclude them, it'd be unfair ! They love what they do, they do it well and that makes us love it too... It's time for the IRB to be more fair (fairer ? sorry for my English >.<) with everyone, I'm shocked when I see Samoan and Tongan rugby federations loose their good players, who go to NZ because it's their only hope to live of rugby...
    IRB cannot let only a selected group play, it's suicidal for them, Rugby can't be a closed circle reserved to big nations, it goes against rugby's fundamentals : sharing, fair-play...

    By Blogger Theo, at October 05, 2007 5:21 am  

  • I love this sport !!

    Wonderful, amazing, and in french génialissime !!!!! :D

    Like ur website

    By Blogger French Kiss, at October 05, 2007 5:29 am  

  • What a way to end it -- Z's try (and Clever's pimp slap on Butch James)

    My other favorites:
    1) The Japanese try that looked straight out of the playbook of Fijian 7s (isn't "Fijian 7s" a redundancy in terms, anyway?)
    2) The Georgian guys trifecta: crush the man, scoop the ball, score the try
    3) The Portuguese National Anthem
    4) That Japanese tackle on Shane Williams (every fat bastard dreams of the day they finally catch a shifty bugger and plant one on him) -- nothing personal Shane!
    5*) The Georgians as a whole against Ireland. The #10s kicks to touch weren't worthy in isolation, but watching them as a package was something special.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:29 am  

  • As for the 16v20 in 2011. I understand the arguments of several that a Two Tier competition is helpful.

    However, has anyone considered the following: That for the sport to grow in these minnow countries, many people want to see them go to the highest level competition. Part of that drama is to see them on a path to reach the finals. Living in the USA, if the Eagles were relegated to some sub-par competition, Americans are even less likely to give a sh** (then again, were talking the difference between slim and none)

    Having the minnows play in a
    bottom tier competition will minimize the competition, like going and buying a ticket to see Serie C soccer in Italy -- just not the same as Serie A.

    Maybe the IRB can find a way to make the qualification process more engaging, like it is in soccer.

    Make qualification a robust league with SERIOUS media coverage.

    And oh yeah, IRB must make sure that the frogs and rosbifs release ALL players (incl. minnow players) for qualifiers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:42 am  

  • My favourite minow team is samoa always great to watch favourite moment for the minnow teams was ngwanya leavn habana dead haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:49 am  

  • For me it's portugal scoring its try against NZ. The sheer exhiliration and pride on the players' and fans' faces.

    But the Japan/Canada and Wales/Fiji games were thrillers. Argentina beating France was a great match too.

    The IRB's proposal to cut the WC to 16 teams is a coward's way out. The real issue is that the IRB has failed to develop quality professional leagues around the world which results in unbalanced competition. The Olypmics and the Football World Cup are by far the most popular sporting events in the world. What has the IRB done to bring the RWC closer to those levels???

    If intense competition was the sole objective then the RWC should just be a playoff between the winner of the Tri Nations and the 6 Nations. But surely rugby is not just about winning but also mass participation, camaraderie and courage?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:52 am  

  • Japan - for that fight back for an inconsequential draw with Canada

    Georgia - for their unbelievable rock solid defence and marking their first victory against Nambia.love that try by the wing who smack the daylight out of his opposite wing to score the try.

    Romania - how big is the boot of the fullback

    and the list honestly goes on...its been absolutely entertaining to watch them play. Dont bloody cut down on the competition in 2011, it will only widen the gap of disparity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 8:31 am  

  • Wonderful video.

    The minnows have really lit up the World Cup, and it was really enjoyable to see the crowd get behind the "small" teams.

    Georgia smashing into Argentine, Portugal scoring against the Kiwis, Fiji beating Wales, it all made for a wonderful experience.

    Shame on the IRB of changing the number of teams to 16!
    Those 4 spots allow players to dream of one day playing on the biggest stage of the world, and rub shoulders with the best.

    To take away that opportunity would be a crime against the spirit of the game!

    By Blogger Sander, at October 05, 2007 8:57 am  

  • I presonally feel that the matches involving the 'minnows' were more interesting.

    The first match that was able to keep my holding on tight to the armrests was the Fiji-Japan match.
    yes, both minnows.
    Many exciting matches soon followed and the minnows contirbuted a huge deal.
    It would be a step backward for the IRB to cut it to a 16 team format for 2011.

    Anyways, Japan really inspired me with their play. full of heart. full of passion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 9:29 am  

  • Japan definatly takes the pride and place as the best of the minnows, they have an amazingly talentd backline in particular kasuke endo, an amazing finisher and a real cruncher on defence. Their tight five, particularly the front row are commited players who judging by their performance are incredibly fit for men their size. I would love to see Endo play in the super 14 lord knows that the queensland reds could do with a quality finisher.

    Special mention to Georgia as well for nearly stoppig Ireland, bloody terrific that is

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 9:32 am  

  • Tonga all the way, Hola is my hero!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 10:18 am  

  • Just showing my support for the minnows of the world cup... not much more i can say than repeat the opinions of those before me.

    Would have to aggree that Japan and Georgia stood out for me. Japan played some great rugby at times and obviously Georgia nearly did a job against Ireland. Dont forget USA and Canada they always put a performance on at the world cup.

