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What do we all think about the 1/4 finals?I think Wales will beat France. Wales have style and they never say die, they win this.England v Australia. England are really hungry, they knock Oz out.Japan v Boks. I wouldn't bet you ten pence against the Cherry Blossoms, they are fab. You predict it.Ireland v NZ. I will be wearing incontinence pads for this one. Come on Ireland!
@28Japan is in the northern hemisphere you pleb
Forget political correctness, it's just not rugby.For the Welsh, firstly we hope England crash out at the earliest opportunity, secondly we hope we beat France! ;-)For the English, they need to win at all costs. Wales losing would be the icing on the cake that banishes the memories of 2015.Finally, will we all share a beer afterwards? Absolutely, we enjoy the ride together.
I don't agree with the use of statistics in this article, as though they think it really is a "like for like" comparison of underdogs from each World Cup. The big teams have professionals who are getting fitter and stronger and get to work full time on techniques, have sport psychologists and nutritionists and play other high power teams regularly. I have loved the "minnows" in this World Cup.
Can't wait for the weekend!!! A nervous but hopeful Ireland fan wishes Ireland (obviously), England and Wales GOOD LUCK!!!!
Can anyone explain why Stephen Jones in The Times wins rugby journalist of the year?I don't know any fan, from any country, who thinks he is insightful?He seems to dislike every team?
The Pacific island nation's have been plundered of talent for years. New Zealand and Australia have benefitted along with England, Wales Ireland etc... The talent for the smaller nation's is out there. What seems to be missing is the lower level framework that exists in the bigger nation's where the talent is identified and developed. Perhaps money spent on that will bring them up.
@842: It's a fair comment, but it can be turned around. Are the T2 teams going to improve by NOT playing T1 nations? No. I think Italy's lack of progression has been a disappointment, especially to themselves, but keeping T1 as a closed shop & keeping T2 adrift & isolated is not helping either.I really believe we are at a point where we need a genuine way for the T1 hegemony to be challenged.
As an England fan I hope to see England,Wales,Ireland and Japan progress without serious injuries or red cards.Time to end SH dominance.Knockout,uncompromising rugby. Sink or swim,do or die. Best of luck to all.
I’d certainly pay real money to watch Japan at Twickenham now, whereas I simply wouldn’t have bothered in the past. In days of yore I can remember periods when Irish and later Welsh tickets were relatively easy to obtain whilst France were like gold dust! Money talks. Japan have arrived‼️
Thought Scotland were tier 2. Certainly their boss is second rate, banging on about legal action when people were dying in a storm that the WC organisers in Japan had no control over. What a very first world problem for the Scottish Rugby Union.
@845 are you asking 6N be protected or that countries currently in it are “ protected “ no matter how they perform. I think some misunderstand the motivation suggesting it becomes an adaptive vibrant entity. Imho to remain relevant the 6N needs to be able to grow &evolve. Unlike some I don’t see that evolution as a zero sum game where 1 countries advancement means another’s failure
Tier 1 and 2 teams is just the ingrained English public school class system. Makes mobility between the 2 almost impossible.
And all of a sudden the conversation has taken a turn. Here's to a great weekend of Rugby, I'm expecting the best and closet QF round in WC history. Enjoy, good night.
@860 spesh thought it was g&t😂 🏴🏴🏴
Tier 2 teams like Wales have improved but are still some way off the tier 1 nations.
871 vvales The only truly laughable defeat in the 1/4s would be Wales losing to the lowest ranked of all France (8th seeds) who England pumped by 44 points last time out. If you can’t beat France and then the lowly ranked Japan (7) or SA (5) to make the final, it will be the greatest World Cup choke of all time. Greater than the group exits of 91,95 and 07.
I wish England had had the chance to play France in the first round. On current form and recent record, England would have won and topped the group anyway, but it would have been nice to prove it.England certainly have a good chance against Australia - to be honest I'd rather be playing the Aussies than Wales, again on current form.Then it's the All Blacks (or Ireland) in the semi...
If Australia do win, not saying they will, I hope the pundits don't start laughing in the post match analysis. I think that would be big time disrespectful. Especially if they were rolling about on the floor at the time.
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