RWC – Final Group Games…

Ok – let’s eliminate absurdites and look at the more realistic scenarios for the Six Nation Teams:

1. In Pool D – Barring losing to Fiji by 62 39 points or more Wales are through the Group of Death in second behind South Africa.
2. In Pool B – Scotland need to beat England by 8 points and restrict England to less than 4 tries to get through in second. If they do Argentina win the group, providing they secure a bonus point win v Georgia. An English bonus point gets them through on top if Scotland don’t score four tries. If Scotland do and England get a bonus point and Argentina score four tries…..I give up.
3. In Pool C an Irish win gets them through on top. Any type of loss sees them out. A draw would put Ireland through in second place as winners. (All that assumes a bonus point win for Australia v Russia).
4. At least a bonus point for France v Tonga sees them through in second place.

Probable outcome?

Wales v Ireland, France v England, New Zealand v Argentina, South Africa v Australia….hmmmm tasty or what???

Btw – Brian Moore is always good for a laugh….(from the New Zealand Herald)
..and does the New York Times quite get it?

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  • Greenflag

    Dewi ,

    I take it by the lack of responses here that nobody disagrees with your forecast for the QF’s . going into this weekends games the biggie has got to be the Scotland England game.

    As to the combos of results and the ifs , buts and bonus points etc your ‘I give up’ seems a wise choice .

  • Mark McGregor


    I’m with others in thinking the points system is due review.

    When you can lose and score the same as a draw (losing by less than 7 with 4 tries) its clearly wrong.

    The same with teams going for deliberate fouls to prevent tries and keep within a 7 point margin. Wrong, there’s a potential reward for not playing fair.

    When ‘gaming’ can come into close matches to ensure the best point outcome instead of clearcut win/lose rewards some matches will be decided on futuring and calculation over pure attempts to win and win well.

    As for you thoughts, I’m pretty confident with O’Gara on from the start Ireland will kick their way to victory over Italy in a very dull game.

  • Dewi

    Don’t mind bonus points in a long league system – but no need for them in this type of competition.

  • john

    The bonus points favor the better teams which you may think is the whole point but its meant the Fiji Wales match is a dead rubber. As for the New York Times article it does essentially hit the nail on the head that there are only so many teams who can get to the quarters and only so many teams that can win it. I am a rugby freak but dont deny that 24 years of world cup rugby hasnt really helped the smaller nations.
    One last point if NZ dont want to play in future tournaments fine , cant see the rugby mad Kiwi fans supporting such drastic action.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    I’d suggest Italy and Argentina have developed very well over the past 24 years. And I’d be inclined to add Samoa to that too – they pushed Wales and SA very very hard indeed. Japan are getting their and Fiji just need a coaching/structural overhaul.

    Can’t see any real surprises this week. If Italy get on top at scrum time they may have a sneaky chance of a win but I can’t really see it. Could be a bit of a dud weekend with the real fireworks next week

  • Jimmy Sands

    At the risk of pedantry, doesn’t a draw see Ireland through as group winners?

  • Dewi

    I like pedantry Jimmy – you are correct.

  • Dewi

    Come on Tonga!!

  • Dewi

    Famous victory that. France will probably win the cup now….

  • john

    The France Tonga match again shows why bonus points should be scrapped. No bonus points and the teams would be level and then its down to points difference and France would go through or head to head and Tonga would go through. France being dumped out would have been amazing – the result also shows that Ireland really do have a psychological problem when they play the French to keep losing to an average team

  • john

    By the way the Scots Im sure will win but not by enough points – glorious failure! I hope im proved wrong

  • Dewi

    Scotland just need one moment..,.

  • Dewi

    Blah. Good Effort.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good win by England. Riding out your worse performances is a mark of a resilience. Be happy with an Irish performance like that against Italy tomorrow.