    Would be unforgiveable for the IRB to cut the number of teams, it would not be the same. Hope we can sway their decision through sites like this and other sources where fans can express their opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 10:52 am  

  • Its time to get rid of the dinosaurs at the top of the world game. A while ago Argentina were where Protugal, Romania, Georgia etc. are today and look at them now, none of the top nations can confidently say they will beat them.
    If NZ haven't got the facilities screw 'em lets either get them to build 'em or take the world cup to Japan, don't make the other countries pay for that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:01 am  

  • Let some countries play their pool games at home so there can still be 20 teams next time

    I'm sure Wales and Scotland will be interested in selling their votes again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:13 am  

  • Yet another excellent compilation keep up the good work

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:15 am  

  • One of the reasons they want to cut the tournament down to 16, is because NZ doesn't have enough stadiums... which begs the question, why in hell did they choose NZ to host it over Japan?

    If they do cut it, it will just confirm our theories that the IRB doesn't actually care about expansion and they are just there to stop other countries taking their trophies.

    I wouldn't call Fiji minnows by the way, Tonga maybe, but not Fiji or Samoa.

    My favourite minnows are Portugal, just because of their passion and their effort. There is no doubt that they will be a major force in NH rugby in the future, the IRB can do their best to resist it, but Rugby will always win.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:21 am  

  • Surely the talk of cutting the tournament to 16 was a result of the negative impact non-competitive thrashings could have on smaller sides and the idea that such games were unappealing to viewers?

    Neither of these arguements stand up now. Georgia, Canada and America in particular produced performances over 80 minutes that would suggest they are all capable of beating one of the poorer top tier on an off day (say Ireland or Italy at this tournament). And Japan and especially Portugal have shown that pride and passion matter more than the result sometimes, both in terms of a teams development and for the audience.

    I am not sure the Pacific Islands and Argentina would be particularly fond of being included in the "minnows" bracket. Especially with the P.I players benefitting from the discipline and particularly fitness of playing professional rugby and now able to sustain that expolsive start they've always had right to the finnish.

    Great video. Woulda been nice to see Matekitonga Moeakiola's hit on Chuter and try against England in the mix.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:26 am  

  • first they give 2011 to new zealand and then they dont want 'minnows' to play in it. sounds like they are getting greedy at the irb.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:36 am  

  • 2011 should have never been in nz. the irb should be promoting and developing rugby in lower nations. The development of the minnows from 2003 is staggering, and leaving them out would be a crime. It adds colour and flair to the tournament, also it is a welcome change from the one dimensional predictable rugby the higher teer nations have slipped into

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:48 am  

  • Good to see Wales sticking at it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 2:38 pm  

  • As an Irishman I take my hat off to Georgia. They surely made a mockery of our professional sportsmen, and showed what you can achieve with raw guts, pride and a no fear attitude.

    And as for Japan, well they gave every rugby player and fan a lesson on how to effictively take down a bigger opponent.

    By Blogger Unknown, at October 05, 2007 2:46 pm  

  • The IRB have already let the game down by not awarding the 2011 RWC to Japan. If the IRB wish to reduce the RWC 2011 to 16 teams, make sure they tell the Portuguese team to their face, preferably just after they've sung their anthem. Probably the best advert for why rugby must be fostered in footballing nations.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 3:19 pm  

  • My favourite minnows teams are Japan and Fitji,these two teams realy showed endurance!I think nobaody of us will forgett the perfect try of Japan or the triumph of Fitji against Wales!I hope,the minnows will still be part of the tournament in 2011!You always have a suprise and great games to see.If we have to miss these teams we lose a big part of what rugby stands for!It's not the famous teams,it's not the brillant players like Dan Carter or Percy Montgomery,It's the games between a popular and an nearly unknown team,which still is a fantastic game,with bigger and minor surprises,it's the courage and the will to fight and to show,that even small countrys are able to write history,by beating a strong team!I and I think many others will be very upset and sad if we will miss these little but important things in the next worldcup!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 4:15 pm  

  • Fantastic video! As an American I loved "Z" and the physicality our forwards brought to the tournament. But Japan and Portugal stole the show, with the Fiji/Japan outing being the match of the tourney so far. Portugals passion and their obvious love for the game was inspiring, and I hope to see them flourish in the next four years! Let's gp minnows, you make the cup worth watching!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 4:20 pm  

  • The minnow teams remind all us amateurs who love this game, but lack the skill to be professional, of the reasons we play it. It's about pride and pasion. I've never seen a team play with more pride than Portugal, who treated every game as if it was a cup final, and it's touched and inspired me. The IRB cannot deny these great teams a chance to compete against the best in the world, to stand up and be counted, to tell their children "I scored against the All Blacks, the world champions, in 2007". That decision is based on elitism and fear, fear of the dangerous potential these teams have to offer.

    Inclusion is essential for progression. Look at what Tonga, Samoa and Fiji have managed. The Americans, Japan, Georgia and Romania are all rapidly improving. Eight, even four years ago, Argentina were in their shoes; just look at them now! In another four or eight years Canada will be able to hold out Wales, or Georgia keep a lead against Ireland.

