World Rankings - things just got interesting

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 5:12 pm

First topic message reminder :

With the World Cup still a few weeks away, it's nice to try and apply some context to the week's matches.

When the official rankings come out on Monday, New Zealand will be top with 89.04, Wales will be second with 88.89 then Ireland (88.69), England (87.34), South Africa (86.83) and Australia (84.41).

Ireland don't play next week and South Africa play Argentina at home next week. Argentina are ranked so low now that a win would not allow South Africa up the rankings, and they can only lose points if they fail to win. The other two games of note are NZ at home to Australia and Wales at home to England.

There's a miniscule gap between NZ and Wales, and as Wales are playing a higher ranked team, any Wales win will see them officially ranked number 1 in the published rankings. Conversely if England beat Wales by 16+ points, England will be ranked number 1. Both these outcomes exist outside of NZ's sphere of influence.

If NZ beat Australia they'll be on 89.28 points. If they thrash Australia, they'll be on 89.40 points.

A Wales win would take them up to 89.43 points and a thrashing of England would take them to 89.71. Either of these would be more than NZ could muster against Australia.

An England win would see England up to 88.79, which is less than NZ after any kiwi win. However, an England thrashing of Wales would see them up to 89.52, and therefore above anything NZ could achieve.

England could also top the rankings with any win, if NZ fail to win against Australia. A draw against Australia would see NZ drop to 88.28 points and a loss would see them fall further. A narrow England win and an NZ draw or loss would see England top the rankings therefore.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that "NZ fail to win - 88.28" would see NZ drop below Ireland, who would therefore rise to second. Ireland could even top the rankings if Wales and England then drew, as England would take enough points from Wales to drag them below Ireland but not enough to themselves get above Ireland.

If NZ lose at home to Australia, they would drop to third with a Wales win or 4th with a draw or an England win. If they suffered a second successive thrashing, they'd fall to 6th below Australia and South Africa. You can file that last scenario in "unlikely", but that would probably be their worst ever position.

Below the top 6 you've got Scotland and France in 7th and 8th. The winner of their game will be ranked higher at the end of the week, although neither can catch the top 6 or drop below those below them.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 23 Aug 2019, 9:39 am

Who's that warning from? I'm not being pedantic I'm simply suggesting that someone answers a simple question rather than avoid and actually derail due to it.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 23 Aug 2019, 9:41 am

Everyone knows right now that Ireland will take the top spot with a win over England. The question is do we want it? Its kind of nice that everyone has written us off already while we sit in 3rd ready to pounce. I think its a better place to be than how everyone is currently building England and SA up for a spectacular fall.

I think a draw and a good performance would be a nice result, retain third spot, remain in the shadows.

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 23 Aug 2019, 9:47 am

It will be interesting to see where the dust lies after the world cup, correct me if I am wrong, but don't you get double the points for world cup games ?

Could we be in a position, that the world cup winner is not even ranked number 1 ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 23 Aug 2019, 9:47 am

Ireland have got a cracking team. Anyone thinking they're coming from the shadows doesn't follow rugby much variety 6ns surely?

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 23 Aug 2019, 10:21 am

LordDowlais wrote:It will be interesting to see where the dust lies after the world cup, correct me if I am wrong, but don't you get double the points for world cup games ?

Could we be in a position, that the world cup winner is not even ranked number 1 ?

Could be, highly unlikely though.

If you are evenly matched with a team and you beat them in the World Cup, you gain two points. If you beat a team ranked 10 points ahead of you that's 4 points.

All the points will therefore funnel to the pool stage qualifiers. Then the quarter-final winners, then the semi-final winners and so on.

If you started as a rank outsider (e.g. USA - 72), you'd gain 2/3/4/4 points for your wins against Tonga, Argentina, France and England and end the pool stage on 85. Win your last 3 games against evenly ranked teams and you finish on 91 points and most probably first.

Namibia as the lowest ranked team (61) would probably gain 4 points for each pool win to finish the pools on 77. They'd probably then might get 4/4/3 in their knockouts as their ranking continues to rise and finish on 88. If a Wales or an Ireland won every game of the tournament and then lost to Namibia in the final they might just about retain enough points to still be ranked number 1.

But all other scenarios I can't see it happening.

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Post by TightHEAD on Sun 25 Aug 2019, 10:52 am

Surely England thrashing of Ireland puts them in contention to be in the top 4 once again?

Wonderful achievement for little old England.
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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 25 Aug 2019, 11:20 am

England have moved to 3rd, with Ireland and SA both moving down 1.

