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Pool A - General discussion

This will be a toughie! The match up between SA and England will be huge, but I think South Africa will be the team to take the top spot. England will take the second spot. Can't wait to see the bone jarring defense from Samoa!
Samoa and Tonga aren't going to have that much organisation despite having a lot of talent. I think the US could sneak a fourth place finish if they get it together in time.
Samoa will finish 3rd. I don't think USA have a chance against Samoa.

I'm just gutted Samoa didn't get into a pool with a team like Wales, just so they could beat them at the World Cup again :(

Although, a win against England looks to be on the cards!
all i hope to see is them play to their full potential...they have some quality players that should be available like loki cricton and seleila maposua...and im hoping brian lima makes this squad and goes out with another rememorable tournament
I think England will face it up against Samoa and Tonga, they seem to have a gameplan that denys England their usual run in tries against minnow teams. SA will finish top.. but i feel there is a battle for 2nd place, any of the other 3 teams could beat England when they have a bad day.
USA havn't got a snowflakes chance in hell against England (when you coinsider utter shite like Chris Wyles is in the squad), however if Ashton continues his reliance on small, weak players such as Tait I can see them getting bullied by the Tongans and Samoans.

On the other side of the coun though, England have a very good chance against the Boks, who havn't looked anything like special for a long, long time.
South Africa

South Africa and England could switch positions, the same with Samoa and Tonga.
England have been pretty dire for the last 3 years, i can definitley see them missing out on a quarter final spot if samoa show up. You got two of the hardest hitting rugby teams in the group and i can see quite a hefty injury list if S.A and England aren't carefull, they're not exactly over flowing with strength in depth in the key positions.
tongans have been pretty dissapointing as of late..there is the slight chance of an upset from the samoans over the english..samoans get there ass kicked internationally outside the world cup but prove strong in the world championship

im hoping the sucess of our sevens team rubs off heavily on the samoans...im hoping david smith makes a decision and chooses samoa..becoz if we are to take that slight chance of beating the english we are gonna need every bit of fire power we need...and then some..and then a boatload of luck...i am certain that england will be a strong force come world cup time..they are the defending champs but form has been below par of late...argentina have cracked them but the samoans beat the pumas last year...so any equasion is quite possible...but any certainty of manu winning needs a stamp with the best players we can gather!...

any takers of the island nations upsetting south africa?
I cant see the Samoans taking S.A.
The english pack is probably the weakest its been in a long long time, the backs are exciting (well should be come WC time) if not still a little wet behind the ears, thats why I think the samoans can take them, bully them up front and bully them in the backline, I cant see that same tactic working against the boks.
I go along wtih the general consensus and envisage SA finishin top with England 2nd. But i just can't see England falling to the likes of Samoa.
England don't ahve the best of packs, but it can stand up to the big boys if it has to and with a decent set of backs to be used i don't see the English losing any other game than the South African.
I've seen Samoa in sevens recently. Tough mothers - put a great running Fiji team to the sword in the first half. England, England, England - it's just possible that they'll get a shock, like Wales did in '95 ('91?). What will they do in the centre? Tait has bulked up, but he still seems weak.

But I'm expecting SA to really front up - the only question is whether they stick with the rumble-drop goal pattern, or actually unleash their pace out wide. Steyn is the best newcomer on the world stage for a few years, and I'd like to see him linking in the back three with Habana. That's the try route - and they'll need pace to penetrate the ABs, because you just can't kick possession away and attempt a territory strategy.
Samoa is currently on a wave in the sevens and i think the only real problem they have is that the squad don't get the opportunity to really gel together. Kinda like the Pacific Islanders.. i saw them in Wales and at times they where all over wales, but it showed that the group of players didnt really have time to gel.

Samoa and Tonga base their game on their deep running and tough, brutal tackling. I think Samoa will lose to SA, but it's not gonna be a walkover. I think Samoa will give England a nasty shock, but they won't snatch the win. It depends really who wants it enough, and at the moment England don't seem to want it.

Samoa will finish 3rd in the group, with the best opportunity of a win against England. Tonga and USA will be tough but should be no match for SA and England. Remember as well that in the last Pacific 5 nations, Samoa beat Tonga 26-0. There is a lot of talent from Samoa, it's incredible really considering the population is 180,000 and there are only 22,000 players registered in Samoa that they even get this far.

If they get some discipline, they should have a decent tourney again.
I think England will take top spot in this pool. South Africa still have some trouble winning away from home and England have improved since they last clashed. It will be close though.
Methinks that the shoot-out for top spot should be between SA and England. Could be closer than what we think, depending on the injury situation by November. Neither team is blessed with outstanding, All Blacks-like 45-man depth, and a couple of crucial injuries shortly before RWC can swing it either way.

If both teams arrive fully fit though, I`m pretty confident of a SA win, simply because we`ve managed to do the business once last year already, at Twickers, and with more than half of our 1st-choice team missing.

England have certainly improved immeasurably since November, there were some flashes of brilliance in this year`s 6-nations, but we`ll see more come the May and June incoming Tests in Osfontein and Pretoria. By all accounts, Jake White wants his likely RWC match-22 in action for those 2 games, and it should be a good indication of where both teams stand at this stage of proceedings.

As for the Manu and Tonga, both have the ability to produce a mighty scare, but they simply don`t have the pack to do the business against 2 of the bigger and better packs in world rugby. They might have tremendous pace and flair out wide, they may tackle like demons, but in the 15-man code, you can`t do the business without the ball.

USA have drawn a helluva group, and might just find themselves out of their depth. Last year`s 50-plus drubbing by Canada must still be fresh in the memory, and they`ll be facing 4 top-quality sides here.
This pool would be extremely tough to pick.

Sth. Africa are the better team, I give you that. However, Sth. Africa playing away from home are a different team altogether, and are hard to pick. England could pull off the upset win, but I'd like to see Sth. Africa win this one.

The only chance of an upset is for Samoa to beat England. If only Fa'asavalu didn't leave to play league in the UK Super League, they'd have an excellent openside flanker.

Tonga have a huge pack, but they're not very mobile. Samoa will most probably run them around and tire them out, and win easily like their last encounter.

Tonga and USA will battle it out for the wooden spoon. No offence to Tonga, but I'd love for USA to take it out :D

South Africa

Thats about right isn't it?
Sounds good to me. :mellow:

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