    Go minnows! All of grass roots rugby is behind you. Your presence at this world cup is what's made the tournament great. And good luck to Fiji tomorrow!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 4:27 pm  

  • It would be an outrage if the minnows would be left out of the worldcup! These teams show what rugby is all about... For guts and glory!!! Pitty the IRB is too narrow minded to see beyond the money... Greets for Belgium

    ps: Namibia kicked ass this tournament!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:35 pm  

  • I'd like to see an *expanded* tournament, not a reduced one. More teams means more exposure, which will help bring along development in the rest of the world. And that will ultimately only be good for rugby and the IRB.

    By Blogger Seth, at October 05, 2007 5:44 pm  

  • Glorious video, just brilliant!
    The IRB would be doing the wrong thing in terms of spreading the gospel of rugby by limiting the next World Cup to 16 teams, truly a bad decision.

    Fav team Georgia because they had so much heart and gave Ireland a good run for their money, literally.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:52 pm  

  • Best try so far for me Japan vs Wales, then USA vs SA. That says alot. Then there's Georgia!! how on earth did they even start to play the game? I can't believe they're thinking of reducing the tournament. There's isn't really a logical reason behind. Well there is but the cons far outweigh the pros. Surely the ultimate goal for IRB is to expand and promote the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 5:59 pm  

  • Let's not forget that Argentina and Fiji were minnows just a few years back. With the IRB investing in the growth of the third tier nations, they must keep in mind that teams can only get better by playing the best competition and doing it on such a grand scale as the World Cup is invaluable experience. It also drives the sport forward in these countries for the fan base and player development.

    Where else can a team and nation be so excited even in losing by 60 or so points just because they scored a try. And the fans LOVE cheering for the minnows - some of the best moments of the cup come from us. They would be the biggest fools of all time to lower the number of teams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 6:35 pm  

  • Hi,
    my favourite minnows would have to be the fijians(?) or tonga because of the way both the teams fought during this world cup. tonga for the fight that they put up against south africa who mullered England. and Fiji because of what they did to the Welsh dream (HAHA) both the teams i would be happy to see back in four years time to go a step futher.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 6:37 pm  

  • If anything they should be expanding the cup by 4 teams (one for each pool) , but if that seems to lower the standards too much at least keep it at 20 teams, in countries that can support them all. Or perhaps co-host with Australia to be able to support the teams.

    Minnow Rugby is what I enjoy watching the most. The big teams (such as NZ or SA) have players that play for a living, and we know their good. Minnow teams have Doctors, Plumbers, Teachers and a few others who play rugby for fun outside their jobs and watching them make awesome plays (Portuguese try against NZ or Z's try against SA anyone?) is what makes this sport enjoyable and worth watching.

    Los Puma's 2007.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 7:22 pm  

  • fantastic video, i have so much respect for all these guys. Georgias first half performance against argentina in particular was impressive.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 8:10 pm  

  • True rugby fans want to watch all of these teams. It is great to see the minnows of the past starting to compete at the higher levels. That has come from allowing them to play against these professionals in the past. The reduction of teams will go a long way to ruin all that rugby has always been about. It wasn't always about ticket sales, TV rights and protecting team owners investments. This video is very much what it was always all about and why most of us played and watch. Favourite moment US tries against SA favourite game Argentina v France and Ireland. It was not that long ago that they where minnows. They are still an amature nation they just have professional players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 9:01 pm  

  • GEORGIA!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 9:08 pm  

  • I've got no favorite "minnow", I think they all show the same engagement, the same proud to fight for their countries. Some players (I'm talking about Z, but they are others that showed great skill, maybe less noticed, but great skill though) really deserve to play in great clubs, it will help to develop Rugby in their country and maybe in 2015 or 2019, we'll got 20 potential winners, not just 5 or 6. Reducing the RWC to 16 teams is completely idiot, it would kill the developement of our sport in those countries, that would have plenty of potential.

    (sorry for my english, I'm french, you know... lol)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 9:41 pm  

  • well done i have got 2 say nice clip well made but we all know it all about the Springbox and New Zealand !! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 10:13 pm  

  • Nice video! My favourite is Fiji, I was really happy when they won against Wales

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 10:30 pm  

  • and ARGENTINA?? we are minnows for the IRB. we kicked asses to french and irish people it deserves a tribute for those 15 warriors.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 10:47 pm  

  • minnows made this world cup. if they were minnows before they are the 'nearly there teams' now.....dont cut them from the world cup!!!!!!!!!!!! they earned their places just like any other team. what do we call a world cup without the minnows? the tri-nations.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2007 11:08 pm  

  • go minnows!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 12:13 am  

  • The minnows might not stand a chance to reach the final stages of the cup, but they still fight for every meter of ground in the pitch. This is true love for the sport, to go out to the pitch knowing that you will lose, but still bust your ass in the field. It would be a great mistake to make the next world cup wit only 16 teams. As an uruguayan mi favourite minnow is uruguay though we didn't make it to the world cup, secondly its tonga, as they are 100% heart

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 12:21 am  

  • Mm from a minnow, im from Colombia, here Rugby is growing up in a massive way.

    Theyre reducing the RWC to 16. I know it would be extremely difficult seing my country in a world cup, but that's killing Minnows Dream.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 12:35 am  

  • Most of the comments by the many fans of the "Minnows" performances I endorse and feel as all the others that reducing to 16 is a big mistake. As a USA citizen I am used to being a frustrated fan for so many years but was very proud of my Eagles! I also am an average human sports fan who cheers for the underdog and was overwhelmed by the amazing dedication by the "Minnows" to showing that they deserved to be in the RWC and it kept me interested in watching these minor matches for many hours. Possibly the major teams were not taking their opponents seriously and didn't play to their capabilities, but I have to think that the determination of the "Minnows" had something to do with the entertainment I enjoyed.

