Thursday, August 25, 2011

My RWC 2011 predictions

Who'll be lifting the
 Webb Ellis Cup this year?
A few folks have been asking me what my Rugby World Cup predictions are for this year and thought it was about time to share them with you all!

I will talk more about game predictions in a future post or you can get a sneak peak of what I am thinking by joining the ARL Rugby World Cup prediction game on SuperBru (Pool name: a rugby life, Pool code: seartick).

So without further ado, here are my calls:

The Top Contender: Australia
As much as people would love to see the All Blacks lift the cup again on home soil, I think their neighbors Australia are going to steal the show.  They should be able to come out of their Pool games relative unscathed, but are going faced with a tough path to final, which I think will suit them just fine.  The Wallabies have had a mixed bag of results in the Tri-Nations and RWC warm ups, but like most Aussies I know, they are a determined and competitive bunch!  Take that grit, put in on familiar turf, and I think we could see the Wallabies be the first to pull off an RWC hat -trick.

The Dark Horse: England
England proved in the last RWC, they can muddle their way through the tournament to the final, much to the surprise of everyone around them.  Their Pool is a motley crew of teams that will be after their scalps, but I expect them to finish top.  I feel the crunch match for them would be in the Semi-Finals against Australia.  If England win this, they will be all guns blazing in the final and see them take the RWC "Down under Double".

The Underdog: Ireland
The current Ireland line up is one of my favorites with the likes of Gordon D'Arcy, Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Rory Best, and Jamie Heaslip.  With so much talent, I have high hopes they can make a real impression in this RWC.  Their Pool is tricky with Italy, in my eyes, being one of the key games to win.  The path to the Final is not going to be easy by a long shot, but I feel this squad has the best chance of succeeding.

The Crying Games
Here are a few of the games I think we might see a few upsets

France vs Canada: Canada are certainly no power house of rugby but I expect the sparks to fly when then they face the Les Bleus.  I am predicting a messy game and France loosing will certainly be one of the most stunning upsets of the tournament.  However, this won't prevent France moving on to the Quarter Finals.

Ireland vs Italy: My Irish Grandfather would be definitely not happy with the recent playing shenanigans of his home nation. In his honor and as my underdog pick, I'll be rooting for the Irish, but I think Italy has a bone to pick with them and might try settle the score in Dunedin.   This is a key decider game for both teams, as the winner will be the 2nd place finisher.

 Wales vs Samoa: I can't think of a single Welsh fan whose isn't cringing about this match.  Its a crunch game, with a Quarter Final at stake, one where the Welsh need to break the Samoan winning curse or face the same fate as they did in RWC 1991 and 1999.

What do you think? Share your thoughts!


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