Japan 2019 - Pool C - Argentina England France Tonga USA

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:27 pm

TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostTriesPFPA+/-BPPoints
England220011801070210
Argentina2101649351426
France110002232124
USA10011745-3800
Tonga200221763-4600

France 23-21 Argentina                  
England 35-3 Tonga      
England 45-7 United States
Argentina 28-14 Tonga       
               


2 October 2019                   France v United States                 Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka
5 October 2019                   England v Argentina                    Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
6 October 2019                   France v Tonga                            Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto
9 October 2019                   Argentina v United States             Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
12 October 2019                 England v France                         International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
13 October 2019                 United States v Tonga                  Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka


Last edited by LondonTiger on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 9:33 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by rodders on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:45 pm

Fancy England to dominate here but the battle for runner up will be very interesting in this pool.
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 8:39 am

Tonga can't get any worse, but do we expect them to improve considerably after their run out against the ABs? Or are they destined for a fourth placed play-off against USA?

Tonga famously beat France in 2011, but didn't qualify as they had lost to Canada in an earlier game. I'd be surprised if they could spring a similar upset.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 10:00 am

We have a very short turn around in our first two games, 4 days!

That's a joke.
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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 10:06 am

robbo277 wrote:Tonga can't get any worse, but do we expect them to improve considerably after their run out against the ABs? Or are they destined for a fourth placed play-off against USA?

Tonga famously beat France in 2011, but didn't qualify as they had lost to Canada in an earlier game. I'd be surprised if they could spring a similar upset.

I haven't seen the AB game, but were there any positives for Tonga to take away from it at all? I note that their only score came in something like the 77th minute, when NZ were playing with a self-imposed 14 men. That also means that at some point very near the end of the game, Tonga were 92-0 down, which is utterly embarrassing.

I always cheer on the Pacific Island teams, but I just think the gulf between them and more established teams is that much bigger now. They'll always have the strength, power, and flair to put on a show and create the occasional upset, but I just can't see it this world cup.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 10:09 am

TightHEAD wrote:We have a very short turn around in our first two games, 4 days!

That's a joke.

France and Argentina both have a four day turn around too. None of them have them before facing another Tier 1 side. To squeeze all the games in you need to have some short gaps - and this time it is Tier 1 countries who get them. Previously it was Tier 2 countries who frankly are less able to cope. Last time, after their massive win over SA, Japan had just 4 days before facing Scotland. The drop off in quality in their squad meant that the kind of wholsesale rotation England can do was not feasible to maintain the quality.

I prefer this way round.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 10:12 am

Fiji have a 4 day turn around, they are not tier 1 surely?
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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 10:42 am

Japan are Tier Two but World Rugby use the Bands system for most purpose now, and they are in the High performance band. 

In this context its most likely world cup seedings that been used as the consideration, and as host Japan are Pot A so would be treated in the same bracket as new Zealand and co.

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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 11:18 am

I think the way the first three matches fall could suit us actually. Tonga will be a bruising match, but being honest, bar an ambush we should win. Then the USA will provide (without trying to sound arrogant) a contact based training run, then we go into the Argentina match battle hardened. Argentina on the other hand will have had two very physical games in a similarly short period of time, which you imagine will take their toll.
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 11:39 am

Gooseberry wrote:Japan are Tier Two but World Rugby use the Bands system for most purpose now, and they are in the High performance band. 

In this context its most likely world cup seedings that been used as the consideration, and as host Japan are Pot A so would be treated in the same bracket as new Zealand and co.

Ireland were Band 1, Japan were actually Band 3. Similarly England were Band 2 last year, there's no benefit to being host in terms of the draw.

Japan were automatically drawn to Pool A and given the best schedule (weekends only) as England were in 2015, because that would maximise gate receipts. E.g. the Friday night opener and 2 Saturday nights at the national stadium. So there's a host's advantage there. But not in the actual draw.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 12:03 pm

England should win this pool comfortably, Argentina is not in a good space, but they for some reason or other love playing the French.

France is a bit suspect themselves, if they lift they should be seond placed.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:55 am

Do we want to win the group?

Aus will beat Wales so a likely QF vs Wales is on the cards.
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:50 am

TightHEAD wrote:Do we want to win the group?

Aus will beat Wales so a likely QF vs Wales is on the cards.

Yes I want us to win the group.

I think Wales are a better team than Australia - so while Australia can win (and despite winning the last game, just, Wales have had issues beating Australia even when our neighbours were clearly better) I do not think they will.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:03 am

I think its not so clear cut as some people suggest in group C.
Yes, England can top the group - but recent performances from Argentina in the Rugby Championship suggest they wont be a walkover. And, they always seem to step up for WC time. I am fairly sure they have a few tricks up their sleeves and have a very useful backline.
France....who knows. They have the power and physicality to go toe to toe with England. (if they get it right and don't go all off-piste)
We still don't know enough about England, when they are matched defensively they haven't looked great without guys like Manu to open up defences.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:06 am

I also agree with LT - I would rather be facing Australia rather than Wales in the latter stages.
Irrespective of that, I still want England to top the group and get momentum going into the knockouts.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:11 am

Definitely want to top the group.

