NEW YORK, NY – We at RWU are one large family. We care and tease each other as you would your sibling or cousin. This week the RWU family had unprecedented family situation’s with our real families that kept us off the keyboard. This is why we were unable to be more timely regarding our Womens Rugby World Cup, match day recap. So to encompass both we have a recap of the events of matchday 2 and a preview of matchday 3.
When this pool was announced it was seen as a straight shootout between Canada and England to top the pool. It has played out as expected. Despite the pride and passion showed by Spain and Samoa, both sides have come up short against the top 2. Matchday 2 saw almost identical crushings of the minnows by the two front runners. England defeated Spain 45-5 while Canada won 42-7 against Samoa.
Occasionally there are moments in rugby that are heard around the world. There was such a result on matchday 2 that reverberated so loud, it grab the attention of those halfway across the globe that only focus on the men’s game. The Irish women did something that the Irish men have yet to do. They beat New Zealand. The 4 time champion, AIG New Zealand Black Ferns had their first lost ever in pool play. The Ferns may have been a bit rusty from their demolition of Kazakhstan on matchday 1 but the Irish lasses were hardened by their nip and tuck battle against the USA Eagles. The Irish ladies played as if they were being cheered on by the Celtic Queen Boudica, herself, and fought tooth and nail to win 17-14. Meanwhile the USA Eagles built upon their quality performance against Ireland, despite falling short, and thrashed a resilient Kazakhstan side, 47-7.
Similar to pool A, pool C is a comprised of 2 minnows and 2 frontrunners. Try as they might, Wales and South Africa are no match for the hosts, France, and Australia. The former 2 have been dominated in there matches by the latter 2. Matchday 2 was no different as France steamrolled South Africa 55-3 and Australia put Wales away 25-3.
The WRWC has playoffs for 1st place between the top 4 teams, 5th place between the 5-8th place teams, 9th place between the 9th-12th place teams. So all the teams playing will get a chance to win a playoff. However, where each team ends up in pool play will be interesting as the final matchday has some interesting match-ups. With the top 3 seeds and the best 2nd place team going into the top 4 they will be a fierce battle between 7 teams for those 4 seeds.
The two giants of the pool, Canada and England will meet. England are the favorites but after the upset of New Zealand, nothing can be taken for granted. Odds are on England edging by but with Canada consistently improving it will be a great match. Spain and Samoa fight it out to find out whether they will be fighting for 5th or 9th place.
This is essentially the Pool of Death. With 3 of the top nations in World Rugby, it was known that unfortunately one maybe two of the teams would be in the battle for 5th place. With Ireland beating the USA by 5 points then New Zealand by 3 points then it means the USA should lose by 2 points. We all wish that rugby was the logical but it is not. Ireland will destroy Kazakhstan, that much is given, but no one ever imagined the Black Ferns missing out on the top 4 but it is also now possible that the USA could pull a surprise. Stay tuned.
Like their twin Pool A, Pool C will finally see the two heavyweights of Australia and France face off. It will be a tight face off but the home side France has to be the favorites in the match up. Wales and South Africa will fight out to avoid the Wooden Spoon.
Here is USA Womens Coach Pete Steinberg discussing the win over Kazakhstan:
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