  • john

    It was a good effort from the Scots but yet again they couldnt score a try. They obviously have zero confidence in the backs. 5 mins to go 20 metres out in perfect position Dan Parks opts for a Hail Mary up and under rather than passing it through the backs -says it all really

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    incredible result for tonga – samoa are the form pacific island team but tonga were immense today.

    Scotland played a very good gameplan and worked to their strengths. Ultimately, they are rubbish but like I say, they played to their strengths.

    Eng V Fra is a hard one to call – both sides are playing poorly but both have the potential to put in a huge performance.

    I agree with the BP discussion – get rid of them and put position down to head to heads.

  • The Scots played their best rugby – nobody can take that away from them.

    French rugby has taken another nosedive but if they beat England, it will quickly be forgotten. I have said for a long time that France have the greatest pool of talent in Europe but have failed to capitalise upon it through bad man management. If they go out against England, that is surely the end of Marc Lièvremont. He has now had too many bad results. By contrast, Martin Johnson is very unlikely to be sacked if England go out.

    I cant see Ireland not beating Italy or the match being closer than the England – Scotland match. Still it is incredible that Ireland are on the plane home even if they lose by one point. I am personally not in favour of the rule that in the case of a tie on points, the team who wins the match between the two goes through. It makes a mockery of Ireland’s better performances than Italy in the other matches.

  • I’d diffidently suggest to Dewi that there were two worthy points that NYT piece did “get”.

    First, this ten-week slug-fest is unduly extended and expensive: as Steve Tew was complaining last week, the NZRU are down at least £6 million/€7 million on this competition, which will have to be recovered somehow.

    Second, for most “minnows” this is a vanity trip. Did Canada and Japan need to be in McLean Park, Napier, for a 23-all draw? Would more than the 14,000 at New Plymouth have turned up for a home-or-away Russia/USA contest? Would (say) ESPN have given it more attention outside the World Cup envelope?

    There was a suggestion (I think it first surfaced on Green and Gold Rugby) that it would be far better to have the Samoans, Fijians and a couple of others along to add zest, with a second-tier/division elimination “shield” contest for the rest.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    I’m 99% sure you’re wrong seymour – I belive italy have to win by 8 points or more to go ahead of ireland. If they are tied it goes to points diff but I could be wrong….. I think italy could maybe sneak the match but no chance of winning by 8 or more.

  • Jimmy Sands

    If two teams are tied on points then the first tie break is the head to head result. If Ireland lose, the team goes home. If they don’t, then they win the group and play (almost certainly) Wales. For Fiji to qualify they need a bonus point win and to deny Wales a losing bonus. Anything else they go home.

    At least I think that’s it.

  • Wales 1/10 against Fiji 14/1 — hmmm … Remember 1991: “It’s just as well we weren’t playing all of Samoa”. Safest prediction: a physical game.

    Ireland @ 1/7 to beat Italy @ 13/2: hardly generous odds there, I feel. Now, is the roof shut for that one?

    More a case of following the sentimental money: England @ 11/17 and France @ 7/4. Gallic pride is a dangerous commodity, either way.

    Beyond that. the butcher’s bill is mounting up, and could change matters: Drew Mitchell, Daniel Carter, Ritchie McCaw, Wilko?

    And the big might-have-been — if Tonga hadn’t gone down to Canada.

  • Dewi

    It’s worse than that for Fiji Jimmy – even if they do as you say they still have to beat Samoa’s points difference – they need to win
    by 82!

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m open to correction but I think the head to head gets counted before points, so Fiji’s task is merely impossible rather than inconceivable.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I stand corrected. Forgot Samoa. Dewi is right, except I make it 84. Although Wales only have to lose by 39. You must be worried.

  • Pending the Sunday press post-mortems, catch Ben Dirs’s blog on the BBC. It says a lot of what we know. But says it well.