Assuming NZ beat Tonga, Wales need to win both matches to stay at No1. Ireland would go No1 should they win both. Matches shared and NZ enter WC as top ranked team.

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 25 Aug 2019, 11:27 am

That would certainly be a whacky old world if this Ireland of this particular 2019 managed to win both Wales games and head to Japan as World Number 1.

I think there'd be a lot of car crashes in Ireland the week that happened.  Radio listening should be banned for that final game

"We're World Number 1????????  You're kidding m..........."  *car horn sounds omenously*

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 10:29 am

SecretFly wrote:That would certainly be a whacky old world if this Ireland of this particular 2019 managed to win both Wales games and head to Japan as World Number 1.

I think there'd be a lot of car crashes in Ireland the week that happened.  Radio listening should be banned for that final game

"We're World Number 1????????  You're kidding m..........."  *car horn sounds omenously*

Yeah it would however, if you beat the best, home and away (it wont happen) then you aren't far off being the best yourself.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:23 am

Week commencing 27/08

Wales will retain top spot and open up a bit of a gap at the top with any win against New Zealand. Fail to win and they'll fall - second with a draw and fourth with any loss.

From Ireland's perspective, a second successive 16+ point loss would see them fall to 5th, dropping below South Africa, but a narrow loss would see them remain 4th. A draw wouldn't be enough to boost them above England, but a win would. A 16+ point win would see them top the rankings.

There are 3 other games of note. France vs Italy, Fiji vs Tonga and Georgia vs Scotland. A number of moving parts, so see the spread below.

Points spreads
CountryCurrent16+ win1-15 winDraw1-15 loss16+ loss
7. Scotland79.8781.0080.6279.6278.6278.00
8. France79.7279.7279.7278.7277.7276.72
9. Japan77.21
10. Fiji76.9877.6677.4376.4375.4374.66
11. Argentina76.29
12. Georgia74.4276.2975.6674.6673.6673.29
13. Italy72.0475.0474.0473.0472.0472.04
14. USA71.93
15. Tonga71.4973.8173.0472.0471.0470.81
16. Samoa69.08

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:48 am

So Ireland have another crack at the number one spot this weekend. Wales will be fielding a less familiar side than usual and could have left the door ajar for Ireland to take advantage.

Come Monday, Ireland could be ranked no.1 in the world, even after last weekends result.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:05 am

If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.
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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:17 am

The Oracle wrote:If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.

Considering the way the All Blacks came back after conceding 50 points to the Bazzers in Perth I worry that Wales might well get nilled by an all shining all dancing Irish team...!

Let’s hope our team play like the Also-Ran England team that beat us at HQ a few weeks back. Every single player in that team is fighting for selection. No reason for them not too play their best. They did well last summer beating The Bok then a double over Argentina.


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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:40 am

I doubt it to ne honest. Yes Ireland need to step it up but we have a bad record v Wales so I see another loss coming and then maybe a win in Dublin.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:09 pm

Wales to remain Number 1 after another lifeless attempt by second tier side Ireland at the weekend.... and Gatland to sweat for another week in the heat of being fully targeted by that radar he wanted to avoid in the lead in to Japan. Wink

Three cheers for Wales! Most Bestest Unbeatable team in the World!

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 4:34 am

SecretFly wrote:Wales to remain Number 1 after another lifeless attempt by second tier side Ireland at the weekend.... and Gatland to sweat for another week in the heat of being fully targeted by that radar he wanted to avoid in the lead in to Japan.  Wink

Three cheers for Wales! Most Bestest Unbeatable team in the World!

True..the King is dead. Long live the King. king Wales

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 8:11 am

I am just glad Wales have forgotten how to lose again, even if that is only for one game this time Wink

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:37 am

I see good old Pichot has waded into things to say how unhappy he is that Wales are considered world No 1 when they havent beaten NZ since rankings began!

The rankings arent perfect, but to say you cant be number one as you've not played someone in ages is a bit odd.

Thats like saying Scotland aren't a better team than Jamaica because they've not beaten them! (careful now!)
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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 10:57 am

Nah, Scotland can beat Jamaica. Not sure about Barbados though.

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:20 am

After seeing the Welsh team, this is the best chance Ireland have got at taking the number 1 spot in, well, ever.

Although I am very excited to see this Welsh side.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:29 am

LordDowlais wrote:After seeing the Welsh team, this is the best chance Ireland have got at taking the number 1 spot in, well, ever.

Although I am very excited to see this Welsh side.

