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Any early leaders for the RWC ...

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Post by No9 Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:15 pm

Now all the contenders have played a warm-up game (or for the SH big 4, a tournament).. Does anyone have any thoughts on who's most likely to lift the trophy at the end. What about players, any standout for the player of the tournament...

I know this is really early, but think getting initial reaction and seeing how it pans out can be fun in its own way, providing it stays as banter and doesn't turn nasty...

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Post by rodders Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:23 pm

New Zealand look head and shoulders above the rest bar a blip against Australia.

Followed by the Wallabies, Ireland, England and SA in that order.

Milner Skully looks a player to watch for the ABs and Retallic could be the forward of the tournament.

Pocock looks back to his best and could dominate the tournament if Australia go well.

For Ireland I'm tipping O'Connell to go out on his shield and Sean O'Brien looked powerful at the weekend.
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Post by No9 Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:32 pm

My thoughts..

Ireland for me, seem to be the NH contenders, but I'm not sure they'll stand up to current Aus or NZ performance.

England did well, but not as convincing as I thought they'd be, guess this weekend will be the tester. First time I have shouted for England (in my life).. I actually wanted them to thump France, as it will give complacency, and I can then see Wales beating them. As it is, a narrow margin win, as they had, will mean they'll still work on their performance, and I fear we'll (Wales) will feel the backlash.

... as for Wales.. Cant say.. We where convincingly beat by Ireland in the first warm up. I know we didn't play our first team, but what worries me, is that it demonstrated we don't have a second team. Yep.. once again, we seem to lack depth. In a tournament, that could be our Achilles heel. Think the only chance we have is to top our group and hope all other groups go as predicted. That way, we get the "easier" route to the semis. I still think that could be possible if we put cricket scores on Uruguay and Fiji (BIG IF that), as I think all 3 big boys (Aus/Eng/Wal) will drop one game between them, leaving points diff to decide position and the unfortunate ones to go home early.

But going back to early prediction to lift the Webb Ellis trophy, I think its between Ireland and Australia at the moment. Safe money will probably say the All Blacks, but the RWC is not the best tournament for the best team ever.. They where lucky to win it last time, with not the best performances, and I think they'll trip up again this time.

As for player to stand out... I think Rhys Webb is going to show his class and get the whole world to wake up. But I think, the player of the tournament will (cry) be wearing white, maybe Watson or May.

But as my opening thread said... Long way to go, just interesting to poll initial thoughts.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:37 pm

It's the All Blacks and then the rest, I'm afraid. The old guard have still got it and their strength in depth is really quite astonishing when you consider it on a position-by-position basis.

The Wallabies actually look stronger and more settled than the Boks, which is something that I never thought I would write on these boards.

England and Ireland have shown enough to suggest that they can beat anyone with a first choice 23 all playing well.

Haven't seen enough of Wales and France to comment.
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Post by Scottrf Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:47 pm

Bookies show NZ>England>SA>Oz>Ireland.

Surprised Australia are as wide as 13/2 but I suppose it's because we've seen them play the All Blacks.

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Post by Notch Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:02 pm

All Blacks still clear and obvious favourites.

Think Australia have the edge on South Africa right now- but South Africas defeat at the hands of Argentina may have done them a big favour; they dropped Pollard for Patrick Lambie. Lambie looks much better in the short term; no doubt Pollard will be a top class 10 in the long term, but Lambie should be starting all the big games for South Africa.

England are second due to the host factor, and possibly the patriotic betting factor, but I don't think we'll be seeing them win the whole shebang. Hopefully the way the draw will pan out means we have an England-Ireland semi-final; if Australia finish second in their pool we could have all the SH big three on one side of the draw which would open the tournament up nicely. Think Australia have a very good chance of winning that pool though.

For me its NZ favourites, then Australia, and then South Africa, Ireland and England in any order.
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Post by Pete330v2 Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:23 pm

It's obvious who's the strongest side going into the tournament but does that mean they'll win it? Historically no, the best team isn't necessarily the team who'll win the tournament. New Zealand have been called chokers at every tournament purely because everyone expected them to win it. It's all on the day and who's lucky enough to gel and perform on that day.
That being said, NZ should retain the trophy with only the Ozzies threatening to derail them. It's hard to say where SA are at the moment and there's nothing between England, France, Ireland and Wales with Scotland not very far behind that pack.

