Riddle me this: North still sucks (RWC previews of week 3)

21 09 2007

Riddler?  One-eyed All Black fan!Week 3 preview

Well… Week 3 of the World Cup is about to get under way and after two weeks a distinct trend of Southern Hemisphere dominance has emerged. The big three along with Argentina all sit comfortably at the top of their groups, each having already disposed of what can be considered their major rivals. Is this likely to change this week? Hardly – with Scotland likely to put up the most resistance to the SH dominance, if any, when they face the All Blacks.

So onto the games…

Viva le Francais!France vs Ireland
Here we have two sides both tipped to do very well here pre-tournament. The Irish had been talking up their team like crazy. The French, who won the Six Nations, also have high expectations… especially given they are the tournament hosts. At one stage these two sides where actually second and third favourites for this tournament. However their stocks have fallen greatly, especially for the Irish. After two weeks the French find themselves in a must win situation and the Irish have looked pitiful: struggling to record wins over minnows like Namibia and Georgia and must win this encounter. Enormous pressure on two sides here. If the French lose they are as good as gone. They would have to rely on Argentina to lose to Namibia and that isn’t going to happen. If the Irish lose they won’t be eliminated but will find themselves in the precarious situation of needing to beat Argentina by 8 more to advance. On what I have seen from these two sides and given their recent history, I am tipping France to destroy the Irish here by anything up to 20 points. Ireland have struggled to wins over minnows whereas France lost a tight one to quality opposition, and destroyed the only minnow they have played. That form reads a lot better. The first nail in the Irish coffin will be delivered tonight… and given the way they have played, good riddance to them. They don’t deserve a spot in the quarters.

SA SpringboksSouth Africa vs Tonga
The two undefeated sides of pool A go head to head. However despite Tonga’s great form this world cup they haven’t got a prayer against a rampaging Springbok outfit. So far this tournament, the Bok’s have looked the best side, but given they had a few warm-up matches pre-cup, they were always expected to find their feet quicker than their fellow tri nation sides. This game should see South Africa dominate in the forwards. They will take charge here and run riot. Tonga will be brave but this will be an onslaught with South Africa dominating possession. I expect South Africa to win this by anything between 50 and 80 points.

Kip?England vs Samoa
England should have it in the forwards but Samoa has a definite edge in the backs. The Samoan unit has been a little disappointing but so have the Pom’s. This is a must win for both sides and although it would be hilarious to see England lose this, the edge in the forwards they have and the ill-discipline of the Samoans in general should see them scrape home for a win, courtesy of their goal kicker. Won’t be much here as the uninspiring English backline won’t score much. England by 10 points…

Argentina - set for the semisArgentina vs Namibia
The Argentineans will know what they need to do this match: They need to notch a bonus point win. Margins are irrelevant given Irelands pathetic pf/pa difference. I think they will score their four tries and take the foot off the gas, conserving themselves for Ireland next week. Argentina to win here, and win by around 40 points.

The WallabiesAustralia vs Fiji
Once again two unbeaten pool opponents meet: Australia vs Fiji. This should be a cakewalk for Australia and they should do it comfortably. They will look to wrap this up by half time. Guys like Tuquiri has said don’t underestimate Fiji but really, Fiji probably have Tuquiri’s number – given his terrible form but will be hard pressed containing the other 14. If the Fijian’s throw the ball around like a sevens match it should be entertaining but this one isn’t going to be close. Wallabies by 40 points.

The Mighty All BlacksNew Zealand vs Scotland
The All Silvers come up against the unbeaten Scottish side who arguably are the pick of the Six Nation sides. They have looked polished disposing of the minnows in the pool, racking up big numbers and barely letting in any points. However… it’s a different prospect playing the All Blacks. After two scratchy performances, the All Blacks should be ready to apply the blow torch against what is seen as their toughest opponent in their group. The All Blacks should run out comfortable winners here but the Scottish will be brave as usual and show something very uncharacteristic in-front of a packed parochial home crowd for a NH side: some heart. But class will prevail, and the All Blacks by around 35 points here.

Yet again, another dominant week for the Southern Hemisphere looms, with the big four all looking to record comfortable wins.

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9 responses

21 09 2007
brumbygg9

Nice picture, Don – you make a good pirate

21 09 2007
withmalice

Dude… that’s the author – not me.
😛

21 09 2007
GadgetGadget.info - Gadgets on the web » Riddle me this: North still sucks (RWC previews of week 3)

[…] charliemarks wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptRiddler? One-eyed All Black fan! Week 3 preview. Well… Week 3 of the World Cup is about to get under way and after two weeks a distinct trend of Southern Hemisphere dominance has emerged. The big three along with Argentina all sit … […]

21 09 2007
the riddler

Garrrggghhhh! It is I in the photo Brumby…Captain Riddler, the one eyed pirate of the tasman sea

22 09 2007
Sports news without access, favor, or discretion. » Blogdome: Back In The GM Business

[…] [Soccernista] • Rick Fox, charming. [Armchair GM] • More Rugby World Cup excitement. [With Malice] • Alyssa Milano has ruined the Dodgers season. [Babe In The Cheap Seats] • How the […]

23 09 2007
yesiamahooker

riddler, nice choice with the boks. they really dominated tonga…

23 09 2007
Aaron Becker

Pic looks like Bill O’Reilly in a burka!

24 09 2007
Mark Logsdon

Aaron: >Pic looks like Bill O’Reilly in a burka!<

Now *that* is funny.

Let’s hope the rugby improves going into the QF round. Even the ABs need to develop some serious focus on consistent rugby across the park. Forwards were strong (against a very weak SCO pack), but the ball-handling was horrible. No contest aginst their pool, but they risk being seriously punished against quality opposition.

26 09 2007
Aaron Becker

It might be funny, but it just struck me that way ;~0

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