They have to win by 16 clear points to go top. Unless you're suggesting their best chance is to win this week and then get that win next week at home to take them top. I'd say that's got a more realistic chance.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:08 pm

tigertattie wrote:I see good old Pichot has waded into things to say how unhappy he is that Wales are considered world No 1 when they havent beaten NZ since rankings began!

The rankings arent perfect, but to say you cant be number one as you've not played someone in ages is a bit odd.

Thats like saying Scotland aren't a better team than Jamaica because they've not beaten them! (careful now!)

Technically they have at some point beaten all the teams who have beat NZ though

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:01 pm

Bitter because Argentina keep losing games. He sounds a bit English with whinges like that.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:17 pm

lostinwales wrote:
tigertattie wrote:I see good old Pichot has waded into things to say how unhappy he is that Wales are considered world No 1 when they havent beaten NZ since rankings began!

The rankings arent perfect, but to say you cant be number one as you've not played someone in ages is a bit odd.

Thats like saying Scotland aren't a better team than Jamaica because they've not beaten them! (careful now!)

Technically they have at some point beaten all the teams who have beat NZ though

If we say that winning a World Cup wins you the title of the best, which you hand over come any defeat to a single country (Else Lions are currently the best):

31st October 2015 - New Zealand
5th November 2016 - Ireland
19th November 2016 - New Zealand
21st October 2017 - Australia
18th November 2017 - England
24th February 2018 - Scotland
10th March 2018 - Ireland
9th June 2018 - Australia
16th June 2018 - Ireland
2nd February 2019 - England
23rd February 2019 - Wales
11th August 2019 - England
17th August 2019 - Wales

So for two weeks in 2018 Scotland can claim, by beating the man who beat the man etc, to have been the best team in the World.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:40 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Bitter because Argentina keep losing games. He sounds a bit English with whinges like that.

Interesting

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:58 pm

I’ve read lots of things (e.g. from Pichot) saying Wales shouldn’t be no.1 as they haven’t beaten NZ. Which I can sort of see, if you just ignore the maths and the formula. But what does Pichot say to the notion that, just as Wales did, New Zealand could regain no.1 spot without having played/beaten the current no.1 team? I bet no-one would challenge that.
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:00 pm

Surely the point is every rugby fan knows New Zealand are a better side than Wales.
I appreciate how the rankings work but it’s the first time that I can recall that such a situation has occurred.
Ie. the rankings do not reflect the current strength of the sides in the world.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:05 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
The Oracle wrote:If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.

Considering the way the All Blacks came back after conceding 50 points to the Bazzers in Perth I worry that Wales might well get nilled by an all shining all dancing Irish team...!

Let’s hope our team play like the Also-Ran England team that beat us at HQ a few weeks back. Every single player in that team is fighting for selection. No reason for them not too play their best. They did well last summer beating The Bok then a double over Argentina.


Beating the Boks in 2016-2018 wasn’t much of a challenge. They were woefull to say the least.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:07 pm

Old Man wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
The Oracle wrote:If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.

Considering the way the All Blacks came back after conceding 50 points to the Bazzers in Perth I worry that Wales might well get nilled by an all shining all dancing Irish team...!

Let’s hope our team play like the Also-Ran England team that beat us at HQ a few weeks back. Every single player in that team is fighting for selection. No reason for them not too play their best. They did well last summer beating The Bok then a double over Argentina.


Beating the Boks in 2016-2018 wasn’t much of a challenge. They were woefull to say the least.

Tell that to NZ. England also lost 2 tests v SA in 2018.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:20 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Old Man wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
The Oracle wrote:If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.

Considering the way the All Blacks came back after conceding 50 points to the Bazzers in Perth I worry that Wales might well get nilled by an all shining all dancing Irish team...!

Let’s hope our team play like the Also-Ran England team that beat us at HQ a few weeks back. Every single player in that team is fighting for selection. No reason for them not too play their best. They did well last summer beating The Bok then a double over Argentina.


Beating the Boks in 2016-2018 wasn’t much of a challenge. They were woefull to say the least.

Tell that to NZ. England also lost 2 tests v SA in 2018.

Rassie Erasmus took over in 2018, even though there were a few wins, there was no consistency last year, the damage Coetzee did to the confidence of the Springboks is still lingering.

Erasmus has had his work cut out for him bringing transparency and a collective mindset to the squad.