  • Dewi

    Enjoyed that Malcolm – had my Saturday afternoon World Cup nap….almost time for Georgia v Argentina

  • Into the west

    Having a raging toothache I’s forced to watch all 4 games
    satnight /sun morning back to back with painkillers by the dozen.
    Poor me eh 😉

  • Into the west

    its looking like WLS vs NZ Final, if things go on form
    Wales are playing out of this world….
    Unless IRE beat Azzuri by min 35 pts, its a no-brainer .
    where is everyone? drunk is it? tsk tsk

  • Dewi

    Not bad at all – George North a superstar. Come on Ireland !!! (And can I stay awake?)

  • Into the west

    I think we’ve gotten ourselves a 1/4 final line-up
    26-6 IRE with 24 mins to go ….and its all green

  • Dewi

    I like that Conor Murray – bit like a younger, uglier, slower Mike Phillips…how much are flights???

  • Dewi

    Right – back to bed – I’ll try and write a summary tonight – in the meanwhile feel to free post your observations with due respect of course to Inter – Celtic relations…Hell this is going to be a fun week !!!

  • Into the west

    Murray got better and better ..
    great team performance.. building well

    lol flights .. paid £700 in 1998, last seat
    I should go ,
    but prolly settle for doin me bollox on paddypower instead …

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Wales V Ireland will be a hard one to call. I think ireland have the edge though. Plenty of experience is key position and ROG is kicking his points which ultimately will decide the game. Roberts could be dangerous for Wales but the rest of the side is average enough. Irish backrow will destroy schoolbuy warberton.

  • Dewi

    But before I go…Carter’s injury changes stuff. Last time Colin Slade played as 10 v South Africa SA won and he got charged down and intercepted. He’s good but he isn’t the best player in the world. This morning v Canada Henry was experimenting with Weepu at No 10 – even if that works then that must raise issues at scum half where Cowan has been suspect…..It’s all open.

  • Mark

    Dan Carter’s absence has huge implications for the RWC . Carter plays well and New Zealand win . Carter doesn’t play well and New Zealand doesn’t win . Carter doesn’t play and ….? . His loss is a devestating blow to the All Blacks .

    Take Messi’s importance to Barcelona and multiply it by 3 . They still have Xavi , Iniesta and Villa . The winner of Ireland vs Wales must really fancy their chances . They are the two form teams at the moment . If Australia can take out the All Blacks …… who knows .

    It’s hard to pick a ” man of the match ” after that team performance . O Brien , Ferris , Murray , Bowe . the Whole team was brilliant and we’ll never have a better chance of winning the World Cup ….

  • Ireland and Wales were brilliant this morning. It is a very long time since these two sides went into battle against each other on the back of such dazzling form.

    Michael Lynagh and Lawrence Dallaglio just stuck their necks out on ITV predicting the result of next week’s matches.

    Lynagh predicted that England would beat France. Dallaglio predicted that Ireland would beat Wales. After seeing Wales this morning, I am not so sure but when you think about it, he is probably right. If Wales have a weakness that the Irish can exploit, it is in the lineout.

    As regards the France – England game, you have to learn never to assume anything with the French. I dont like it when England are favourites but after the way France fell apart against Tonga, it is hard to argue against that analysis.

    Lynagh predicted that Australia would beat South Africa. Wooooah. That is brave, considering that the Aussies have the weakest pack in the tri-nations. The Aussies are probably the worlds best in open play but no team has ever won a World cup with a weakish pack. My money would be on South Africa despite the results of the tri-nations.

    Dallaglio predicted New Zealand to get to the final. I would not disagree with that, despite the loss of Carter. Lynagh predicted England to get to the final.

    I hope the French, Irish and Welsh rugby players dont see that TV clip.

  • Mark McGregor

    On a unrelated rugby note. I see Andy Ward has joined Antrim GAA as fitness coach (Gearoid Adams also joined the backroom).

  • Jimmy Sands

    “If Wales have a weakness that the Irish can exploit, it is in the lineout. ”

    Perhaps but Cronin’s throwing has been poor. With Flannery gone, Best would be a huge loss.