Rugby World Cup 2007 quarter-final predictions

Thu, Oct 4, 2007, Posted by   print

2007 World Cup, Test Rugby

Rugby World Cup 2007And then there were 8. The quarter-finals of the 2007 RWC are set to kick off in a few days and to be honest, the match-ups are quite interesting. Even if you are a die-hard All Black fan, I think the fixtures are going to captivate rugby enthusiasts of all persuasions.

While many of us were surprised to see England bounce back against Tonga from a mostly disappointing pool stage, I for one want to know if England has truly got their act together. At their best, they can push hard and make Australia work. Of course England need to put points on the board, something they had trouble with against South Africa, and need to tighten their defense. A healthy Jonny ‘Wilco’ Wilkinson and Jason Robinson are encouraging signs. On the otherhand, if the Aussies can keep fly-half Larkham healthy (he had knew surgery just 3 weeks back) and stick to their game plan, they will have their revenge in this repeat match-up of the 2003 RWC final.

Had France won Pool D, then Argentina would be facing the All Blacks instead of France, and I don’t think this would have looked like much of a quarter-final. As it stands however, France has been building and gaining momentum since their defeat on the opening day of the championship while New Zealand have not had any real pressure from any of their opponents. As a long-time fan of Les Blues, I know they are one of the few teams with the potential to upset New Zealand just like they did in the RWC 1999 semi-finals. If they play solid defense and throw the French creativity at the All Blacks, there is a chance for French victory. 2007 may be the year that New Zealand takes their revenge for the loss in 1999 (a dish served cold anyone?), but whatever the outcome, this will be an exciting game.

For me, this is a mismatch and I expect a bit of a blow-out. That’s too bad because Fiji can really be an exciting team to watch. South Africa is just too strong in every phase of the game and will not be starting their ‘B-side’ like they did against Tonga in the pool stage.

I wouldn’t call this a mismatch, but Scotland better bring their best to defeat Argentina who have only given up 2 tries during the entire championship (both against Ireland in their last pool match). Scotland were lucky to squeak past Italy and even Chris Patterson’s boot will be cold given the patience and discipline Argentina have shown in all their matches to date. Viva La Revolucion!


18 Responses to “Rugby World Cup 2007 quarter-final predictions”

  1. Josh Houston says:

    England did not have a single impressive victory against any of their pool teams and in fact had a humiliating defeat by South Africa. I don’t see this one as being very close at all. I think Australlia is a far superior team in this one.

    I would like nothing more than for the All Blacks to lose, but based on how they’ve been playing, it doesn’t seem likely. But then again it didn’t seem likely that France would beat NZ in 1999. If Dan Carter can make it through the match, France’s chances are greatly diminished, but if he doesn’t last and France continues their improved play…..

    I totally agree about the RSA v. Fiji match, won’t even be close. Scotlanv. Fiji would have been nice or even Fiji v. Argentina.

    Q4 is a tough one for me. I think Ireland lacked a kicking game, let alone a good one. Scotland has excellent kickers in Paterson and Lamont, which will make the difference. I think Argentina has done so well in the WC because of their spot on penalty kicking and their ability to hit drop goals. If that is neutralized, Scotland could prevail. But for me, flip a coin for the winner, it’s anyone’s match.

  2. Vic says:

    Ya, I think England is going down but I expect a better performance than they put up against South Africa.

  3. Vic says:

    I just added a link to this good article to my post entitled ‘Time has not erased New Zealand pain‘.

  4. yue-houng says:

    the french are making a huge mistake in playing beauxis over michalak. just when the french backs are finally looking like the french backs should, laporte goes and changes the flyhalf. michalak may be incredibly inconsistent, but i don’t think beauxis or the injured skrela have the attacking sense/flair that can trouble new zealand.

  5. Vic says:

    I think the plan is to bring on Michalak after the match has progressed some. No question that Michalak has the flair. Maybe Beauxis will pull a LaMaison, who was not well known as a fly-half when he destroyed NWZ in 1999.

  6. Josh Houston says:

    Yue-Houng is such a Michalak fan! I kind of think the AB’s are impervious to flair. I think this match will be one of the packs. NZ lineouts have not been so hot. If France can capitalise on this with Chabal jumping, they can frustrate the AB’s. I think Beauxis will do a better job at defending Carter where as Michalak may loose focus.

  7. Josh Houston says:

    I love how Australlia is carrying on about the English playing dirty. England should call up Grewcock, he’d last about 5 minutes befiore being red carded. Honestly, I think Australlia is a little scared here.

  8. yue-houng says:

    It’s true, I’m a Michalak fan. I don’t think there’s another player out there right now that is nearly as fun to watch as him when he’s playing well (even when he’s bad, at least he’s trying to do something creative).

    NZ seems to have two issues. Against well organized defenses, they seem to get impatient. This has lead to losses against SA and Aus.

    The other is of the lineout, which statistically has been one of the best in the RWC. Although, in general, their competition has been suspect, Scotland usually has a very solid lineout and should have tested their quality.

    France does not match up well in either respect. Their defense is nothing amazing (especially now that they’re playing Traille out of position at 15), and their lineout is not going to steal them a lot of ball. Their aging, but still effective pack will probably not be enough to disturb the ABs. That’s why, I figure, you gamble it all on Michalak having one of his “I can’t believe he pulled that off” kind of matches.

  9. Josh Houston says:

    I know Chabal isn’t starting, but he’ll get in the match.

    I see your point Yue about Michalak. With a team like the AB’s, you really do need to throw whatever you can at them.

  10. Mark says:

    My prediction :)

    NZ—| |
    SA—| |

    I disagree with your post and comments here about the FJ-SA match though. Fiji are likely to lose, but will bow out within 10 points of SA. Had Nicky L not been injured, I would be backing Fiji to win.

  11. Mark says:

    oops, formatting has been stripped out.

    Winners of Quarter-Finals:
    Aus, NZ, SA, Arg.

    Winners of Semi’s:
    NZ, SA

    RWC Winner:
    NZ :(

  12. Vic says:

    I have RSA taking NWZ, but we’ll see what the QFs look like. I still think FJI are going to get destroyed.

  13. Vic says:

    I think Michalak just proved his worth by slicing up New Zealand like butter in today’s quarter final.

  14. Phil C says:

    What was that about Austrailia being superior? I think all through the tournament we havn’t really played with any determination at all. How things changed Saturday, they fought like their life depended on that game. Well done England…….oh and to France :D

  15. Ernest says:

    Well, the AB’s have done it again. I think I speek for all when I say that they might be the no. 1 team in the world, however, when the are bombarded with good defense, they fail to assert their gameplay.

    As a South-African, I must admit that the scoreline today does indeed flatter. Luckily the team has shown some great spirit to keep it together in the last 20 minutes. Fiji were just not strong enough upfront.

  16. Pete says:

    Who cares about The Rugby World Cup 2007 anymore! The Overrated, overhyped All Blacks were dicked by France in a second half performance to go down in history. France 173 tackles and although the All Blacks were in the French 22 for 11 minutes they didn’t think of a drop kick, anything a NZ school boy can put over from 22 metres. But the French fought them off and I LOVE FRANCE for dicking The All Blacks! Thank you and to NZ and four more long years with the wrong coach!

    [Edited by moderator]

  17. Vic says:

    Well, I don’t hear anyone talking much about the 2007 RWC these days except for you. :)

    The last comment on this article was October 2007!

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