Rugby World Cup – on to the Quarters
With some outstanding matches and a few blowouts, the pairings are set for the eight teams entering the knockout phase for the Rugby World Cup. The Quarterfinal matches are:
- Australia vs. England
- New Zealand vs. France
- South Africa vs. Fiji
- Argentina vs. Scotland
England had won its way in on Friday with a 36-20 win over Tonga, with Jonny Wilkinson scoring two penalties, two conversions and two drops to move to within 5 points of Scotlands Gavin Hastings for the RWC points lead. England plays long time rival Australia in what would have been a runaway for the Wallabies if not for the return from injury of Wilkinson which seems to have stepped up the play of the entire England side.
France beat up on Georgia, but had to settle for a runner-up pool D slot when Argentina, who beat France in the opening RWC match, beat Ireland 30-15. France will now have the fun and enjoyment of playing the All-Blacks, and will not even enjoy home field advantage, playing in the only quaterfinal game not on French soil. This one could get ugly.
Fiji depress Welsh everywhere by beating Wales 38-34 in one of the best matches thus far, and setting themselves up with a very interesting match with South Africa. Fiji is playing well, as are the Springboks so this should be an excellent match.
In what my friend Gordon (who attended the match) described as “piss-poor boring rugby”, Scotland played their way to a date with Argentina by beating Italy 18-16 by virtue of Chris Patterson’s six-for-six penalty kicks. Aye, Gordon, but your just damn glad they are moving on. This too should be an interesting match.