    The IRB has told us ( I am a long term player locally and administrator at the local, regional and national level) that they wish to promote the game in the USA and have given us administrative and financial help to substantitate it, but if they reduce the teams to 16 in NZ in 2011 I will doubt that they really wish to further the sport in the USA since the chances of the Eagles making it as the American rep is less likely.

    Go Japan, Portugal, Georgia, Tonga, Samoa, Romania and USA and let's all of us fans promote getting them back to the next WRC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 2:39 am  

  • It will be a complete travesty if the IRB cuts the tournament to 16 teams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 3:19 am  

  • i love Canada because they are sexy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 4:45 am  

  • Great post.

    Great video.

    Georgia? Japan? Fiji? Namibia?

    I salute you all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 6:45 am  

  • Also love watching the Japanese in the World Cup, they always seem too small for rugby. Love 'em.

    Best 'minnow' team - the Portuguese. Sang their anthem with pride and passion, showed that they loved being there. Really enjoyed watching play the ABs, they didn't let their heads drop and kept fighting. I'm glad they got a try against them, that's something they can be proud of.

    Other 'minnow' of the competition - Georgia. Fancy nearly beating Ireland. Who are the minnows now!?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 10:04 am  

  • irb@irb.com

    Come on lads, give this email to everyone, and have them know that their 2011 worldcup plan in a shambles!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 11:45 am  

  • argentina and fiji arn't minnows there into the finals

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 11:49 am  

  • I'm Portuguese and offcourse my favorite team was Portugal. The way they sang the hantem and the bravery shown in the field is second to none.
    I'm 27 and I never ever saw our national football team singing the hantem like this guys.
    This bunch of lawyers, doctors, etc that started playing rugby in college have shown all about what it is patriotism and love for the sport.
    The presence of Portugal in this RWC kicked the interest of this sport here. I see people wearing the portuguese rugby shirt now, something that I though it was impossible.
    If IRB doenst give a chance to this minnow teams, the evolution of rugby in this countries will be limited and the RWC winners will allways be the same usual 3 or 4 teams.
    I wish that rugby in Portugal could become a national sport instead of a college sport.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 11:51 am  

  • I've been very impressed by portugal.
    Not for the beauty of the game, but for those strong minded guys.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 06, 2007 12:54 pm  

  • I didn't have a favorite moment. I thought there were several great matches where the so-called minnows gave the pros a run for their money, literally. I don't see how down-sizing the world cup is going to incourage better quality rugby worldwide.

    By Blogger Lennie Smith, at October 06, 2007 2:36 pm  

  • i'd just like to say irb cutting down the number of participating countries in the world cup would be sacreligious to the sport. georgia has my vote!

    By Blogger stone, at October 07, 2007 8:28 am  

  • japan, there the underdogs and gave it everything they had

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 9:17 am  

  • Piet Van Zyl's try against Ireland is an absolute classic!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 10:17 am  

  • My favourite "minnow" team are portugal! they ere fantastic to watch just because of their passion and love for the game and their sheer enjoyment in just being there.
    Watching and hearing them sing heir natinal anthem was brilliant, reminds everyone that rugby is the best sprt in the world, you don't get this anywhere else

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 3:00 pm  

  • Rugby is not for arrogants....awesome video!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 3:00 pm  

  • just saw fiji vs south africa and why the hell are they not in the tri nations!!!
    the minnows really made me think this year!! please irb don't expluse them in 2011

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 5:33 pm  

  • You missed out Australia and New Zealand in this video! they were awesome minnows! they did well to get to the quarter finals!!! AAAAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 6:11 pm  

  • the American flanker's hand off on Butch James summed up the minnows this year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 7:23 pm  

  • hands down Portugal. for their heart, for the effort they put in every game, for the personal sacrifices they had to make to get to the world cup.

    16 teams in the world cup? just doesn't make any sense

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 11:09 pm  

  • Why reducing???? That could kill rugby in smaller countries! For reference Argentina use to be a monnow and now in the semi-finals.
    For me the minor team was Portugal. With their match always sold out!
    Força Lobos!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 07, 2007 11:51 pm  

  • Perhaps most interesting, is the one-two punch of:
    reducing from 20->16
    increasing the automatic bids from 8->12

    Sounds like a cartel is you ask me.

    I agree that NZ shouldn't have gotten the event if they can't post the stadia.

    However, what about these solutions:
    1. Create double-headers at the same stadia? Get two matches for your ticket, or have a 1-2 hr break in between to clear out, and re-open (they do it at the US Open for Tennis, clearing out 20,000+)
    2. Put the minnow games in smaller market stadia.

    3. Fill the stands with sheep. I hear NZ got tons of them. But then again, imagine the distraction if everyone on a team has their significant others in the stands?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2007 2:39 am  

  • Also,
    What about hosting a few matches in other countries? Samoa, Suva might fill their stadia...
    Hell, maybe even Hong Kong.

