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Topic: All kicks off tonight
Posted by: Andrew Cumming
Date/Time: 18/09/15 08:57:00

Group A
Intriguing group. England are my favourites, although marginally. They havenít had the kind of dominant build up to a world cup that you would expect for a real contender and there is the feeling that this might have come a year too early for them. I also think leaving Burrell at home is a big mistake as a Joseph/Burrell midfield is the best they option they have.

Wales are in slight trouble but not panicking yet. Theyíve known that Jonathan Davies has been out for quite a while, but the late losses of Halfpenny and Rhys Webb in a pointless friendly must have been gutting. Scott Williams and Liam Williams will be able replacements in the centres and full back, but itís Webb that they will miss most as one of the outstanding scrum halves in the Northern hemisphere last season.

Australia have been a bit of a revelation with their rugby championship win. Folau is their outstanding player for me, but he has stiff competition. Any country that can afford to cap a monster wing like Naiyaravaro and then leave him at home is a team to be feared.

Fiji have a few fantastic players. Nakarawa is one of the best locks in the world at the moment and along with Matawalu will produce some breathtaking rugby. Nadolo is another behemoth on the wing who will be terrifying defences in the group. I donít quite see them upsetting any of the big three yet, although if Wales donít take them seriouslyÖ.

I still think England should have what it takes to win the group, just. Australia are my bet to take second and I think Wales will be the unlucky ones to miss out on the knockouts.

Group B
South Africa have not had a great year in the rugby Championship but there was always the feeling they had one eye on the World Cup. If Scotland click, they should push South Africa close, but I suspect The Boks will win the group with something to spare. Their centres Kriel and De Allende can be absolutely spectacular. De Jager and Etzebeth are also an intimidating prospect at second row.

Scotland came out of a six nations where they probably should have won 3 games, instead clutching the wooden spoon. Their warm up games have been largely positive with the seconds pushing an Ireland reserves team close in Dublin, a scrappy win in Italy, a demolition of the Italians in Edinburgh and then an unluck loss to the French in Paris. There is the feeling this world cup has come a couple of years too early for Scotland. In Seymour, Hogg, Bennett, Russell and Dunbar (injured), Scotland actually have some serious young talent in the backs for the first time in almost 2 decades, and with the Grays and the newly qualified South Africans Nel and Strauss in the pack, Scotland should be a force to reckon with in the next few years. They should beat the USA and Japan comfortably (although the 4 day gap between the games means they will have to play completely different sides against both), but for teams like Scotland there are no gimmes. I wouldnít be rubbing my eyes in disbelief if one of those two manages to shock Scotland.

The big game in the group will be in the final round with Samoa V Scotland. Samoa havenít been overly impressive in the Pacific nations cup, but with a lot more time together to gel, I expect them to be a real force in this group. The last time Samoa and Scotland met, Scotland were blown away by the Islandersí physicality. Although the Scots showed in Paris that theyíll be no pushovers, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Samoans might bully them into an early exit.

Group C
Ireland havenít shone in the warm-ups, but as a professional, controlled, set-move team you always got the feeling that they were just using them as training games and refusing to show their hands too early. I expect that Ireland will look like a slightly different team once they get going and should win the group.

France will come second. They have a stellar line up of players and would probably walk the group with the right management. Also, Italy are dreadful and Canada and Romania donít stand a chance. Although with the brilliant DTH Van Der Merwe and Jeff Hassler on the wings, the Canadians have a good chance of poaching a few tries.

Group D
New Zealand top, Argentina second. Little discussion needed.