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Post by rodders Mon 17 Aug 2015, 2:52 pm

Every side is going to have to do something they've never done before if they want to win.

No side has ever retained the trophy but what stands to NZ is that they have beaten every other side home and away in recent times, and done it on a regular basis.

Everyone else has to find another level at some point in the tournament, to win it, England included.
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Post by beshocked Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:29 pm

Sorry Pete but Scotland are not close - you're talking about the wooden spoon team in the 6 nations.

The way I see the tier:

NZ way ahead.

England,SA,Ireland and Australia - similar.

Wales slightly below those 4 teams.

France and Argentina wild cards - slightly below Wales.

Samoa and Fiji - capable of an upset but not as strong as the other teams.

Scotland - bit weaker than the sides above them but capable of causing some problems.

Italy - chances not looking good.

Think that's reflected pretty closely in the rankings.

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Post by Wi11 Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:47 pm

Ireland and England both have very solid records in the northern hemisphere recently, and look in decent nick. I think I'd have them ahead of Aus, who took a big knock on Saturday. All three of those are "good chances"

I don't think SA, Wales or France have shown enough current form. They are all "possible but unlikely" in my mind.

Argentina are the only other team who could plausibly win. We saw form in Durban that might be enough to win big knockout games, but what are the chances of them producing that form under pressure - repeatedly? They start as "long shot".

NZ at their best are very good, but emphatic wins like Saturday's are the exception rather than the rule now. I can't remember the last time they produced two big games in a row, and they might well need to if they are to win the WC. Obviously they are clear favourites, but they look more fallible than in 2011.

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Post by beshocked Mon 17 Aug 2015, 4:18 pm

wi11

Perhaps NZ are not at their best but who can realistically beat them?

SA,Australia and France. SA aren't in great form, Australia can do it and showed that recently, France - mercurial as usual.

Maybe England but have never beaten NZ in a RWC.

Ireland have never beaten NZ - perhaps this Ireland team is their best chance but still psychologically the losses might hang over Ireland.

Not a big list.

As for the rest I would say no chance.

Argentina have the capability of beating France or Ireland - could be a dangerous 1/4 final opponent.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 17 Aug 2015, 4:28 pm

beshocked wrote:wi11

Perhaps NZ are not at their best but who can realistically beat them?

SA,Australia and France. SA aren't in great form, Australia can do it and showed that recently, France - mercurial as usual.

Maybe England but have never beaten NZ in a RWC.

Ireland have never beaten NZ - perhaps this Ireland team is their best chance but still psychologically the losses might hang over Ireland.

Not a big list.

As for the rest I would say no chance.

Argentina have the capability of beating France or Ireland - could be a dangerous 1/4 final opponent.

You dont have to beat New Zealand to win the world cup. The '07, '03 and '99 winners didnt play NZ at all. Only SA in 95 and Australia in 91 played and beat NZ before winning the WC.

If Ireland wins the world cup it will probably only be beacuse they win their group and end up on the other side of the draw to them and either France or SA knocks NZ out.

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Post by beshocked Mon 17 Aug 2015, 4:39 pm

Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 17 Aug 2015, 4:45 pm

I think Ireland will be in the final from the NH.Whether they can rise to the occassion if they do get through, who knows. I think their WC success very much hinges on Sexton remaining fit. He is essential. The other options are decent but I don't think they'd have the same composure in the big games.

I can see NZ being knocked out just because of their history of choking, this said they have a very special crop of players at the moment so on paper at least they should win it by a country mile.

I reckon Aus-Ireland final. Wildcard, Aus-SA final, I think they may be able to pull something out from no-where.

As for Scotland, well quarter finals I'd be jumping for joy. Not going to lie, I'm cacking myself about our boys playing Japan, let alone Samoa and SA!


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Post by GunsGerms Mon 17 Aug 2015, 4:46 pm

beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

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Post by Wi11 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:01 pm

beshocked wrote:wi11

Perhaps NZ are not at their best but who can realistically beat them?

SA,Australia and France. SA aren't in great form, Australia can do it and showed that recently, France - mercurial as usual.

Maybe England but have never beaten NZ in a RWC.

Ireland have never beaten NZ - perhaps this Ireland team is their best chance but still psychologically the losses might hang over Ireland.


Good question. I'd say England, Ireland, Australia and South Africa are the four that could do it. NZ will have probably have to beat two of those teams to win it. France aren't mercurial at the moment, they're just poor. They shouldn't trouble the ABs.