    Time to give the USA or Argentina a look in future years. Argentina has the infrastructure, but not the $$$ to pay top-dollar for tickets (Think West Indies' host of Cricket WC, and its failure -- too expensive for the locals, and not enough hotels for the POMs)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2007 2:42 am  

  • The IRB will be mad to dismiss the mimmows from New Zealand.
    A few years ago Argentina and Fiji were classed as minnows.
    If they don'tget a chance to play the heavy weights they wil not get better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2007 11:43 am  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2007 5:23 pm  

  • I'm portuguese, but I have to say best minnow: Fiji.

    Loved to see USA against SA, Namibia against Ireland, Canada against Wales, Portugal against every team, Japan against Canada, Georgia against Ireland and New Zealand against France. LOL

    Go Minnows!
    We want 20 teams in 2011!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2007 5:28 pm  

  • I'm an Italian rugby writer, and have written a lot about minnows rugby (I follow most tier 3 competitions). I'm so upset about the 16 team world cup.

    Best minnows moments? Georgia denying Ireland the bonus point, as I had predicted it, and Portugal's first try.

    Best minnows player? My award goes to Vasco Uva, who really played with fire in his eyes. A lion.

    By Blogger Billie MacGowan, at October 08, 2007 8:36 pm  

  • Ah, I've not seen it yet, but surely Fiji upsetting Australia was great, and Samoa played a hell-of-a-first-half vs South Africa

    By Blogger Billie MacGowan, at October 08, 2007 8:37 pm  

  • Great Video!
    Greets from Italy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2007 12:43 pm  

  • First I have to say that I'm french so I couldn't read all the commentary (can I say that ?). This video is really wonderful, specially for a French because in France we love what we call "Wonderful Losers", guys who are less strong, but who fight with all their hearth. But I have to say that Marius Tincu, number 2 from Romania is professional. He plays at Perpignan, One of the 5 best french teams, and he is famous if you are french and if you like rugby. Nearly all the team of Romania is professional in France, like a lot of Georgians who plays in professional teams in France or in the first no professional division. That's all.
    This site (is that a french world ?) is really wonderful !!!
    Keep doing it !!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2007 1:08 pm  

  • The Minnows have made the RWC 07 what it has been, a success for the supporters. They have produced the most exciting rugby to be seen in years. Well done minnows. Exceptions to the rule would be both the USA and Canada. Of all the nations helped out with iRB development funding they came to the park and left without any significant visible improvement.

    So if the iRB want to keep the 12 pre qualified teams as part of the 2011 mix, then perhaps as a qualifying of the additional 8 teams they , the iRB, should initiate a RW League to be played by all national teams in Divs of 6 by their standing in the iRB world standings. The usual rules apply, home & away and promotion and relegation.

    The Tri nations and Six Nation matches would be included as part of the Leagues results.

    12 months out from the 2011 RWC the battle of relegation & promotion could take place around the Globe with the bottom team playing the top team of the next lower div.

    Out of the teams rated 16 thru 20 could play off as a RWC preview for the 16th spot [ A wild card spot]

    Good luck with the doshing out of the RWC profits and where the iRB sees fit to support. The minnows or again the "Original 8" members.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2007 3:23 pm  

  • this world cup will be remembered for the underdog..i think argentina may be the team to cement that even yet..there must be 20 teams in the next world cup..i hope we see some of these guys in the heineken cup soon..that would sway things in the publics favour..i'm paddy..argentina for the 7 nations!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 1:03 am  

  • How would the IRB expect world rugby to grow if they reduced the world cup to 16 teams? I'm canadian myself and I know that if canada was really serious about improving they would hire a souther hemisphere coach but what can ya do. But all of the other teams! like USA, Romania, Etc. everyone has shown massive improvement in 2011 chances are the games will be even closer! I dont know maybe the bigger teams are worried that the minnows now will conquer them in the future?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 8:18 am  

  • Mine must be Georgia coming within a Video Refs decision of beating Ireland, two of the Georgian team used to play for my club in England a few years ago (totally amateur) and it was great to see them giving it out to what has been proved to be a highly overrated Irish side! So many though, USA's try that involved the burning Habana, Japans corner to corner score against Wales, Portugals score against the ABs, Tonga coming within a balls bounce of beating the Boks... The list is endless, the tournament must stay at 20 and hopefully be expanded, rugby cannot retreat into a shell of self-interest and protectionism at a time where it has the potential to become a truly global professional sport!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2007 3:37 pm  

  • This has to be the best rugby montage video I've ever seen. I literally watch this video like six times a day. Music is perfect and the clips are amazing, props to RugbyDump on this one!

    I am an American and I play rugby. I have been following this World Cup very closely and I have to hand it to the USA Eagles who performed extremely well for getting placed in the toughest pool in the tournament. That try against South Africa where Takudzwa Ngwenya outran Bryan Habana left tears in my eyes. The USA is definately my favorite minnow.

    I also have a special place in my heart for the Japanese. They gave it their all in this tournament. I really hope that the USA and Japan find a couple victories in New Zealand in 2011.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2007 7:20 pm  

  • Allez le minnows

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2007 12:10 pm  

  • I agree completely with the comment at the top of this page; the minnows are part of what makes the world cup so special. Whilst I love the way the south sea islanders play, I would actually choose Canada and the USA as my two favourite minnows. They both play so aggresively - and you know, if they just got a hint of success, then you'd suddenly have another rugby superpower on the cards, as they ditch the padding and play proper rugby football, not the silly American version.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2007 12:30 pm  

  • The minnows are a really important to rugby - the sport we love will slowly die without them and I think it's disgraceful that they are talking about trying to make the world cup smaller. some of them may never get much better, but a few will and that needs to be fostered.

