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Rugby World Cup Pool Draw - 10 May

So you're not looking forward to the first ever pool showdown between the All Blacks and their biggest rivals??

Hmmm, seems like there is just no pleasing you...

Only if you improve ten folds.

Otherwise Italy poses our biggest threat. No joke.
 
There is where lies the problem. The pooling is done way too early. Why not 6 months/1 year out? If there's a logical reasoning behind this, I will gladly shut up.
It has to be done this early so that all the logistics and planning for each of the teams can be done. Doing it less than a year out wouldn't be viable of fair to the management, organizers etc. - especially for the lower budget teams. It was actually done reasonably late this time... for the 2015 WC the draw was made 3 years prior
 
Germany's best chance is to qualify via the Repechage but I expect Spain to get that spot. Germany losing at home to Spain this year has left them too much to do as far as I see.

Deutschland also lost to España (7-12) in the World 7s qualifier final at Hong Kong this season...I hope Deutschland's qualification next season.
 
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OK, so it'll likely be:
QF1: NZ vs Scotland
QF2: England vs Wales
QF3: Australia vs France
QF4: Ireland vs SA
The big match here is Ireland vs SA. Whoever wins that will likely go through to the final.

SF1: NZ vs England
SF2: Australia vs Ireland
It seems, if all goes as expected, the 2 best teams will meet in the semis. Whoever wins SF1 will probs win the whole thing.

Final: NZ vs Ireland

Your prediction is not strange at all, but I'd like to see Japan's upset in Pool A, finishing 2nd:

QF1: Aotearoa/NZ vs Japan (77-7)
QF2: England vs Australia (34-32)
QF3: Wales vs Argentina (20-18)
QF4: Scotland vs RSA (23-22)

SF1: Aotearoa/NZ vs England (20-21)
SF2: Wales vs Scotland (13-29)

3rd place: Aotearoa/NZ vs Wales (19-14)
Final: England vs Scotland (8-12)

Maybe this prediction seems to be quite unlikely, but less ridiculous than the prediction that Japan would beat RSA in 2015 or Leicester City would win 2015-2016 Premier League.
 
Your prediction is not strange at all, but I'd like to see Japan's upset in Pool A, finishing 2nd:

QF1: Aotearoa/NZ vs Japan (77-7)
QF2: England vs Australia (34-32)
QF3: Wales vs Argentina (20-18)
QF4: Scotland vs RSA (23-22)

SF1: Aotearoa/NZ vs England (20-21)
SF2: Wales vs Scotland (13-29)

3rd place: Aotearoa/NZ vs Wales (19-14)
Final: England vs Scotland (8-12)

Maybe this prediction seems to be quite unlikely, but less ridiculous than the prediction that Japan would beat RSA in 2015 or Leicester City would win 2015-2016 Premier League.
If Scotland win I'll personally buy you as much beer as you want for the rest of your life.
 
Ireland have the easiest group this time.
Will this see them push forward further than ever before?
 
If Scotland win I'll personally buy you as much beer as you want for the rest of your life.
Thank you, but I cannot drink alcohol for medical reasons. Please buy me tickets (and flight/accommodation costs) of major tournaments, like

RU: World Cup, Six Nations, The Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup, World Sevens Series, Sevens World Cup, Olympic Sevens, Lions matches, Baa-Baas matches, Brisbane Global Tens etc.
RL: World Cup, Four Nations, State of Origin, NRL Auckland Nines, NRL Grand Final etc.

By the way, World Cup winners should play a memorial match against Baa-Baas, and Rugby (both codes) needs strong West Indies teams like Cricket.
 
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Ireland have the easiest group this time.
Will this see them push forward further than ever before?

Ireland have the best chance to win the pool by beating all 4 opponent teams, but if Japan could make an upset, Ireland have more dangers against Japan than Scotland have (although the schedule is yet to be decided).

This result:

1 Scotland
2 Japan
3 Ireland

has 7.5% or 10% possibility. (although there will be effect of the schedule.)
 
Draw in full, likely qualifiers in brackets:

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1 (Romania), Playoff winner (Tonga)

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 (Namibia), Repechage winner (Spain/Uruguay)

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1 (USA), Oceania 2 (Samoa)

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1 (Fiji), Americas 2 (Canada)

Winners:

South Africa - two pushovers and Italy to beat, then avoid NZ until the final
Ireland/Scotland/Wales - happy not to play Argentina
Japan - will fancy their chances against Scotland
Australia - easiest band 3 team, they have a great record against Wales, will avoid NZ before the final if they win the pool

Losers:

England/France - pool of death
Samoa - they would actually get an easier pool by losing all their PNC games
Italy - would much rather have had a go at Scotland/Wales/France for a 2nd place attempt

In this case, USA and Samoa cannot be dismissed as minnows. So Pool C is the REAL Pool of death.
Could USA or Samoa make upsets? I would not be surprised if USA went 3rd by beating one of England, France and Argentina.
 
I'm enjoying following the lower tier qualifying. Here's what each of the positions mean

Band 4 -

Oceania 1: Winner of the 2016 and 2017 combined Pacific Nations Cup tables. Probably Fiji (currently 2 wins from 2). Decided in June
Oceania 2: 2nd place in the above table
Europe 1: Winner of a combined table from the 2017 and 2018 REC matches (same time as the 6N) with all matches against Georgia removed. Probably Romania
Americas 1: Winner of the 2-legged qualifier between the USA and Canada in July

Band 5-

Africa 1 - The winner of the 2018 Africa Cup, probably Namibia
Americas 2 - The winner of this years' South American Rugby Championship (May) vs the loser of Canada-USA. Will be Uruguay or Canada
Playoff - The 3rd place pacific islander side vs the 2nd placed team from the European qualifying (who also have a playoff against the RET winners Portugal first). Probably Tonga or Samoa
Repechage - a semis and final mini tournament in autumn 2018 with the Americas 2 playoff loser, Oceania/Europe playoff loser, the 2nd placed team from African qualifying and the winner of an Asian/Oceanian qualifier. My guess right now would be Spain, or Canada if they end up here.

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NZ, SA, Argentina, Fiji and Samoa is the pool to hope for.

Any other team have qualification chance?

BRD (Deutschland), РФ (Russian Federation), Zimbabwe, Chile?
 
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