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Post by rodders Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:08 pm

beshocked wrote:wi11

Perhaps NZ are not at their best but who can realistically beat them?

SA,Australia and France. SA aren't in great form, Australia can do it and showed that recently, France - mercurial as usual.

Maybe England but have never beaten NZ in a RWC.

Ireland have never beaten NZ - perhaps this Ireland team is their best chance but still psychologically the losses might hang over Ireland.


That's what makes it exciting - its either going to be very predictable with NZ cruising to the final and dominating all before them or we will see an upset.

Every RWC produces some upset, especially around the QF/SF stage so I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't all go to form.

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Post by beshocked Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:20 pm

wi11 that's the thing about the French - shouldn't have troubled NZ at the last world cup but they did.

Shouldn't have beaten NZ in 99 and 2007 but they did.

No matter how much you want to write off the French you shouldn't.

With the likes of Fofana,Dusautoir,Parra,Mas,Huget,Picamoles they have some very good players who might just rip up the script.

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Post by rodders Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:20 pm

Yeah true but in 07 they were 6N champions - this lot seem in terminal decline and are suffering in key positions due to the amount of overseas players in the Top14.

They haven't had a good stab at the 6N in years so not convinced they will be the force of years gone by.
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Post by fa0019 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:31 pm

France have always had talent. In 1999 they were poor in the 6N but they were GS champs in 97 and 98... you don't go bad overnight.  In 2007 they were 6N champs in 06 & 07. In 2011 they were GS champs in 2010.

However this time they simply don't have that ability to pull a rabbit out the bag. They don't have the players of the same calibre. Can't see them doing it again.
On their day they could beat Ireland but they'd have to play their A game and Ireland would have to have a lot of misfortune with injuries etc. NZ, not a chance.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:35 pm

If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

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Post by GunsGerms Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:46 pm

LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

Really? 0 wins v SA in 10 years. 1 win v NZ in 10 years. 6 wins from 12 v Australia in last 10 years.

They may be able to beat Australia at home but not much to suggest that England will beat NZ or SA.

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Post by rodders Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:49 pm

LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

They do but when is the last time they pulled of successive wins or back to back performances? Not in the 6N and not in the AIs of the last few years.

I think if they manage to beat Australia and Wales, I'm not convinced they have the squad and mental strength to go all the way, even with home advantage. They'd need to beat most likely Ireland or France and then likely NZ/SA.

That would be one of the toughest runs of victories in history, beating 4 of the current top 7 team and nothing I've seen in recent times makes me think they could do that with their current squad.

Conversely if they were go as runners up I'd fancy them to knock out the Boks and maybe even NZ but again they'd have to go through an incredible run to win a final as well.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:50 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

Really? 0 wins v SA in 10 years. 1 win v NZ in 10 years. 6 wins from 12 v Australia in last 10 years.

They may be able to beat Australia at home but not much to suggest that England will beat NZ or SA.

They always do well against them at Twickenham, and South Africa aside, for me they are probably the only nation in the world who could lose a player to injury and replace him with a player of equal caliber. If England got to the final against any of South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, I reckon they would beat them. Strangely enough, I think the only sides they struggle against are their fellow 6N sides. I bet England are more worried about playing Wales in their group than they are against Australia.

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Post by whocares Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:50 pm

fa0019 wrote:France have always had talent. In 1999 they were poor in the 6N but they were GS champs in 97 and 98... you don't go bad overnight.  In 2007 they were 6N champs in 06 & 07. In 2011 they were GS champs in 2010.

However this time they simply don't have that ability to pull a rabbit out the bag. They don't have the players of the same calibre. Can't see them doing it again.
On their day they could beat Ireland but they'd have to play their A game and Ireland would have to have a lot of misfortune with injuries etc. NZ, not a chance.

if I compare France 2011 squad vs 2015 squad, I dont think there is much difference and if anything player for player the current squad is better. Dusautoir is not the dark destroyer anymore but if you look at the backs there is ironically way more quality now (although they do play worst) : Mermoz, Palisson started the 2011 final and Traille was on the bench. Mermoz doesnt even get in the extended squad anymore.

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Post by Gwlad Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:56 pm

Love how England are being bigged up….perennial bridesmaids who haven't won diddly under Stewie despite having every opportunity to do so but now they are going to win a RWC.


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Post by fa0019 Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:02 pm

i reckon the twickenham factor is overrated.  No diff if at RWC than a normal AI. Not like they can pack anymore people into it... and chances are the crowd will be more corporate (given final ticket prices will be what 5-10 times what a standard AI match are marketed as).

I reckon the AUS game is far far more difficult. Wales are easy enough with anyone with brute strength. They do exactly what you expect them to do. AUS are different, they mix it up and can be a very tricky side.

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Post by Fanster Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:05 pm

whocares wrote:
fa0019 wrote:France have always had talent. In 1999 they were poor in the 6N but they were GS champs in 97 and 98... you don't go bad overnight.  In 2007 they were 6N champs in 06 & 07. In 2011 they were GS champs in 2010.

However this time they simply don't have that ability to pull a rabbit out the bag. They don't have the players of the same calibre. Can't see them doing it again.
On their day they could beat Ireland but they'd have to play their A game and Ireland would have to have a lot of misfortune with injuries etc. NZ, not a chance.

if I compare France 2011 squad vs 2015 squad, I dont think there is much difference and if anything player for player the current squad is better. Dusautoir is not the dark destroyer anymore but if you look at the backs there is ironically way more quality now (although they do play worst) : Mermoz, Palisson started the 2011 final and Traille was on the bench. Mermoz doesnt even get in the extended squad anymore.

I have to disagree with this, the French squad today is extremely poor when compared to other squads, the 2011 suad was ok, and lucky to make the final (still should have won the RWC!!!), but it had far more talent than todays train wreck of a squad.

The backline in particular, Spedding, Parra, Basteraud, Huget, Kocket, Michalak, Trin Duc, and Naikatci are all either budget replacements or shadows of their former selves (ok harsh maybe but you get my point).

Fofana is the only real world class player in the backline, and he hasn't done much on the international stage recently. Huget is a good finisher, but there is little to worry about for Ireland IMO, England really beat them out wide so easily!!! I do like the look of Dulin, Fickou and Borde but they are raw players and nowhere near polished enough.

Frances strength lies within the monsters and athletes up front, that is a formidable pack, if not the most talented!

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Post by GunsGerms Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:08 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

Really? 0 wins v SA in 10 years. 1 win v NZ in 10 years. 6 wins from 12 v Australia in last 10 years.

They may be able to beat Australia at home but not much to suggest that England will beat NZ or SA.

They always do well against them at Twickenham, and South Africa aside, for me they are probably the only nation in the world who could lose a player to injury and replace him with a player of equal caliber. If England got to the final against any of South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, I reckon they would beat them. Strangely enough, I think the only sides they struggle against are their fellow 6N sides. I bet England are more worried about playing Wales in their group than they are against Australia.

Well England have lost 5 in a row v SA in Twickenham and 1 win from 8 v NZ in "HQ". I think England will be strong and have a good chance but I think certainly SA and NZ would start as favourites against them.

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Post by Fanster Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:16 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

Really? 0 wins v SA in 10 years. 1 win v NZ in 10 years. 6 wins from 12 v Australia in last 10 years.

They may be able to beat Australia at home but not much to suggest that England will beat NZ or SA.

They always do well against them at Twickenham, and South Africa aside, for me they are probably the only nation in the world who could lose a player to injury and replace him with a player of equal caliber. If England got to the final against any of South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, I reckon they would beat them. Strangely enough, I think the only sides they struggle against are their fellow 6N sides. I bet England are more worried about playing Wales in their group than they are against Australia.

Well England have lost 5 in a row v SA in Twickenham and 1 win from 8 v NZ in "HQ". I think England will be strong and have a good chance but I think certainly SA and NZ would start as favourites against them.

+1

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Post by Biltong Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:06 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

I would love to see that matcup in a world cup final, both teams focused on the same trophy, not end of season for either tram, both playing away from home Wink
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Post by Cyril Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:15 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:If England get out of their/our group then I fancy them to win it, England always seem to turn up for the SH teams.

Really? 0 wins v SA in 10 years. 1 win v NZ in 10 years. 6 wins from 12 v Australia in last 10 years.

They may be able to beat Australia at home but not much to suggest that England will beat NZ or SA.

They always do well against them at Twickenham, and South Africa aside, for me they are probably the only nation in the world who could lose a player to injury and replace him with a player of equal caliber. If England got to the final against any of South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, I reckon they would beat them. Strangely enough, I think the only sides they struggle against are their fellow 6N sides. I bet England are more worried about playing Wales in their group than they are against Australia.