    My sides are Wales and Ireland. The Japan try against Wales (in the video) was superb. Georgia almost toppling Ireland was incredably tense. But that Yank mullering past Habana has to get the nod just because of how good Habana is.

    By Blogger Ruggr Buggr, at October 14, 2007 12:17 pm  

  • I think the minnows have done fantastically well in the tournament, especially Fiji considering they beat Wales and gave SA a very hard time.
    And I also thing the Arg should belet to play in the 6 nations, and the make another 6/7/8 nations, with developing nations such as georgia, namibia, tonga, samoa, etc. possibly even non-RWC teams, such as Germany. Being germna myself, the last three years there has been a massive rugby boom in germany, and this should only be good

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2007 1:43 pm  

  • i think a wonderful idea would be to have a world cup, and then a world bowl or vase, so 20 teams still compete in the group stages, then the teams that came 3rd and 4th in each pool have a tournament of their own at the same time as the actual quarter finals, this would mean that the smaller nations get even more gametime against each other..and that people like us get more joy watching them...
    so the quarter finals would have been...
    Tonga vs Japan
    Samoa vs Wales
    Italy vs Georgia
    Romania vs Ireland...that would be brilliant

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2007 8:03 pm  

  • Z burning Habana was pretty awesome and portugal's try against the all blacks showed they're not perfect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2007 1:23 am  

  • namibia!! the way they played vs. Ireland..
    and japan, great try vs wales!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2007 2:14 am  

  • where can i find this vid on youtube or google?? of myspacetv??

    best rugby vid in some time!!!!

    Namibia and Georgia were my favourite minnow teams!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2007 2:19 am  

  • Argentina rose from minnows status to what they are now.. Perhaps a non-entity in international rugby such as my country, The Netherlands will one day follow their example. Playing such a grand tournement, is the best katalyst for expanding the sport in a country like mine! So keep it 20!
    Showing it on telly is second! Oi, dutch tv bosses, in four years time make a parts exchange please! "Big Brother" (our gift to the world...) for a couple of WC games!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2007 7:59 pm  

  • Georgia was my favourite. Showed some awesome determination and forward power. They are definately going to be one to watch for the future. It would criminal if they were not in the World Cup next time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2007 9:24 pm  

  • I love Georgia if only for the fact that they only have 8 rugby pitches in their entire nation and only 300 registered adult players, and yet they still manage to make quite an impressive splash - this year, almost beating Ireland and securing a comfortable win over Namibia.

    I hope the IRB don't reduce it to 16 teams. It would be a damn shame, and it would just make the sport incredibly elitist by not giving the minnows the chance to improve - Hell, if we didn't let minnows improve, we definitely wouldn't have Argentina playing France for 3rd place.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2007 3:48 pm  

  • Let the minnows play!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2007 9:58 pm  

  • It would be ridiculous to reduce the number based on the "Stadium Excuse". You don't need to hold every game in a big stadium.

    In 1999, the USA-Romania game was played in front of 2,000 people who were practically swallowed up by Lansdowne Road. What genius thought it was a good idea to have two minnows playing in the capital, on a Saturday night, just hours before (and on the same field) Ireland took on Australia? I'd really love to know his name, and also to know why he thought that was preferable to having a sell out crowd in some place like Galway or Cork.

    Similarly, New Zealand is a small enough country that a lot of pool matches can be spread around. Why isn't Wanganui on the list of possible sites? Gisborne? Timaru? These places would be perfect for the likes of Namibia-Georgia or Romania-Portugal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2007 12:53 am  

  • My favourite minnows were Portugal the passion shown by those guys against N.Z. just showed what rugby is all about. I would pay to see a non-power nations tournament. Come on IRB sort it out!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2007 2:14 pm  

  • Awesome work with the music, remember listening to tweak back in SA! Viva amaminnows!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2007 8:35 pm  

  • every on eof the "minnows" shows some touches of brilliance. And we as fans would be deprived if we couldn't watch them.. keep it on 20 teams! Loved Japan and the USA. damn. And Portugal, and Romania, and Nabia.. all of 'em. reward them for their efforts. don't exclude them next time...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2007 11:33 am  

  • Beautiful tribute. This initiative should be continued!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2007 4:11 pm  

  • great video and music!!
    I just hope de IRB is not afraid the big ones might lose against...oh I don't know...Japan maybe or Canada...!!
    Go Pumas

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2007 7:58 pm  

  • It's ironic how England had to draw upon a similar level of pride and spirit that these minnows show, because we were minnows, or treated as such, after THAT 36-0 whipping. But england had to do it for 3-5 games, for these minnow teams every single international they play is a blood, guts and pride performance. Particularly satisfying is Z vs Habana - I fail to see the great hype over Habana, and to see the amatuer US winger (who if by some chance is reading this, deserves a cold beer for that effort) blow him away is majorly satisfying. But all of the minnows deserve a chance - they sometimes play more entertaing rugby than the big guns who are sometimes happy to kick for goal, the minnows are more tempted to go for tries, which is the true spirit of the game. Go the Minnows! Reducing it to 16 teams because of lack of stadiums is a pathetic excuse, any stadium will do, it doesnt matter how big it is, just as long as every gets a go. Again well done the minnows - SA may have won the cup but you guys have won all the true rugby fan's respect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2007 10:33 am  

  • im a zim boy, and so all of us are mad for the springboks. I live in england so when habana was left in the dust by ngwenya, the whole pub laughed at me, then i gently informed them that it was a zimbabwean whom i have played against in school rugby that did it. english still eating humble pie. suck eggs. four years of world champion this world champion that. jw was the only world champion, the other 14 were bodyguards...

    one more thing, ARGENTINA MUST JOIN THE TRINATIONS. if you read this go on the irb website and join the millions in this cause.