I think weíll be treated to an England V Ireland semi final which is not one Iím comfortable calling. Although, with my arm behind my back, Iíd go for Ireland. In the other half of the draw I can see the Kiwis coming through, a few splutters along the way, but thy should do it. Iíd love to believe that Ireland might beat the All Blacks in a World Cup final, but I donít see it happening.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Rugby WC 201517/09/15 10:03:00 Denis Fox
   Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 10:33:00 Michael Robinson
      Re:Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 10:55:00 Adam Beamish
         Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 11:05:00 Nick Mason
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 11:28:00 Adam Beamish
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 12:12:00 R Rees Williams
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201517/09/15 12:29:00 Michael Robinson
                     All kicks off tonight18/09/15 08:57:00 Andrew Cumming
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 09:02:00 Andrew Cumming
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 09:16:00 bobby osborne
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 09:20:00 Andrew Welford
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 09:21:00 Adam Beamish
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 09:37:00 Andrew Welford
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 11:03:00 Adam Beamish
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 12:17:00 R Rees Williams
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 12:25:00 R Rees Williams
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 12:49:00 Andrew Cumming
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 11:07:00 Michael Robinson
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201518/09/15 11:38:00 Andrew Cumming
                              Re:Re:Re: England to bt Fiji 18/09/15 18:02:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re: England to bt Fiji 18/09/15 18:18:00 Julian Pavey
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: England to bt Fiji 18/09/15 23:13:00 Andrew Welford
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England19/09/15 00:00:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England19/09/15 00:16:00 Andrew Welford
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England21/09/15 07:30:00 R Rees Williams
                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England21/09/15 09:15:00 Steve Osborne
                                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England21/09/15 10:33:00 Denis Fox
                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England21/09/15 10:41:00 R Rees Williams
                                                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England24/09/15 17:05:00 Paul Wright
                                                            Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England24/09/15 17:24:00 R Rees Williams
                                                               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Well done England24/09/15 17:30:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                               Scotland V Japan24/09/15 17:37:00 Andrew Cumming
                                                                  Re:Scotland V Japan24/09/15 17:53:00 Paul Wright
                                                                  Re:Scotland V Japan24/09/15 18:28:00 R Rees Williams
                                                                     Re:Re:Scotland V Japan25/09/15 08:25:00 Andrew Cumming
                                                                        Re:Re:Re:Scotland V Japan25/09/15 11:21:00 R Rees Williams
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Scotland V Japan25/09/15 11:45:00 Andrew Cumming
                                                                  Re:Scotland V Japan25/09/15 09:00:00 Nick Mason
                                                                     Re:Re:Scotland V Japan25/09/15 09:39:00 Andrew Cumming
         Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201504/10/15 13:02:00 R Atterwill
   Re:Rugby WC 201524/09/15 18:07:00 Denis Fox
      South Africa V Samoa26/09/15 11:01:00 Andrew Cumming
         Re:South Africa V Samoa26/09/15 14:30:00 Paul Wright
            Re:Re:South Africa V Samoa26/09/15 15:00:00 R Rees Williams
               Re:Re:Re:South Africa V Samoa26/09/15 15:06:00 Paul Wright
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:South Africa V Samoa27/09/15 01:11:00 R Rees Williams
                     England v Wales27/09/15 11:16:00 Michael Robinson
                        Re:England v Wales27/09/15 11:32:00 Paul Wright
                           Re:Re:England v Wales27/09/15 11:44:00 Paul Wright
                              Re:Re:Re:England v Wales27/09/15 12:00:00 Denis Fox
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:England v Wales27/09/15 15:05:00 Richard Greenhough
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:England v Wales27/09/15 15:15:00 Julian Pavey
   Re:Rugby WC 201504/10/15 11:43:00 Denis Fox
      Re:Re:Rugby WC 201504/10/15 11:48:00 Richard Greenhough
      Re:Re:Rugby WC 201504/10/15 12:30:00 Michael Robinson
   Re:Rugby WC 201504/10/15 11:52:00 bobby osborne
      Re:Re:Rugby WC 201505/10/15 09:43:00 Steve Taylor
         Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201505/10/15 10:19:00 R Atterwill
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201505/10/15 10:53:00 Paul Corcoran
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201505/10/15 14:14:00 R Rees Williams
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Rugby WC 201505/10/15 15:00:00 Steve Taylor
                  Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 15:38:00 Paul Corcoran
                     Re:Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 15:49:00 Steve Taylor
                        Re:Re:Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 16:46:00 Paul Corcoran
                     Re:Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 17:11:00 Ken Munn
                        Re:Fiji's kicking05/10/15 17:25:00 Richard Greenhough
                        Re:Re:Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 17:25:00 Dan Evans
                           Re:Re:Re:Indisciplined state school oiks blow England's World Cup Chances05/10/15 17:44:00 Michael Robinson

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