Stop the presses!! Team USA actually earned a point! We no longer have zero points in our pool…now we have: ONE. Yes, one. One point because while we lost the match against Samoa 25-21, we lost by “7 points or less” which results in a “bonus point” for not being total losers. Whoopee. Not that we have a chance in hell of making it to the next round, but at least we no longer have zero points. Only Namibia has that dubious honor now, and since they aren’t scheduled to play this weekend, have no chance of earning any points and have ended their 2007 Rugby World Cup experience at the bottom of the barrel. Sucks to be them.
This coming weekend is the last weekend of the pool phase. Whomever is in first and second place in their respective pools at the end of play on September 30th moves to the quarterfinals. Currently three teams have already been declared winners in their pools, basically because there’s no way anyone can earn enough points to beat them. Tie them, maybe, but beat them, no. Australia (pool B), South Africa (pool A), and New Zealand (pool C) have all emerged victorious from their respective pools. For anyone that knows anything about rugby, this is not surprising. The Tri-Nations teams tend to kick butt. Now the race for second place is in full swing.
In pool A, England and Tonga are vying for second place. Their match on Friday will determine which one of them moves on in the tournament. Should be a good game. In pool B, Wales and Fiji are tied for second. Their match is Saturday. In pool C, it’s a tight race, with Scotland having a slight edge over Italy. Which could change when they play each other on Saturday as well. A lot at stake for these teams, which always makes for good rugby.
Pool D is up for grabs. Argentina, France, and Ireland all have a chance. Argentina is currently in first. All three play on Sunday, along with Georgia, who’s trailing a bit too much to have a shot but could make life difficult for France if they play well. I say, this is quite the Rugby World Cup this time around. [now imagine that sentence with a very bad British accent…]
Should be an exciting weekend!