    Go well brothers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2007 5:02 pm  

  • i had an idea tha that


    should make a tournament

    people's views ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 25, 2007 11:05 am  

  • They all have to be back on 2011..did you see Portugal singing their national song??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 25, 2007 11:23 pm  

  • Don't worry people, the minnows will be there in 4 years time. Nobody (esp. the IRB) expected a tournament of this quality. The stadiums were packed for every single game, and not just because the neutrals wanted to support the underdog, but also because they wanted to see quality rugby. And boy, did we just get that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2007 7:04 am  

  • Yeah, GO MINNOWS!!! My favourite has to be Tonga (Do they count?) My rugby teacher played in the 99 WC for Tonga , and his attitude along with all the players attitude is fantastic-If you're knocked down, get up, be a man, play some fantastic rugby and be a nice guy as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2007 7:09 pm  

  • Mine has to be Georgia cuz of their spirit and also Japan...go Asian NATIONS!!! (Hk almost maade it for the qualifying spot - lost by like 7 points!)

    but my fav try is Ngywena's against habana....every super-humans get beat!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2007 7:23 am  

  • guys you have to think about it this way, Habana probably is faster than Ngwenya but he is almost as fast without all the fitness training and strength training I reckon that if Ngwenya had the same training he would be faster than Habana

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 25, 2007 6:59 am  

  • portugal made this year's world cup.

    pedro carvalho will be a legend in his home country for years to come.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 27, 2007 5:40 pm  

  • It would have been a sad day for rugby if the minnows had been excluded from the world cup, there were shocks all over this tournament and i would be suprised if a world cup ever followed the script.
    I'd never want to take the privilage of playing for ones country in the world cup away from these passionate players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 14, 2007 1:39 am  

  • I would like you to stop using the term minnow as it is very demeaning. I am a Canadian fan who has attended every game that Canada has played at all six World Cups and gone to four of six finals. I really thought t he IRB wa sgoing to be stupic and cut it to 16 but sanity prevailed and 20 it is, but stop calling us minnows. Underdogs is just fine , thank you.

    Harry Craig, Toronto

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 20, 2007 7:01 am  

  • lol minnows is what theyre called, how about "giant-killers" can be pretty embarassing when one of these teams beats a proper rugby playing nation.

    favourite moment portugals try against the ABs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 10, 2008 6:43 pm  

  • The most brilliant video on rugbydump. Watching that makes me sorely miss the World Cup. Of course Ngwenya's try was brilliant, love seeing the saffies outpaced. But for me, the number of intercept tries shows how little respect the big nations have. they wing it wide expecting tries in the corners and are met by eager, hungry minnow players taking their chance to shine. Japan's back play against Wales, Georgia's heart and strength, Portugal with a great first tournament and Tonga and Fiji showing the respect the pacific islands deserve. Truly excellent tournament! Thanks again Rugbydump

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 11:26 pm  

  • I have to agree that this is the best video on Rugbydump! The song fits the footage perfectly and pictures of 'smaller' rugby nations scoring or putting in awesome tackles (tackle on Shane Williams/holding up Chabal) just motivates players at all levels from us 'minnows'. Thanks Rugbydump for this video!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2008 1:43 pm  

  • Minnows, you were amazing, and holding up Jesus there was spectacular. Don't cut it down to 16 nations, surely you want to make rugby a bigger and better sport.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2008 8:06 am  

  • i think that this world cup, the bigger rugby nations were shown up by the minnows, simply because they knew they had nothing to lose. if you compare the final between south africa and england to the argentina and france games, and i know argentina aren't really a minnow nation anymore, but still, argentina just played for enjoyment, whereas the final was just a game of ping pong kicking.

    i think argentina really stood out for me, but as i said, i think they are definitely now a force to be reckoned with. my favourite minnows team was portugal for one simple reason: their passion. it was unbelievable. not one other team looked so passionate and united whilst singing their anthem. it was an inspired moment everytime the camera passed their faces.

    but i felt that this world cup, which potentially could have turned out cricket scores for teams like nz, showed that whilst the minnows are still behind everyone else, they are definitely making progress, which shows that rugby is heading in the right direction.

    By Blogger siôn, at May 15, 2008 3:19 pm  

  • I think that, of all the "minnows", Georgia and Japan look as if they have the best chance of making the step up to the big boys. Georgia because its their national sport and so they shud have alot of young players coming through (if the right under-age structure is put in place), and also because of their physical size (there all f**kin MASSIVE!). And Japan becuase they have a decent league in place (by their standards) and I'd say that they have a good amount of money that could be pumped into rugby there.