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:38 pm

The Oracle wrote:If the Wales team is as rumoured then Ireland should have a very good chance of winning on the weekend. That Wales team (proposed) is full of inexperienced players (at this level) and brand new combinations. That team will never see the light of day together again! So I don’t feel Ireland will have too much trouble dispatching Wales. And if so, Wales should rightly topple from the top spot.

That can be a dangerous assumption. It depends on the culture of the squad. Gatland has been around a while and experience can tell you that in order to keep winning at the levels his side has - nearly two years now- its essential you have depth and more importantly within that depth a belief that your fringe/ outer squad players will be ready to step up when required- and often at very short notice.

NZ did that between Perth and Auckland, when both the raw replacements- Bridge, Reece, Laulala etc as well as the repeating players...all stepped up.

I don't know of the experience of the Welsh side this weekend but if Gatland has learned what he needs to have the right way he wouldnt play them if he didnt believe they had a very good chance of winning the match, as well as gaining well needed depth at the same time.

This likely Welsh selection reflects a confident coach, a confident squad, and a confident preparation for the World cup.

The worse thing the Irish could do is not think they need to lift their efforts from the English match.

They could be walking into a very well prepared ambush if they do.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 3:15 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Surely the point is every rugby fan knows New Zealand are a better side than Wales.
I appreciate how the rankings work but it’s the first time that I can recall that such a situation has occurred.
Ie. the rankings do not reflect the current strength of the sides in the world.

Wales and NZ are both ranked higher than England. Go over to the England match and World Cup threads, england are much better than both of those ranked above them.

Interesting are your thoughts on the rankings. This is the first time I’ve seen them questioned. Before then we were always told that they’re brilliant!

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 3:58 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Surely the point is every rugby fan knows New Zealand are a better side than Wales.
It's fine for Wales to be ranked top. They met every challenge thrown at them, except England at Twickenham, while NZ got blown away by a much lower-ranked Australia. We might think that NZ will beat Wales next time they meet but, until they do, we don't know.

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Post by Taylorman on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 5:42 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Surely the point is every rugby fan knows New Zealand are a better side than Wales.
It's fine for Wales to be ranked top. They met every challenge thrown at them, except England at Twickenham, while NZ got blown away by a much lower-ranked Australia. We might think that NZ will beat Wales next time they meet but, until they do, we don't know.

thats true, Wales could win no. 32 after losing the first 31, thats how the 31 got there in the first place. Ireland did similarly recently.

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Post by Pie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 6:10 am

Wales have never been slaughtered by Aus the way NZ just were (off you go Taylorman, statto)

Just cant handle being knocked off your perch

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 6:21 am

2016 8-32.

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:29 am

If you think New Zealand are a better side than Wales then you have to concede that New Zealand have been operating below their potential and Wales are competing my closer to their potential.

The rankings work on results, not ability. It’s fare to say New Zealand are a higher ability team and likely to beat Wales the next time we play, but also say Wales have the better run of recent results and deserve their number one ranking.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:33 am

I would give Wales a good shot of picking off NZ in their next match to be honest. I dont think thats unfair given the form they have been in despite head to head records.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:49 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Bitter because Argentina keep losing games. He sounds a bit English with whinges like that.

Interesting

Interesting as in boring?

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:55 am

At this moment in time, any game Wales are playing in Cardiff, I have 100% confidence in their ability to get a result. That's against any side, including the All Blacks.

Away from home, and against decent opposition, at this moment, I am 80% confident.

This is a long way away from where I used to be, where as I would never be confident against New Zealand, anywhere.

For me, gone are the days where we would travel to England or Ireland, and take a tuning. Gone are the days where we used to go on tours to the SH and I never gave us a sniff.

This is how far this Wales side have come, I still think we were unlucky against England at Twickenham recently, with a different ref, we could have edged that game, but hey ho, it's all swings and roundabouts.

It also reflects in how I am looking at this weekends game, I am not expecting a win, with the side we are putting out, but I am very excited to see what these new players can do under this coaching setup.

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Post by Taylorman on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:03 am

LordDowlais wrote:At this moment in time, any game Wales are playing in Cardiff, I have 100% confidence in their ability to get a result. That's against any side, including the All Blacks.

Away from home, and against decent opposition, at this moment, I am 80% confident.

This is a long way away from where I used to be, where as I would never be confident against New Zealand, anywhere.

For me, gone are the days where we would travel to England or Ireland, and take a tuning. Gone are the days where we used to go on tours to the SH and I never gave us a sniff.

Yes, those old days you mean, the 5 try to 2 15 point loss at Millenium 21 months ago, or the 3-0 loss, including 46-6 in NZ all those years ago in 2016....aaaah the good ols days, now long forgotten... Whistle

...just kiddin...

