Sunday, June 20, 2010

RUGBY TOURNAMENT: IRB Nations Cup, The Final Day

This tournament is being held in Bucharest, Romania. It is an important springboard for Tier 2 nations as they pit themselves against like-ranked nations and the A teams of Tier 1 nations.

Georgia v Namibia
Italy A v Romania
Argentina A v Scotland A

Namibia, on eight points, looks in a healthy position to take or at least share the title with Italy 'A'. Both teams remain undefeated. What a pity this competition is not organised along the lines of the Churchill Cup, where you actually get the two best teams in a final. This tournament needs just one more playing day to achieve that.

Georgia and Namibia has faced each other twice before. The last time was during the 2007 Rugby World Cup when both were in Pool D. Georgia were too strong that day, winning 30-0. They also won 26-18 in the IRB Nations Cup of 2007, held in Bucharest. Georgia has an historical advantage but I think Namibia could just pip them on form.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Georgia 17th, Namibia 18th
IRB Rankings-Georgia 15th (69.09), Namibia 22nd (60.98)

Romania has improved considerably from their poor performance on day 1 and could well push the Italians closely. Italy A is the form side and should prevail.

A disappointing Scotland A, who won the tournament last year, will fight for the scraps with an Argentina A side that is also not as strong as it usually is. (I think the real A side was kept in Buenos Aires to play the Friday night game against France.)

Namibia by 1 v Georgia
Italy A by 3 v Romania
Scotland A by 8 v Argentina A

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