    KEEP THE 20 TEAMS!!!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2008 9:09 pm  

  • i think bringing the number of team down to 16 would be MADNESS
    those teams play good rugby and the only way to develop their rugby is to play it on the field against high level teams
    another important thing is that supporters like these small teams:
    Irland-Namibia(blue shirts)--the whole stadium was shouting "aller les bleus aller les bleus" that's amazing ...
    i think i have a few other examples but i cant think about any right now

    i'm half french half scottish
    but my favorite minnow has to be Canada
    even if i cant explain why

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2008 10:16 pm  

  • Congrats to all those minnows who played great in the wc.
    I hope they won't make it a 16 teams wc cause that would totally screw it, since the minnows are responsable for a big part of the show. ;)
    And i hope that my home country Belgium would make it to the wc, they're doing so great. Currently ranked 27, just one spot under Namibia!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2008 3:47 pm  

  • Fiji are not minows my favourite were Japan because they are cool and scored on of the trys of the tournament

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2008 10:24 pm  

  • none of the pacific islands are minnows, they are professional and in fact all have huge amounts more rugby players and teams than Scotland. No one seems to give Scotland the credit they are due, they are a teir one team yet there are only 2 pro teams and less people playing rugby than most english counties have... only around 6000 at any level!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2008 8:09 pm  

  • Anonymous above ^^, I hate to reign on your parade but Scotland do NOT have less players than the Pacific Island countries.
    I don't know where you get your stats from, but the IRB lists Scotland as having 24905 registered players, not 6000 as you've stated.

    Minnows are teams that have traditionally not achieved, and don't have a professional structure with pro players play rugby week in and week out. I'm pretty sure Scotland has that, as well as a rich history of playing rugby in the 4 nations, 5 nations and 6 nations.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2008 8:48 pm  

  • I was amazed by seeing the two Namibians holding back Chabal from scoring a try. That aint no easy feat but they did it.

    What a shame that nations akin to Holland and Germany are way below these countries. Germany is on #25 but were at bloody #45 and we got more players than in South Africa

    By Blogger Sea-Bass, at May 20, 2008 4:26 pm  

  • Sea-Bass, what on earth are you on about?? Check your stats man...

    South Africa has 464477 registered players and Germany has 7133, so how on earth can you say what you did??! odd lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 20, 2008 5:32 pm  

  • To Scotlandish

    OK, so I was exaggerating....but to be fair I am talking about senior male players of which Scotland have 8951, compared to Fiji who have 20000...I think maybe you should be more careful with your own stats before you go acusing people.

    Unless you want to include children and women in the international pro set-up, but I doubt many will be selected to be brutally honest

    Kind Regards

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 20, 2008 6:02 pm  

  • Not sure what I 'accused' you of mr Anonymous.

    I am a bit sceptical about those Fiji stats though, all being rounded off like that. Seems almost like a lazy estimate imo. lol

    Anyway, I think if Scotland were referred to as Minnows on here there would be the opposite reaction to yours! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 20, 2008 6:34 pm  

  • Scotlandish,

    I also thought 20000 sounded a bit strange esp as the other pacific islands are so much less.

    I didn't mean scotland were minnows, it was really a responce to people saying some of the "minnows" were doing very well considering how many players they have, and I was just saying that Scotland have simalar amounts, or less and are still a tier 1 team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 21, 2008 2:11 pm  

  • Yeah agreed. I guess a team like Wales also have a lot to be commended for then, also being a smaller nation.
    Anyhow.. love this video. Could watch it over and over and never get bored. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 21, 2008 3:27 pm  

  • For me it would have to be Fiji, i thought they played amazingly with passion and won the respect of not only their fans, but fans from all over the world. The pacific islanders put on an amazing show. Second would have to go the USA for their awesome try against the springboks. And finally Portuagal for getting a try against the all blacks, even though they lost 103-7!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 22, 2008 9:43 pm  

  • canada rules! lol
    but i love all the minnows.
    especially portugal.
    im canadian by the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 22, 2008 11:13 pm  

  • great rugby by all the minnows
    they deserve their spots in the wc

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 24, 2008 8:53 am  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 25, 2008 10:49 am  

  • I am supporting Uruguay for the next world cup.. Portugal got lucky just because of winning one game and leaving us out. Now some of my friends play in the national team and it will go far. What the 2011 World Cup.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 25, 2008 8:05 pm  

  • i think that minnows teams play the better rugby than more "professional" teams.
    it would be a shame to see teams like romainia or portugal force out of the cup.
    of course they have no chance at winning it but its nice to see big rugby nations having tries scored against them by docters or teachers..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 26, 2008 2:45 pm  

  • would be a shame to shrink the RWC to 16 teams...
    especially as germany just advanced to ENC 1 ;-)

    the video is just great! thanks a lot!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 27, 2008 12:19 am  

  • 16 teams?? Hell no. Teams such as romania canada georgia among others can be awesome to watch. This world cup proved that. It shows that Rugby is becoming a true world game

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2008 7:35 am  

  • USA two wins in 2011! Go eagles!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 03, 2009 1:03 am  

  • Portugal FTW... i love how them push the new zeleanders to their own line.... and score that try... not with an intersection... :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 02, 2009 10:33 am  

  • rugbydump.blogspot.com; You saved my day again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 16, 2010 9:02 am  

  • Gals
    You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever. http://bit.ly/bllhx1

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 21, 2010 1:55 pm  

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