Diatribe #8 – It’s a RWC Year. These are years like no other.

Image result for japan rugby world cup logo

The pundits and soothsayers will be out in full. People, like myself, will be putting pen to paper (figuratively) and creating YouTube content with chaotic abandon as they attempt to predict the outcome of RWC 2019. I’ll be following Ben and Morgs at the Rugby Ruckus Podcast

for inspiration and information. If there’s another one worth listening to, I am all ears. Although there are only so many hours in a day. I am also going to be writing (here on 1ds.com) about photography and my over 50 plan for health and longevity. I am 55 now and I see all too many of my compatriots and peers falling over with ailments that are completely avoidable. I’ve lost around 50kgs over the past two and a half years by following some simple tenets. But that’s for another bit of verbiage on another day. Rigby’s the topic here and we’re all burning with passion as to the outcome of the 2019 season.

The other tournaments will continue on but in this year of years are reduced to the level of a US Vice President (Cheney excepted) in that they are there but ultimately ignored as outcomes, but are fiercely watched in terms of form and RWC relevance.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Ireland New Zealand England Australia
Scotland South Africa France Wales
Japan Italy Argentina Georgia
Russia Namibia USA Fiji
Samoa Canada Tonga Uruguay

Now these were set based on rankings back then, obviously there’s been a bit of movement since then. I’ve reset the table a bit just to show the rankings.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
2 1 4 7
6 5 8 3
11 14 9 13
19 22 15 10
16 23 12 0

The only major kicker in that is the Australian ranking of 7. The Top 8 still seem to have retained their right places in the top seeding’s.

On RWC Rankings of 2015

QF1 (C1-D2) QF2 (B1-A2) QF3 (D1-C2) QF4 (A1-B2)
Eng-Wal NZL-Sco Aus-Fra Ire-SA

Ahahahahaha you’re all shouting…. How can this be???

On the basis of the 2018 end rankings, any poor mathematician could extrapolate the quarter-finals:-

QF1 (C1-D2) QF2 (B1-A2) QF3 (D1-C2) QF4 (A1-B2)
Eng-Aus NZL-Sco Wal-Fra Ire-SA

Now where are the boilovers?? Are there any Japan Vs South Africa stunners? Can Argentine stand up and get out of their pool? Can one of the Pacific Island Nations make a stand? I cannot see it.

So in the top 8, where the action will always be (for the time being) there are a few scenarios. Scotland could roll Ireland, South Africa could Roll New Zealand, France and Argentine could fight for their 2nd pool place and England could have another 2015 shocker. Australia Vs Wales could go any which way. That being said, based on current themes I think the QF’s look like this:-

QF1 (C1-D2) QF2 (B1-A2) QF3 (D1-C2) QF4 (A1-B2)
Eng-Aus NZL-Sco Wal-Arg Ire-SA

Now it gets down to the interesting stuff…..

SF1 (QF1C1-QF2) SF2 (QF4-QF4)
Eng-NZL Wal-Ire

Now South Africa has the juice on Ireland, so I am going out on a limb here. This would lead to a non-Southern Hemisphere team being in the RWC Final. That’d be nice.

Unless NZL has a bad day at the office, they’ll take out England and the Irish should take out Wales.

This leaves an Epic RWC Final

RWC Final

Ireland has the away juice on New Zealand, but can they keep that adrenalin and effort through to the end? New Zealand has a bit more experience at this end of the RWC and it will count.

I am going to keep this as a template and will update it month by month as the RWC Final gets closer.

Will much change?

Will Australia breathe life into it’s deflated team?

Any major thoughts?

The Three Coaches with a chance in my humble opinion:-

Rassie must be seen as a chance, if he can get consistency in the team
Jow has shown that he has what it takes, as have his lads!!
The last hurrah? I have said I think that the AB’s are foxing.

Rob 2019