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RWC 2023 Qualifying

Al Bangor

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It's the second consecutive time Spain has been sanctioned for the same offense. :rolleyes:

Good luck Romania.
 
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Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Hong Kong back in contention. Korea will host Malaysia. The winner of that match will host Hong Kong. The winner of that will play Tonga for the chance to auto qualify for the RWC with the loser going to the repechage.

 

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Hong Kong back in contention. Korea will host Malaysia. The winner of that match will host Hong Kong. The winner of that will play Tonga for the chance to auto qualify for the RWC with the loser going to the repechage.

Hong Kong would be the only side of those three with a dog's chance in the repechage I'm guessing
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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So it sounds like from this season of the SLAR that Chile have improved their depth at various positions. But the good news I think for the US is that the sharp upward curve in their performance last year appears to have levelled off and by losing to Penarol I think we can conclude they are still just a little behind Uruguay. I was honestly expecting them to continue improving with their switch between fullback and flyhalf.

I'd make the US 55/45 favourites against Chile over the two legs as things stand (factoring in that Chile will have the better preparation in playing Scotland A).
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Korea beat Malaysia 55-10 to eliminate Malaysia and set up a winner takes all clash against Hong Kong (the winner then playing Tonga for a RWC spot.

Meanwhile, is this a sign of unhappiness in the US camp? Just one player so I may be reading too much into it.

 

die_mole

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USA announced their team for the repechage warm up.
PROP
David Ainu'u (Toulouse, FR)
Chance Wenglewski (Rugby New York)
***i Lamositele (Montpellier, FR)
Paul Mullen (Utah Warriors)

HOOKER
Kapeli Pifeleti (Saracens)
Mike Sosene-Feagai (Toulon, FR)
Joe Taufete'e (LA Giltinis)

SECOND ROW
Nate Brakeley (Rugby New York)
Nick Civetta (Rugby New York)
Siaosi Mahoni (Houston SaberCats)
Samu Manoa (Seattle Seawolves)
Greg Peterson (Newcastle Falcons, UK)

BACK ROW
Malon Al-Jiboori (Houston SaberCats)
Benjamín Bonasso (Rugby New York)
Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold)
Hanco Germishuys (LA Giltinis)
Moni Tonga'uiha (NOLA Gold)

SCRUMHALF
Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion)
Michael Baska (Rouen Normandie, FR)
Ruben de Haas (Saracens, UK)

FLYHALF
Luke Carty (LA Giltinis)
Will Hooley (San Diego Legion)
AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks, UK)

MIDFIELD
Bryce Campbell (Austin Gilgronis)
Paul Lasike (Utah Warriors)
Tevita Lopeti (Seattle Seawolves)

OUTSIDE BACKS
Marcel Brache (Austin Gilgronis)
Christian Dyer (Houston SaberCats)
Martin Iosefo (Seattle Seawolves)
Mitch Wilson (New England Free Jacks)
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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If they can play all 7 overseas based players at the same time that should give plenty top level experience to be competitive against Chile. I'll reserve making a call until I see what Chile can produce against Scotland. I don't think they have progressd too much since November but their coach has a habit of making me (and opposing coaches) look like an idiot.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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die_mole

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If they can play all 7 overseas based players at the same time that should give plenty top level experience to be competitive against Chile. I'll reserve making a call until I see what Chile can produce against Scotland. I don't think they have progressd too much since November but their coach has a habit of making me (and opposing coaches) look like an idiot.
We didn't have AJ for the Uruguay series and I think we would have won if we had him. He's that much of a difference maker. I'm feeling good about things now and as long as the young props come back healthy and not too tired I think we can handle Chile.
 

die_mole

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So Africa starts their World Cup qualifying next week. It's truly a bizarre qualifying format. 8 teams have qualified and are playing a straight knockout. Winner qualifies to World Cup and runner up goes to repechage. The top two ranked teams, Namibia and Zimbabwe, are on the same side of the bracket so it's impossible for both of them to move forward. Straight knockout shouldn't be used for WCQ.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Kenya were beating SA Elephants and Leopards in the last couple of weeks and finished 6 points ahead of Zimbabwe in that competition. If those opponents were full strength I might fancy Kenya. In one match they were playing in white tops and black shorts with such finesse you'd think they were Fiji. Some of their forwards are big boys and they were even scoring with rolling mauls.

Whereas Namibia's preparations have been disrupted/non-existent. Still I'd be a fool to bet against them.
 

die_mole

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Algeria is my dark horse. it's only their first cycle and they are playing with mostly French players. It's essentially a home tournament for them. Their loss to Ghana was suspect but they've already shown they can beat Uganda away.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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saulan

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What was I saying about Kenya? They are stuck at the airport and running a fundraiser to attend the qualification matches. The must have blown all their funds on the Currie Cup participation.


Urgh, this is disappointing to see. Hopefully it's to top it up a bit rather than they just don't have any money for it. The home games they were having in the Currie Cup seemed like they were getting decent support which also provides hope for further development of the game in Kenya, they just need to keep that momentum up. Will be a shame if finances block their way. Honestly someone else making the World Cup from Africa would do a World of good both to wake Namibia up and also provide hope that these teams can compete.

Edit: looks like they've gotten some funding/sponsorship:
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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So the four favourites make the semis. Algeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe did not impress me as much as I expected, so i think Namibia are firm favourites again despite their relative lack of preparation.
 

die_mole

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Burkina Faso were by far the weakest team in the QFs. They had a -188 Point differential in their two game series with Zimbabwe. Wouldn't judge Namibia too much on that.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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I'm judging it on the fact that Namibia always qualify and I expect them to do the same unless a rival side really steps up (and to my surprise I didnt really see evidence of that in the QFs).
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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4 big matches this weekend.

Korea vs Hong Kong - I think Korea have a chance given Covid restrictions in Hong Kong preventing training however HK by 7.

Namibia vs Zimbabwe - Namibia by 6

Kenya vs Algeria - Kenya by 10

Chile vs USA 1st leg - US beating the French Barbarians last weekend suggests they may be better prepared than I expected. Chile by 3.
 

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