Saturday, July 14, 2012

TEST RUGBY IN ASIA: World Cup Qualifying Asia Nations Division 1 Playoff

India v Thailand in Bangkok (WCQ Asia Asia Nations Div.1 Playoff)

Venue: Thephasdin Stadium

Referee: Harada Takashi (Japan)

Surprisingly there has been very little publicity about this game on the net. The Thai rugby web site acknowledges the game is on and that’s it.

Thailand won the Asia Nations Division 2 tournement held recently in Kuala Lumpur.At the same time India were winning Division 3. As per the World Cup qualifying process the winners of Division 2 and 3 were to play for the right to go to Division 1 for 2013. This would enable the Division 3 winner to leap-frog straight to Division 1 and speed up its qualifying chances.

The favourite has to be Thailand as they have been playing at a higher level of test rugby whilst hosting the fixture. At this level of rugby home ground is a big advantage.

Previous Encounters
04.05.2011 Thailand 37-24 in Bangkok (Asia Nations Div.2, Semi-final)
11.06.2008 Thailand 30-22 in Bangkok (WCQ Asia R1; Asia Nat. Div.2)
07.06.2006 Thailand 50-28 in Bangkok (Asia Tournament, Div 4)
26.06.2004 Thailand 86-12 in Bangkok (Asia Tournament Div.4)
16.11.2002 Thailand 67-10 in Bangkok (18th Asia Champ.Div.2, Pool 2)

These two teams first met in 1998. Thailand won 90-6. Results indicate that India, as a rugby test nations, has made considerable progress since 1998

GWC Rugby Rankings
Thailand 10th, India 13th

IRB Ranking Points
Thailand 42.90, India 41.35

Prediction: Thailand by 13 points

59[1]  19[1]

Teams not yet available

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