Since the last RWC, we've beaten Wales whenever we've played them at home, and they've generally beaten us away. We have no idea what would happen on neutral territory, I think the benefits from rolling through the group undefeated for morale and momentum far outweigh the "risk" of playing Wales in the QF

I agree with LT that I'd expect Wales to beat Australia anyway, and would be very surprised if they didn't

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Post by rodders on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:14 am

This is definitely the most interesting group, England are favorites on current form but France, Argentina and England could all beat each other.

The opening game will be interesting, I think England will be hoping the Pumas can topple France, otherwise they could face a backlash from them the following week.  It would also put a dent in the French confidence before they get any momentum.

From a neutral perspective a French victory would really heat the pool up and add a bit more edge to the subsequent crunch games.
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Post by Cyril on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 2:43 pm

I think England and (probably) France will beat Argentina pretty comfortably. They’ve gone backwards recently. They rarely beat top sides.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 4:05 pm

People's faith in Argentina seems to be based on "world cup pedigree" rather than reality. They missed out on the QFs due to a 16-15 loss to Ireland in 2003, but since then they've made 2 semis and a quarter-final exit against hosts New Zealand in 2011.

Their recent form is terrible though. They have a talented bunch of players, but have lost home series to England and Wales and a home test to Scotland in the last couple of years. Since the last World Cup they've won 3 Championship games out of 21 and they haven't fared much better in Europe either.

I don't see where this turnaround in form is supposedly going to come from.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 4:30 pm

From what I saw, all those home series they lost against England and Wales the Pumas never really fielded their Rugby Championship side. From the Championship games I have seen they have been much sharper IMO. Results haven't been going their way, but they have been playing well. That's why I believe they might be a tough side to handle for teams that don't regularly play them.

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Post by rodders on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 4:36 pm

Yes I think the Pumas will be a completely different team to in the AIs. The opening game in the pool I think will be key to how the pool pans out.
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Post by Old Man on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 4:36 pm

Pumas are suffering from fatigue, those players having played Super Rugby season as well showed more and more fatigue from each match

They should be in better form come their opening match

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 4:47 pm

propdavid_london wrote:From what I saw, all those home series they lost against England and Wales the Pumas never really fielded their Rugby Championship side.  From the Championship games I have seen they have been much sharper IMO.  Results haven't been going their way, but they have been playing well.  That's why I believe they might be a tough side to handle for teams that don't regularly play them.

On my phone so jumping between browser pages not easy. Looks like most of the XV that started against England played in the following RC games. About half started against SA with a further 5 or 6 on the bench. In 2013 they selected more experimental sides, but in 2017 they were picking the best available. For England to go there with 17 players in Australia and some others rested and win was highly impressive.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 6:43 pm

For what its worth I think that Argentina are the kind of team that England have done and will do very well against.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 12 Sep 2019, 9:51 pm

England aren't great away from home and we seem to struggle for consistency. So while we should win all our games I can see us dropping one when we have the obligatory rubbish game the players seem to always have every few matches.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:10 am

We're not allowed to talk about off days, so given that they must be impossible, England are probably going to sweep the tournament putting at least 50 points on every side they meet

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Post by Old Man on Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:15 am

yappysnap wrote:England aren't great away from home and we seem to struggle for consistency. So while we should win all our games I can see us dropping one when we have the obligatory rubbish game the players seem to always have every few matches.

Not being great away from home isn’t unique to England only, you could really only consider NZ good away from home.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:18 am

England have a better record away from home in the RWC than at home. They lost two home games (out of 4) in 2015, but only 3 away from home out of 19 across the 2003-2011 RWCs.

Neutral venues are a very different prospect from playing in another team's habitual fortress.
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:44 am

On three overseas tours in this current WC cycle we have played 8 winning 6. Now that is not as good as NZ who against the same teams have won 10 from 12 away from home, but not dreadful.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Sep 2019, 6:19 pm

Mark Wilson & Joe Cokanasiga both have knee injuries, and will likely miss the opening fixture against Tonga. That would mean four players unavailable for selection.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/sep/15/england-cokanasiga-wilson-doubts-rugby-world-cup-opener-tonga

Same article included this:

Jamie George has revealed he has been preparing for the humidity in Japan by dipping balls in buckets of water

Must admit, I mentally included the word "his" when I first read the sentence.

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Post by Old Man on Sun 15 Sep 2019, 6:24 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Mark Wilson & Joe Cokanasiga both have knee injuries, and will likely miss the opening fixture against Tonga. That would mean four players unavailable for selection.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/sep/15/england-cokanasiga-wilson-doubts-rugby-world-cup-opener-tonga

Same article included this:

Jamie George has revealed he has been preparing for the humidity in Japan by dipping balls in buckets of water

Must admit, I mentally included the word "his" when I first read the sentence.

