In some of the Pools, the #1 team is already set and has booked their place in the next round.
But there are not any Pools where the 2nd quarter-finalist is a foregone conclusion. There is even a Pool where it can technically be any 1 of 3 teams!
Before the tournament, people would have simply said that it was going to be France and New Zealand as 1 and 2. The order is less important than the certainty that they will be in the next round.
Based on the form and the class of these two teams they should still finish accordingly, but, with one game left for each of them, the current points table looks as follows:
- France – 13
- New Zealand – 10
- Italy – 10
France and New Zealand are untouchable in points difference but they still need to get through their last matches.
New Zealand plays the spirited Uruguayans and should beat them to book their place.
France plays Italy though who have pushed them close in the past 2 years. If Italy wins and France doesn’t get a bonus point, then France is out of the World Cup!
If France gets a bonus point, then Italy also needs to win with a bonus point to knock France out.
Unlikely but possible
The last weekend’s clash between Ireland and Scotland can result in Ireland or South Africa sensationally missing out on the quarter-finals!
For Ireland to miss out, Scotland needs to beat them with a bonus point victory and a margin of more than 21 points.
For South Africa to miss out, Scotland would need to beat Ireland with a bonus point victory and a margin of more than 21 points and Ireland should also score 4 tries for a bonus point.
Then, based on their head-to-head result against South Africa, Ireland will go through and leave South Africa in the 3rd position.
It is all in Fiji’s hands. They simply need a bonus point from the game to end on the same log points as Australia and will then go through based on their head-to-head result.
A win in their last game against Portugal will put them through regardless of the margin. Interestingly enough it is also the very last game of the Pool rounds
Samoa would be the first one to have a potential outside chance of getting to the next round. To get to 11 log points, they need to beat England with a bonus point victory. Then they need to hope for a draw between Japan and Argentina. So that one isn’t likely
The game between Japan and Argentina should be the decider. The simple answer is the team that wins, will make it through to the quarter-finals with England.
Overall this is amazing!
I personally think that this is absolutely wonderful for the game of rugby. To go into the final week of the Rugby World Cup and not have all of the quarter-finalists decided, is amazing. It has turned this last week into an amazing roller coaster ride for everyone involved!