Saturday, September 19, 2015

RWC 2015 is finally underway!

So, a tense Friday evening ended with a sense of relief that England managed to find a way to win with a bonus point try on the opening night. Fiji are a top 10 team, and not to be underrated as Wales found to their cost back in 2007. They looked committed and but for some missed penalties and a weaker set of substitutes, they could easily have spoiled the hosts big first night at the party. Sadly I think they will find recovering for the next match harder because of their lower fitness levels and we might just have seen the best that Fiji can offer, but we shall see.

Of course the ongoing talking point of this world cup will continue to be the make up the 4 groups. As well as the intervention of the TMO that slowed down the game last night. Given the option of using video, it seemed rather odd that the referee awarded the try that turned out to not be a try without referring it upstairs, but also strikes me as a little odd that the TMO now has the power to review anything and everything, and had it not been for the replay on the big screen even the dropped ball would have been missed by everyone except the TV. Oh well, they'll sort themselves out eventually.

Back to the groups for a moment. I know a change has been made with regard to the groups for the next World Cup, but just to highlight the oddness of this year's arrangements, here are the groups showing the current world rankings for each team.

To have four of the top ten teams in one group just highlights the absurd way it was planned in the first place.  But that's the way it is. So who are your picks to go through? South Africa and New Zealand are almost certain to win their groups, and you'd expect France and Ireland to qualify, although Italy could add some spice to the outcome of Pool D. I'd expect Argentina to qualify second behind the All Blacks and Samoa are the ones to watch in Pool B, although you would expect Scotland to be good enough to get through. 

As to group A, who knows who is going to be disappointed. If Fiji don't run out of steam, they could still play their part, but it really does come down to the England Wales game, although England have got the better of Australia at several world cups in the past, so we shall have to sit back and wait while still taking the medication!

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