Well England have lost 5 in a row v SA in Twickenham and 1 win from 8 v NZ in "HQ". I think England will be strong and have a good chance but I think certainly SA and NZ would start as favourites against them.
I'd agree with that. England (at home) would be favourites against anyone bar SA and NZ. I'd hope we only have to play one of them.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:04 am

Ireland play France and lose.

Ireland play NZ and lose.

France play Argentina and lose.

England beat Australia and Wales and Fiji

Australia beat Wales and Fiji

Fiji beat Wales

SA beat Scotland and Samoa

Samoa beat Scotland

England play Samoa and win.

Australia play South Africa and win.

Argentina play England and lose.

NZ play Australia and win.

England play NZ and win.

Much cheering in the streets in the Queendom.

The End.
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Post by Gwlad Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:34 am

Pot Hale wrote:Ireland play  France and lose.

Ireland play NZ and lose.

France play Argentina and lose.

England beat Australia and Wales and Fiji

Australia beat Wales and Fiji

Fiji beat Wales

SA beat Scotland and Samoa

Samoa beat Scotland

England play Samoa and win.

Australia play South Africa and win.

Argentina play England and lose.

NZ play Australia and win.

England play NZ and win.

Much cheering in the streets in the Queendom.

The End.

Cheering swiftly curtailed by dwarf landing on queen.

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 20 Aug 2015, 8:53 am

Biltong wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

I would love to see that matcup in a world cup final, both teams focused on the same trophy, not end of season for either tram, both playing away from home Wink

I would love it too. SA would completely underestimate Ireland.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:19 am

The boks respect Ireland, Matfield said POC has been his greatest rival for instance and they have a decent record against the boks albeit at home.

They'd go in thinking they won't lose sure but that's the springbok way. They never contemplate losing to anyone, anywhere perhaps bar NZ in NZ now and maybe ENG in ENG under the JW years.

Call that arrogance, maybe but its why they have a 40% win rate at RWCs (2 in 5) and why they will be one of the top contenders come this tournament. Ireland haven't even got beyond a QF in 7 attempts. That being said, you don't win matches due to previous records with players who have all retired... but the weight of history certainly can have an impact.

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Post by rodders Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:23 am

Biltong wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

I would love to see that matchup in a world cup final, both teams focused on the same trophy, not end of season for either tram, both playing away from home Wink

I think SA would be fancying their chances but it wouldn't be mission impossible for Ireland in the NH.

Ireland v NZ is still my dream final but Ireland can't look past France or Italy - if we top the group and reach the SF then can start dreaming about which team would rather play in the final!

If we do reach a SF - I'd much rather play Australia at Twickenham - not because I think they are inferior but because that would be the worst stage to meet England I think - it's hard to imagine them losing a home SF but I'm quietly hopeful the Cheika's Wallabies will send England into the opposite side of the draw with the SH big guns Smile.
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Post by fa0019 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:26 am

Argentina in the QF is no mugs game either. They boss everyone in the scrum, tore a complacent SA side to pieces in SA, beat AUS last year. Its a very tough game for winners of group c regardless. If they can put out their top XV then game will go right to the wire.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:28 am

Complacent? SA are looking a tad flakey.

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Post by rodders Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:31 am

fa0019 wrote:The boks respect Ireland, Matfield said POC has been his greatest rival for instance and they have a decent record against the boks albeit at home.

They'd go in thinking they won't lose sure but that's the springbok way. They never contemplate losing to anyone, anywhere perhaps bar NZ in NZ now and maybe ENG in ENG under the JW years.

In fairness SA bullied us on our home patch a couple of seasons ago -a match involving a lot of the current crop.

I think everyone in Ireland thought the boks, who were in very good form, would smash us last Autumn, so they could be forgiven for underestimating what looked like a fairly weak Irish side on paper.

Drico had retired, we had a rookie center partnership, a makeshift openside (Ruddock) and a lot of injuries and out of form players going into the game.

I would expect them to bring their A game - which they always produce for England!
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Post by rodders Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:33 am

fa0019 wrote:Argentina in the QF is no mugs game either. They boss everyone in the scrum, tore a complacent SA side to pieces in SA, beat AUS last year. Its a very tough game for winners of group c regardless. If they can put out their top XV then game will go right to the wire.

