From the Touchline

(Rugby News Service) Sunday 2 October 2011
From the Touchline
Kura Weepu embraced her boy Piri after the match in Wellington

AUCKLAND, 2 Oct. - A lighter look at Rugby World Cup 2011.


1,250 - Dan Carter, who has been ruled out of RWC 2011 with a groin injury, has scored a world record 1,250 career Test points.

15 - England's Lewis Moody and Jonny Wilkinson won their 15th RWC match when England beat Scotland on Saturday. The competition record is 16 matches won by George Gregan (AUS) and Jason Leonard (ENG).

2 - France joined Fiji as the only teams to reach the quarter-finals despite losing two pool matches. Fiji managed that feat in 1987.

He said it:

"We have dealt with it. His recollection on his whereabouts that night was inaccurate and he has issued a statement apologising. He did not mean to mislead anybody. The statement said he was inaccurate in his recollection as to his specific whereabouts. He did not mean to mislead anyone or orchestrate a cover-up. It was just an error on his behalf."
- England manager Martin Johnson on his centre Mike Tindall's off-the-field activities in Queenstown.

Raising the roof

Wallaby David Pocock was left high and dry after being asked whether Italy could help Australia's cause by seeing off Ireland in their Pool C encounter on Sunday.

"Tonga showed last night (in their win over France on Saturday) that anyone can win on their day, so who knows. If it rains a bit more, maybe."

With Otago Stadium being New Zealand's first fully covered rugby venue, rain will be of no consequence whatsoever. A leaky argument, David.

French connection

Alain Rolland, the Irish national who refereed Saturday's Argentina-Georgia match, didn't have too many communication problems at Palmerston North.

Rolland also speaks French, which might still leave you puzzled as to how that would help in a match in which the players' first languages were either Spanish or Georgian.

The common denominator is that many of the players in the starting line-ups - eight for Argentina and 11 for Georgia - turn out for French clubs. Les doigts dans le nez (or 'easy does it' as they say in the classics).

Mum's the word

When Piri Weepu, the All Blacks replacement scrum half, came on after 50 minutes of Sunday's match against Canada, there was no prouder mum in the stadium than Kura.

She was also the first person to congratulate him when he came off the ground by virtue of her role as a security officer in the Wellington Regional Stadium players tunnel.

Kura has worked at the stadium since 2004 but has never drawn a wage. Instead, her pay goes to help disadvantaged children in the local community with their sporting and educational development.

And the best part about working at the stadium during the Rugby World Cup?

"I get to kiss and cuddle my boy straight after the game," she said.

Drinks on hold

The Wallabies dined out with the Russians after beating them 68-22 on Saturday - but there were no vodka shots on offer from the vanquished.

Hair-raising day

The popularity of 35-year-old Samo Radike transcends the fierce rivalry between Australian and New Zealand fans at RWC 2011.

Three Kiwi fans donned big black afro wigs in the crowd as Samo made a rare appearance on the wing in the Wallabies' 68-22 victory over Russia at Nelson on Saturday.

Coach Robbie Deans has said it was unlikely the regular number 8 would be seen out wide for the Wallabies again in this tournament.

RNS mj/mr