> OK let us try and rank the teams for WC99
I couldn't really follow all your numbers there, Johan, but here's how the
cup is shaping up, with my picks in brackets, and a few guesses because as
far as I know the organisers still haven't allocated some of the positions.
There are five pools of four. The winners go straight through to the quarter
finals. Pool A (South Africa), Pool B (New Zealand -- I hope), Pool C
(France), Pool D (Argentina?) Pool E (Australia?).
A series of play offs is needed to decide the quarter final spots from amongst
the runners up.
The play offs are:
F - Runner Up E (Ireland) v Third Best (Canada? Tonga? Fiji? Let's say Canada)
G - Runner Up A (Scotland) v Runner Up D (Wales)
H - Runner Up B (England) v Runner Up C (Western Samoa?)
J - Winner A (South Africa) v H (England)
K - Winner B (New Zealand) v G (Scotland)
L - Winner C (France) v F (Ireland)
M - Winner D (Argentina?) v Winner E (Australia?)
The SH Superpowers should all stroll home against weak opposition. You have
to feel sorry for England, copping South Africa, while the other member of
the Big Five, France, gets an easy win over Ireland. Still, you never know
with the Irish, do you?
J (South Africa) v M (Australia)
K (New Zealand) v L (France)
Hallelujah! NZ gets the easy option. At least, I hope it's an easy option.
On current form most observers would probably say -
Australia v New Zealand.
And on current form, Australia to win it.
That is not what I think will happen. I think that South Africa will rise to
the occasion and beat Australia who won't have the experience to handle the
pressure. We will have another South Africa-New Zealand final, and I think
New Zealand will win it. Because they will be motivated by the ***s
of this year, they will have their best players back in form, and new players
of a suitable calibre.
I'm sure that's what it said in my crystal ball. Well, you didn't really
expect any different, did you?
-- Rick Boyd
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