Tuesday 9 October 2007

And the shocks continue

It's funny really. All the way through the group stage everyone was talking about the predictability factor. In particular the almost certainty that we would have four Southern hemisphere semi-finalists. It looks a bit different now!!
England beating Australia was an incredible surprise. The Wallabies haven't been amazing - and I didn't expect them to go past the semis - but England have been really ordinary. The truth is the didn't do much out of the ordinary in the QF win either. Wilkinson is king and were anything to happen to him, then I can't see the points coming from elsewhere.
New Zealand losing to France was an upset but not a shock. France at home are always tough, and the bashing they took in the press post-Argentina defeat, has only helped galvanise them. The All Blacks looked unconvincing against a second string Scotland, but I still expected them to go all the way.
Fiji were worn down by South Africa, and the Springboks were certainly flattered by the final score. As for Argentina, they were not as good as previous games but still too powerful for a weak Scotland.
The obvious final is France/ South Africa, but the way things are going an England/ Argentina double could be worth a tenner. If the French back row (Nyanga/ Betsen especially) can get at Wilkinson, then England might struggle. Argentina I feel, will meet their match up front and the South Africa backs will be too good for the Argentina three-quarters. Ireland exposed their weakness there. I'll go for the France South v Africa decider.

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