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  1. #1
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    Champs set for Welsh RWC 2011 challenge


    December 2nd, 2008

    Champs set for Welsh RWC challenge

    The Springboks have drawn Wales and Fiji in Pool D of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
    South Africa were expected to play Wales in the 2007 quarter-final, but a thrilling Pool B decider between the Dragons and Fiji ultimately saw the islanders advance. The Boks were tested by Fiji in the knockout fixture, and it was a try-saving tackle by JP Pietersen that allowed them to repel a determined Fijian attack and eventually wrest back the initiative.
    Wales are currently the Six Nations champions and on present form look likely to retain the title in 2009. They are still some way off matching the Boks, and given that Peter de Villiers’s charges will improve over the next two years, South Africa should feel confident about topping this pool. The other two Pool D candidates are likely to be Samoa and Namibia, but the World Cup qualifiers are yet to run their course.
    Bok captain John Smit believes South Africa won’t have an easy ride in the pool stages of this tournament.
    “Last time we were drawn against the top team from Britain – which was then England – and this time we have been drawn against Wales who are the Six Nations champions,” said Smit.
    “We also played two teams from the Pacific Islands and this time we have Fiji and an Oceania qualifier, which is very likely to be Samoa. The draw has a similar feel to last time and the good thing is that we will be well tested during the competition.
    “You don’t want to breeze through your pool and we certainly won’t have that luxury.”
    Coach Peter de Villiers was in London with Smit for the draw, and reinforced his captain’s statement.
    “It’s a tough draw and it will be a very physical pool, but I’m happy with the draw,” said De Villiers. “We’ll be monitoring these nations’ progress over the coming months but we know what they are capable of when they are on song.
    “Wales will only go from strength to strength and we know the Pacific Islands produce outstanding players. We only have to look back to last year’s World Cup to know what a threat they can pose.”
    Pool A sees New Zealand and France vying for the premier position in a rematch of the 2007 quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium. Tonga will earn a respectable third-placed pool finish yet again, presumably ahead of Canada and Japan, likely candidates to occupy Americas 1 and Asia 1’s Pool A slots.
    Pool B is not quite a ‘Pool of Death’ but will see an interesting scrap between Argentina, England and Scotland for knockout places. Pool C is potentially tougher as it contains Australia and Ireland, and if Italy raise their game they could be a force.
    POOL A
    New Zealand
    France
    Tonga
    Americas 1
    Asia 1
    POOL B
    Argentina
    England
    Scotland
    Europe 1
    Play-off winner
    POOL C
    Australia
    Ireland
    Italy
    Europe 2
    Americas 2
    POOL D
    South Africa
    Wales
    Fiji
    Oceania 1
    Africa 1


    Source : keo.co.za

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Wales are currently the Six Nations champions and on present form look likely to retain the title in 2009. They are still some way off matching the Boks, and given that Peter de Villiers’s charges will improve over the next two years, South Africa should feel confident about topping this pool.
    I don't agree with that, I think Wales could take that game.

    And why is it taken that SA will improve over the next 2yrs and, by implication, Wales won't? Very strange comment that one; there's nothing at this stage to suggest that either team will be better (or worse) come 2011 but if I had to guess my money would be on Wales as they've already shown improvement and have more room to further improve. Of the NH teams they are currently the ones best placed to foot it with the SH lot.

  3. #3
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^
    good post Ant.


    the Wales group will almost definitely include Namibia and Samoa.

    Fiji, Samoa and the likes have traditionally caused problems for us, but I think Gatland has taken us way beyond that level now and I am not remotely worried about those 2 games.

    it's very early days, but I think we'll be there or thereabouts with the Southern hemisphere by 2011.
    Last edited by ChiangMai noon; 03-12-2008 at 08:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    it's very early days, but I think we'll be there or thereabouts with the Southern hemisphere by 2011.
    On the basis of the most recent evidence you'd be right. Realistically all Wales needs to do is start strigning together 80min efforts, dial back the passion some perhaps.

    But also as you say it's way early anyways, a lot can happen in the next 2yrs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Wales are currently the Six Nations champions and on present form look likely to retain the title in 2009. They are still some way off matching the Boks, and given that Peter de Villiers’s charges will improve over the next two years, South Africa should feel confident about topping this pool.
    I don't agree with that, I think Wales could take that game.

    And why is it taken that SA will improve over the next 2yrs and, by implication, Wales won't?
    This is taken from an SA website - obvioudly they have to say that! Seriously though, with two Pacific teams there will be some tough games (as SA found out last year); but also good preperstion for the knockout stages.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKKBoet View Post
    This is taken from an SA website - obvioudly they have to say that!
    Yeah noted that, the Keo site no less!
    Seriously though, with two Pacific teams there will be some tough games (as SA found out last year); but also good preperstion for the knockout stages.
    I think all the pools look pretty good at this stage, relatively well-balanced as far as these things go.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BKKBoet View Post
    This is taken from an SA website - obvioudly they have to say that!
    Yeah noted that, the Keo site no less!
    Seriously though, with two Pacific teams there will be some tough games (as SA found out last year); but also good preperstion for the knockout stages.
    I think all the pools look pretty good at this stage, relatively well-balanced as far as these things go.
    Yeah looking forward to it - only another 2 1/2 years to wait!

  8. #8
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    England were incredibly fortunate to avoid one of the big 3.


    kunts

  9. #9
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    I wonder if we can do better than Aussie & NZ again with a terrible team?

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