Given Ireland's world cup record against the Pumas they would be the last side they would be looking past!
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Post by fa0019 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:33 am

ARG scored 3 down Kriel's right wing channel. He hasn't played top rugby in that position. Meyer experimented and we quickly found out his defensive positioning was not yet up to scratch. Its worked before with De Allende, JDV, Fourie etc but Kriel has never been a top defender.

It was a bad move but good that Meyer found that out then rather say a QF vs. ENG/AUS/WAL etc.

Not a full reason for the loss but a major reason. Kriel is a top player but his wing play in defence needs time.

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:44 am

rodders wrote:
Biltong wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

I would love to see that matchup in a world cup final, both teams focused on the same trophy, not end of season for either tram, both playing away from home Wink

I think SA would be fancying their chances but it wouldn't be mission impossible for Ireland in the NH.

Ireland v NZ is still my dream final but Ireland can't look past France or Italy - if we top the group and reach the SF then can start dreaming about which team would rather play in the final!

If we do reach a SF - I'd much rather play Australia at Twickenham - not because I think they are inferior but because that would be the worst stage to meet England I think - it's hard to imagine them losing a home SF but I'm quietly hopeful the Cheika's Wallabies will send England into the opposite side of the draw with the SH big guns Smile.

Ireland v NZ would be my dream final too.

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:45 am

rodders wrote:
fa0019 wrote:Argentina in the QF is no mugs game either. They boss everyone in the scrum, tore a complacent SA side to pieces in SA, beat AUS last year. Its a very tough game for winners of group c regardless. If they can put out their top XV then game will go right to the wire.

Given Ireland's world cup record against the Pumas they would be the last side they would be looking past!

Yeah, Argentina are a brilliant team. Ireland's route got a lot harder when they beat SA IMO. They will really fancy their chances against us if we meet.

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:45 am

Anyone else think this might be the most competitive world cup ever?

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Post by Cyril Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:47 am

NZ vs Ireland will be a good quarter-final. I think it might be closer than some people would imagine. NZ to pull away in the last 20 minutes by 15 or so.

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Post by Cyril Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:47 am

GunsGerms wrote:Anyone else think this might be the most competitive world cup ever?

It'll be the usual suspects at the business end as always. I can't see any big shocks happening at all.

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Post by Biltong Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:09 am

GunsGerms wrote:
rodders wrote:
Biltong wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gunsgerms perhaps not but someone has to beat NZ. There are precious few who can do it.

Can't rely on other sides to do it.

You're right - Ireland's potential run to the final could see them avoiding all 3 of the SH sides though would probably still need to face one in the final.

England or Wales topping the pool with Australia coming 2nd would make a tri nations quarter final unless Samoa or Scotland can pull off a shocking upset.

Well good odds on Ireland beating SA or Aus in the final as they beat them both the last time they played them. Id rather play SA or Aus than England in Twickenham I think.

I would love to see that matchup in a world cup final, both teams focused on the same trophy, not end of season for either tram, both playing away from home Wink

I think SA would be fancying their chances but it wouldn't be mission impossible for Ireland in the NH.

Ireland v NZ is still my dream final but Ireland can't look past France or Italy - if we top the group and reach the SF then can start dreaming about which team would rather play in the final!

If we do reach a SF - I'd much rather play Australia at Twickenham - not because I think they are inferior but because that would be the worst stage to meet England I think - it's hard to imagine them losing a home SF but I'm quietly hopeful the Cheika's Wallabies will send England into the opposite side of the draw with the SH big guns Smile.

Ireland v NZ would be my dream final too.

Well if we are talking dream final then SA vs Namibia would be it Wink
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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:13 am

New Zealand should win it, England might win it, SA and Australia are in with a shout and France or Ireland could be the dark horses. Wales won't win it but could spoil the party for either England or Oz.

A lot is going to depend on who tops their group in terms of routes to the final but on form NZ have the straightest route.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:24 am

GunsGerms wrote:Anyone else think this might be the most competitive world cup ever?

Potentially but I can easily see the 5 previous finalists dominating although yet to be convinced by France.

2003 was very competitive. Wales, Scotland, Ireland competed very well vs. a 3N side. France and England were probably the best sides of the tournament. People probably thought at the time this was the turning point of professional rugby. It was a false dawn.

I don't see a new finalist myself still. Think its too much although Ireland obviously have the best chance of the next in line.

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