028. Predicting the RWC2019 Quarter-Finalists

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that my predictions of the 40 pool matches means that I’ve given a reckon of how the pools will stand, and who will progress to the quarter-finals.

It looks like this*:

Pool A

 

Team

Win

Lose

1

Ireland

4

0

2

Japan

3

1

3

Scotland

2

2

4

Samoa

1

3

5

Russia

0

4

 

Pool B

 

Team

Win

Lose

1

New Zealand

4

0

2

South Africa

3

1

3

Italy

2

2

4

Namibia

1

3

5

Canada

0

4

 

Pool C

  Team Win Lose

1

England

4

0

2

Argentina

3

1

3

France

2

2

4

Tonga

1

3

5

USA

0

4

 

Pool D

  Team Win Lose

1

Wales

4

0

2

Australia

3

1

3

Fiji

2

2

4

Georgia

1

3

5

Uruguay

0

4

 

If all that plays out, the quarter-finals would be:

Quarter-Final 1: England vs Australia

Quarter-Final 2: New Zealand vs Japan

Quarter-Final 3: Wales vs Argentina

Quarter-Final 4: Ireland vs South Africa

Interesting to note that it would be Southern vs Northern hemisphere in every match.

And no, I’m not going to predict results of what those matches might be. I think we’re going to find out a lot about each team through the pool series. In particular we’ll find out about squad depth as injuries happen and, perhaps more importantly, we’ll find out about the coaches.

Have they come with a winning game plan, and have they come with Plans B through X to adapt?

 

* The very sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that I have excluded draws and bonus points from the above pool tables, because frankly they’re a crap shoot. There have only ever been three draws at Rugby World Cups: France vs. Scotland in 1987, and Canada vs. Japan in 2007 and 2011. (That’s your tie-breaking pub quiz question just there.)

But yes, draws and bonus points can make a difference. In Pool A of RWC2011, France and Tonga had two wins and two losses each, but France advanced because they had 3 bonus points to Tonga’s 1.  (One bonus point for scoring four or more tries, and one bonus point for losing by seven or less.) France also had a superior point differential.

And for the record, here are the tie-breaking criteria for the pools if teams are equal on match points:

  1. The winner of the match between the two teams
  2. Difference between points scored for and points scored against in all pool matches
  3. Difference between tries scored for and tries scored against in all pool matches
  4. Points scored in all pool matches
  5. Most tries scored in all pool matches
  6. Official World Rugby Rankings as of 14 October 2019 (which is crazy ten different ways from Monday).

Following on from the Cricket World Cup final this year, I do suggest that you all brush up on the finer technicalities of these things.

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