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:23 am

I did say at this moment in time. OK

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:

Away from home, and against decent opposition, at this moment, I am 80% confident.

Hard to quantify how Wales would do right now away from home against a decent team. The quirks of the 6Ns meant they faced the weaker teams away from home this year. Last year they lost away games with England and Ireland, beat SA on neutral territory (both sides a long way below full strength) and beat a poor Argentina side away (mirroring England a year earlier).

Confidence in your team is good, and there are plenty of reasons to be confident about Wales right now. I would say though that on the current strong run they have yet to beat a good team away from home. Of course not a requirement needed for RWC being neutral and all.

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:46 am

I think the beauty of the Welsh team right now is the potency of the coaching.  Gatland has always been a confident coach.  He's always believed in his methods and ideas.  But in recent years, that confidence in his methods has magnified through his experiences with Lions teams.
He does a lot of bluff and spin but I choose to believe him when he suggests Wales can really put a nail in Ireland's coffin at the weekend.  Now, I might argue how long the nail truly is, but I don't expect a big resurgence from a disfunctioning Ireland right now.  Whether another solid loss would truly have Irish players' confidence well and truly shot is debatable, but Wales winning?  Very much the probable result based on everything currently in swing.
So I can't share Lord D's excitement about seeing how Welsh players do at the weekend yet somehow expecting a loss from those efforts.  Gatland is Gatland.  He wants a win and believes it's on the cards.

If Ireland are sensational on the day it will be because they've been playing wounded duck.  You just don't improve massively with a few shouts from the Guv on Monday and some little tweaks in game management.  I can't believe Ireland will be sensational.  It's still too early for any Phoenix stuff from them.
So if Ireland do win it'll be because they smothered the game, pedestrianised the tempo, bullied themselves across the line a few times with stubborn grunt rather than fireworks pizazz.  AND, if this malfunctioning Ireland manages to win a boring fist fight with Gatland's Number 1 ranked side, will Gatland really be satisfied with a few performances of note from a few of his lesser players?
Gatland needs to keep winning.  And certainly he has to prove that it's the coaching that creates the Welsh machine, not the changes in personnel.  He can't afford to lose to a misfiring, boring and sluggish Irish outfit.

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:50 am

LondonTiger wrote:I would say though that on the current strong run they have yet to beat a good team away from home.

That's very disingenuous of you, Wales last few away games have been against Argentina, France, Scotland and we have beaten them all.

Lets just remember, England were lucky to draw against Scotland at Twickenham and France away is no picnic either.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:00 am

Disingenuous?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:10 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I would say though that on the current strong run they have yet to beat a good team away from home.

That's very disingenuous of you, Wales last few away games have been against Argentina, France, Scotland and we have beaten them all.

Lets just remember, England were lucky to draw against Scotland at Twickenham and France away is no picnic either.

France, Argentina and Scotland are all low enough in the rankings. Away wins v SA, Eng, Ire and NZ would be pretty tough for Wales.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:13 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I would say though that on the current strong run they have yet to beat a good team away from home.

That's very disingenuous of you, Wales last few away games have been against Argentina, France, Scotland and we have beaten them all.

Lets just remember, England were lucky to draw against Scotland at Twickenham and France away is no picnic either.

I disagree, but I would. Perhaps rather disingenuous to cut out my praise for Wales, while what England have or have not achieved is irrelevant to my point. We are not number 1, we cannot be number 1 in teh near future and I feel we are a WC semi final team at best.

Very few countries play rugby, it is globally a minor sport. One of the countries competing in RWC even lost to an English second tier club side. So for me the top 5 or 6 in the rankings only are the good sides. Wales are obviously one of those and at home they have beaten four of the remaining 5 sides in this run. Away from home it is a while since they beat them - but what they have done well is to win the away games you feel they should win but can be tricky, this is something England have failed to do and is why Wales right now are the better, more successful team. Winning next week in Dublin would put a real marker down for the WC.

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Post by Old Man on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:19 am

Poor form is only one match away. Sounds like some are trying to convince themselves how good their teams are.

Not long and we will all find out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

With the way the rugby international calendar is form can be down to luck, particularly the NH season. We don't play a set selection of teams each in summer tours and ais. We dont play home and away in the 6ns. Once you accept that as LT has made clear the rankings show results from the last 12 to 18 months. The nature of the fixtures however mean they simply cant offer a definitive answer on who is best. Thus it is down to personal thought.

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