Rugby World Cup 2011 Preview – Pool A and B
You know what’s great about the Rugby World Cup?…. Everything.
The waiting is neeeearly over. In less than 2 days time, we will once again witness every bone crunching, earth shattering, cringe inducing, drinking session that comes standard when watching games of this calibre.
This year (as in almost every previous RWC) there are only 5 teams that have a realistic chance of actually taking home the William Webb Elliss trophy, known as ‘Bill’.
Those teams are New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France and England.
With that in mind, let us take a look at the pools in moderate to sketchy detail.
Pool A: All Blacks, France, Tonga, Canada, Japan
The All Blacks are over whelming favourites for the RWC2011 and rightly so. This year they have home-ground advantage and a reasonably breezy group aiding their cause, although some will point to their meeting with France as a possible “WTF just happened” scenario. Who can forget that memorable quarter final game in 2007…
It is actually better that the ABs are meeting the team that has twice knocked them out of previous World Cups, in the group stage as the pressure will be less and they should dominate their way through this group with ease. France will have the measure of Tonga, Japan and Canada but look out for Japan as a possible dark horse. They have improved immensely in the last 4 years and will be hoping for Sushi sized victories over Tonga and possibly Canada.
Don’t Miss: All Blacks vs Tonga – 9 Sept and the All Blacks vs France – 24 Sept.
Prediction: All Blacks and France to progress to next round.
Pool B: England, Argentina, Scotland, Romania, Georgia
England have a great record at Rugby World Cups and this year they have one of the easier groups to drop-kick things off. They have been up and down in the 4 years under Martin dirtiest player everr Johnson but have some exciting players (most of them not from England) in their squad.
Argentina have had the measure of them in the past but with the withdrawal of star flyhalf Juan Hernandez to injury and the retirement of scrumhalf Agustin Pichot they have lost their 2 best players.
Scotland flatter to deceive and although they can cause an upset in this group, I suspect Argentina should beat them to sneak into the next round. Georgia are on the up and up and will be targeting Romania as the game they could win. Romania have a relatively proud rugby history but will once again struggle against the bigger sides.
Games to look out for: Argentina vs England – 10 Sept and Argentina vs Scotland – 25 Sept
Prediction: England and Argentina to progress to Quarter Finals.
Look out for the Rugby World Cup Pool C and D previews.