After trying to write our WRWC2017 Day 1 Talking Points in a manner that would “get down with the kids” we were somewhat disappointed when our old and crusty reader bombarded us with a text saying they couldn’t find the actual scores on “Ireland’s premier Women’s Rugby website”. [That’s us for any new readers out there!]
So for easy reference here are the scores from yesterdays action:
|Match||Team 1||Score||Team 2||Pool|
|Match 7||New Zealand||121 – 0||Hong Kong||A|
|Match 8||England||56 – 13||Italy||B|
|Match 9||USA||43 – 0||Spain||B|
|Match 10||Canada||15 – 0||Wales||A|
|Match 11||Ireland||24 – 12||Japan||C|
|Match 12||France||48 – 0||Australia||C|
It was a good day at the office for New Zealand, England and the USA with all three teams securing maximum points to add to their bonus point wins from Day1.
The USA’s win against Spain sees them slip quietly into the top four and they would be favourites to progress to the semi-finals ahead of the other second placed teams, Canada and Ireland. Of course, any of the six winning sides from the opening two days of competition can still qualify for a semi-final spot if they win their final pool match on Thursday..
However the current standings, for the top six sides, after Match Day 2 are as follows:
This would give semi-finals of New Zealand v USA and France v England. However, with bonus points awarded for tries scored and/or for a loss of less than 7 points there are still quite a few permutations for five of the top six sides. The only side with absolute clarity for what they need to do is Ireland, who must beat France to go through as pool winners as there is no way they can progress to the semi finals without a win.
Canada, who will be disappointed that they didn’t secure a try bonus against a much improved Wales, will need to get at least one point from their game against New Zealand and hope that France and England are comfortable winners in their matches and that the USA do not pick up a try bonus or a losing bonus.
It all gets very complicated and I think there are still 12 possible variations as to the make up of the semi finals so all any team can do to ensure they go through is to win their next match! Easy!
As for team performances we have the following FRU Table of Greatness based on matches played so far:
- England. Cool calm and collected as they continue to stroll through the tournament. They are still the team to beat.
- New Zealand. They leapfrog Canada due to their Day 1 performance against Wales being put into better perspective. They look to be really enjoying the tournament off the field but remain ruthless on it.
- France. Also leapfrog Canada and will have everyone worried after stringing together two impressive performances. They are now our new tournament outsiders. (Sorry Canada 🙁 )
- Canada. Didn’t follow up their Day 1 performance with another bonus point win and frankly looked very disjointed against a determined Wales. I think their minds were on the decider against New Zealand. However Canada have a least one major upset in their tank, the only problem is that they now need two!
- USA. They continue to improve and will only get better. Solid chance of getting to the semi-finals which would be a major achievement.
- Ireland. Have really struggled against lower ranked opposition but have still recorded two wins. Need to really up their game if they are to bother France.
- Wales. Really unfortunate to have played two of the top three ranked teams but have not disgraced themselves. Should clock up a few wins in the remainder of the tournament.
- Australia. Given a lesson by France but the inexperienced side have too many good players not to pick up a result or two.
- Japan. Well coached and well resourced, they should continue to punch above their weight. However their weight and height disadvantage will continue to count against them.
- Italy. Have been a disappointment but should have enough forward firepower to see off a meaningful challenge from Spain.
- Spain. Have also disappointed but the main game they will have been focusing on since qualification will be that all important match against Italy. It should be a cracker!
- Hong Kong. Just here for the experience, but they have shown remarkable courage and commitment in their two drubbings by Canada and New Zealand. I’m afraid it won’t get much easier against Wales but they might get a couple of closer matches in the play-off stages.
The actual Pool standings are shown below: