Hemispheres Are Separated in World Cup Crunch Games
The 2011 Rugby World Cup has now entered its crunch time after some early nervy encounters in the Group Stages. We’ve now said goodbye to 12 nations who came here with anticipation, goals of various sizes and dreams of a nation. The remaining 8 nations have thrown up a surprising vision for the Quarter Finals with one half compiled of Northern Hemisphere nations, and the other section full of nations from the Southern Hemisphere. So who will win it all…….North or the South?
The Group Stages of the tournament threw up some shocks and surprises in what can sometimes be seen as practise games for the larger nations. The opening fixture in Group D between the reigning Champions of South Africa and the battling Wales outfit became one of the games of the tournament so far, with the Springboks winning by 1 point in controversial circumstances. The final round of fixtures also threw up an interesting result in tiny nation of Tonga beating the rugby heavyweights of France. We’ve also said a surprising goodbye to the gallant Scottish, who sadly finished 3rd in the so-called Group of Death.
However, the shock result of the tournament so far came on 17th September when Ireland beat the much fancied Australians 15-6 in Group C. It is this result that has thrown the tournament into a Northern and Southern Hemisphere divide as the Aussies were forced to be the 2nd placed team in their Group.
So which nations have successful ventured their way through the potential banana skins and tough battles into the knock-out phase of the tournament? Well representing the Northern Hemisphere are reigning Runner’s Up England, who will face France, and Ireland who will face the improving Welsh team. For the Southern Hemisphere we have the host nation, New Zealand, who will come up against Argentina, and quite possibly the tie of the round in South Africa versus Australia.
The Quarter Finals kick off this Saturday with the North, followed by the Southern teams playing on Sunday. The Semi Finals will follow next weekend, with the Final taking place the week after, Sunday 23rd October.
But who will win? The classy and well fancied Kiwis? The ever impressive South Africans? Will the English continue to rise and make the final for a third successive time? Or will we see a surprise possibly in the Irish or the Welsh? Tune in tomorrow morning to find out!
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