Ireland's heroic victory over Australia in Auckland has already sparked wild, although somewhat premature speculation about possible World Cup quarterfinal match-ups.
After Brian O'Driscoll's men upset the Tri-Nations champions at Eden Park - the venue for the Final next month - the immediate assumption seemed to be that the Wallabies will square up to the Springboks in the quarterfinal and the winner of that will then have to face the hosts in the next round.
While it is true that if the rest of the pool matches go according to rankings then the World Cup draw in the knock-out rounds would almost be split by the equator, with North and South destined only to meet in the Final, surely the Irish victory was not the first and last upset of the tournament?
All it would take is for the All Blacks to go down to France, Italy to beat Ireland, or for South Africa and Wales to lose to Samoa, and the Cup will be shaken up once again.
New Zealand's respiratory issues when facing Les Bleus at the global showpiece are well documented while as well as Ireland played today they could very well be nursing a keg-sized hangover when they take on the Azzuri.
While these scenarios may seem highly unlikely the truth of the matter is that counting chickens (much less French Cockerills) has ended in disaster for any number of teams in previous World Cup campaigns.
Hot-headed Lievremont loses his cool
France coach Marc Lievremont has built a reputation in the last few years for a highly erratic selection policy (or lack thereof), and a tendency to openly criticise his players when they fail to deliver on the pitch which is often put down to 'French flair', but his conduct at the World Cup has been even more bemusing than usual.
Taking a leaf out of the Peter de Villiers media relations handbook he stormed out of a press conference when his selections were questioned yet again. It is perhaps understandable that the former France loose forward may be feeling a little bit sensitive given that his successor has already been named, but his behaviour seems to be making things even worse.
On the other hand, if France manage to beat the All Blacks again then he may just be hailed as a cunning genius who has come up with the most elaborate smokescreen in rugby history. But that seems as unlikely as the Springboks running the ball at Fiji.
This is your captain speaking
Passengers flitting between cities to watch World Cup games are getting a taste of what it is like to be the target of a team lecture by All Blacks coach Graham "Ted" Henry.
Henry and captain Richie McCaw, suitably attired in pilots' uniforms, front a recorded pre-flight briefing on Air New Zealand flights. And unlike some coaches at the tournament, Henry makes clear he will not tolerate any breach of team standards.
He warns anyone breaking the rules "will be dropped because we can't have that sort of disruption in the team." Although he doesn't say if they will be dropped from 30 000 feet.
A girl loves a winner
Amid all the publicity surrounding the now infamous night out in Queenstown by England's Mike Tindall, who was also a member of England's champion 2003 side, at least one New Zealander has leapt to the support of the unidentified woman involved.
A call to a talkback radio show said he was not surprised the woman found Tindall attractive because "there's nobody in New Zealand playing rugby under the age of 45 who is a World Cup winner."
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