Yeah, that would then be relative humidity Wink

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 15 Sep 2019, 8:18 pm

Laugh

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 11:37 am

France: 
Maxime Medard, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Yoann Huget, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; 
Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Wenceslas Lauret, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado (c), Jefferson Poirot. 

Reserves: Camille Chat, Cyril Baille, Demba Bamba, Bernard Le Roux, Louis Picamoles, Maxime Machenaud, Camille Lopez, Thomas Ramos.


Argentina: 
Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; 
Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera (c), Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Juan Figallo, Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. 

eserves: Julian Montoya, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Santiago Carreras.

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 12:36 pm

This is an interesting game. I was watching the Kiwi Sky Sports rugby show that old Jeff Wilson hosts, John Hart said that who ever can take this win makes this pool seriously competitive. It almost guarantees they will be in the quarters.

I think The Argies will scrape through late in the second half in a tense match with some superb tries. Both teams can play some superb running rugby.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 3:10 pm

It's a strange France team.

I'd probably sooner see Lopez and Fofana start at 10/12, Dupont and Fickou are fine choices though.

I thought Ramos was a huge find in the Six Nations and really helped turn things around for them, so I'm surprised to see him miss out.

Surprised to see Camara and Picamoles miss out too, although maybe there are concerns about the latter's age and he's set for a "finisher" role, rather than trying to go for 60-80 minutes.

Argentina's selection seems more sensible. Not quite the best of a bad bunch but it's simultaneously not the best Argentina side I've seen line up and also one I think you'd struggle to improve from the squad picked.

I'll probably lean towards France. They're slightly better. And because they've left out what I think are some of their better players their bench is stacked. I think they'll edge the first 60 and then close it out, maybe pull away and deny Argentina the losing bonus point.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 3:14 pm

Dupont is at 9, Ntamack at 10 Wink

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 4:02 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Dupont is at 9, Ntamack at 10 Wink

Yeah, I was kinda saying the points as they came into my head.

So Dupont at 9 I'm happy with, I'd have Lopez and Fofana in there at 10 and 12, and then Fickou at 13 is fine.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 4:15 pm

While Fickou seems to have been named at 13 and Vakatawa at 12, I wonder if they will line up that way.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 5:16 pm

I thought Vakatawa was a winger! Is this another random French selection

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 6:24 pm

Limited training for Marler today. Don't know if that makes him a doubt.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 7:00 pm

BamBam wrote:I thought Vakatawa was a winger! Is this another random French selection
He was, but last season he was playing centre for club and Country I thought.

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Post by sensisball on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 8:41 pm

Fofana hasn't shaken off the leg knock he picked up against Italy, hence Fickou at 12 with Vakatawa at 13. The new France attack coach was with Racing and so knows Vakatawa well. Apparently he has been highly impressive in training. His extra power and bulk maybe edged him ahead of Guitoune. Surprise is starting Ntamack, with little club experience ( fourth choice 10 at his club) and Le Roux and Bamba on the bench, neither of them have played a single minute in the warm up games, through suspension and injury respectively.

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 20 Sep 2019, 7:45 am

sensisball wrote:Fofana hasn't shaken off the leg knock he picked up against Italy, hence Fickou at 12 with Vakatawa at 13. The new France attack coach was with Racing and so knows Vakatawa well. Apparently he has been highly impressive in training. His extra power and bulk maybe edged him ahead of Guitoune. Surprise is starting Ntamack, with little club experience ( fourth choice 10 at his club) and Le Roux and Bamba on the bench, neither of them have played a single minute in the warm up games, through suspension and injury respectively.

Okay. I'd have Fofana and Fickou in there every game as your centres.

Ntamack is an odd one. It's a bold shout on the first game of the World Cup against a qualification rival. Maybe he wants an experienced 10 to close from the bench? Or it's just a hunch that Ntamack is his best option.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:10 am

Right this is going to be exciting...

I’m not sure who will win this match, both teams have blown hot and cold but both have so much talent in their 23s they should be taken very seriously.


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Post by miaow on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:13 am

Just a small request to mods - is it possible to put team names in the titles of the groups? Makes it easier to just click on the thread instead of a bit of guesswork? Not a major issue, but might help if it's put in brackets or something.

Argentina kit is glorious.

This will either be game of the tournament or a festival of faeces. Let's hope the former.

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Post by miaow on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:15 am

After years of shocking kits as well, the French have finally gone back to basics and made a great shirt as well.

Peak sartorial rugby on show here.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:30 am

Argies wearing collared shirts too...

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Post by miaow on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:39 am

Think France win this one based on what we've seen so far, but solid predictions are pointless with these two teams.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:43 am

miaow wrote:Think France win this one based on what we've seen so far, but solid predictions are pointless with these two teams.

They are looking pretty handy after a nervy start...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 8:47 am

France look like les bleus of old. Lovely running and offloading, just a few too many knock-ons. Argentina happen to be making more knock-ons though, and France pounce on it every time.

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