What We Learned from the Fall Internationals about the 2015 World Cup and Some Mild Predictions
If you had predicted which teams will be facing-off in the quarterfinals on Oct. 17th and 18th ,2015, in Cardiff and London before the fall internationals, your predictions probably wouldn’t be much different now. But there are some hints about who might be advancing beyond the quarterfinals from the fall matches.
South Africa did what they came north to do – beat England in Twickenham (31-28 on 11/15/14). If they do at least that well in a little less than a year, that should get them through to the Final. Their pool (A) is the weakest of all four pools. By finishing top of the pool they will face the second place team from the “Pool of Death” (B) which will be Wales. Some folks will scream, “How can you say Wales? It will definitely be Australia. Australia beat Wales 33-28 in Cardiff less than a year before the start of the World Cup.”
Some Aussies might remark, “Hey Matey, no worries, but the second place team will be England because the first place team will be Australia. Get a beer, throw a shrimp on the barbie, and never mind that they beat us 26-17 not too long ago.”
The reason I am saying Wales is because before the Wales v Australia World Cup hook-up, Wales will have had 9 days rest following a skirmish with a Fijian side that barely scraped by the USA 20-14 on 11/21/14. Australia will have had only 7 days rest following a match in Twickenham against World Cup host side England.
New Zealand and Argentina should easily finish in that order in Pool C. The only possible wrinkle could be if Argentina takes Tonga too lightly as France did in their 2011 World Cup encounter. (France was very lucky in 2011). This finish will pit New Zealand against the loser of the Ireland v France match (10/11/15) which will determine who is first and second in Pool D. The winner gets to play Argentina.
Here are my prediction for 2015 World Cup quarter final matches – and beyond : – )
Quarter Final October 17, 2015
Twickenham – Winner Pool C vs 2nd Pool D – New Zealand vs France
Millenium – Winner Pool B vs 2nd Pool A – South Africa vs Wales
Quarter Final October 18, 2015
Twickenham – Winner Pool D vs 2nd Pool C – Ireland vs Argentina
Millenium – Winner Pool A vs 2nd Pool B – England vs Samoa/Scotland?
Semi- Final October 24, 2015
New Zealand vs Wales
Semi-Final October 25, 2015
Ireland vs England
The only two teams coming out of the 2014 Fall Internationals unbeaten were New Zealand and Ireland. Prescient? Probably not. In the 2010 Fall Internationals, if you count New Zealnad’s 26-24 loss to Australia in Hong Kong, there were no undefeated teams.
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