Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Name:
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

RWC 2007 - Oy Vey What a Draw!

The 2007 Draw for The Rugby World Cup has been held. The news doesn't bode well for Tom Billups, coach of The USA Eagles. The US has traditionally locked down the number three rank in the Americas qualifying zone. Argentina RFC owns the Hemisphere, Canada grinds out second, and the US limps in 3rd and thereby avoids the repechage.

According to this RWC draw, the Americas 3 slot gets served up on the alter to the RWC Champion "Pommies" and the sure to be resurgent South African "Springboks". Oceania 1 also gets to join in on the pile on. In RWC 2003, the Eagles gave it their all against Fiji only to suffer a heart-breaking 1 pt loss. Needless to say, this RWC did the Eagles no favors whatsoever.

The most importatnt matches our team will play will be the qualifiers. If the US is willing to throw their match against Uruguay, they can knuckle their way into a pool where they'll get thumped by the Mighty All Blacks and then bid for an upset against the much-maligned Scots, who have lost some of their rugby luster in recent years. After these two matches, the Eagles would probably go carnivorous on two non-Six Nations qualifiers from Europe.

If the Eagles decided to take the high-road to glory, they would need a top-notch performance to get past their grudge match with Canada RFC. This would "award" The Eagles the opportunity to take their lumps against the RWC Runner-Up "Wallabies". Matches against Wales, Oceania 2 and Asia 1 are all possibly winnable but we would need all three. We would need to send the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team to make it out of that pool.

Thus, throwing the Americas Zone qualifying turney and sneaking into an undermanned pool as a repachage seems the only way USA Rugby will make to a quarterfinal game in RWC 2007.



THE 2007 DRAW:

POOL A:
England
South Africa
Oceania 1
Americas 3
Repecharge 2

POOL B:
Australia
Wales
Oceania 2
Americas 2
Asia 1

POOL C:
New Zealand
Scotland
Europe 1
Europe 2
Repecharge 1

POOL D:
France
Ireland
Americas 1
Europe 3
Africa 1

The two repecharge spots will eventually be decided by play-offs - the winner of Africa 2 versus Europe 4 will face Americas 4 for 'Repecharge 1', with Oceania 3 and Asia 2 facing a showdown for 'Repecharge 2'.

This is the first time in the Rugby World Cup's 17-year history that the whole draw has not been based exclusively on seedings or rankings.

The 2007 RWC will take place in France - with Wales, Scotland and Ireland each hosting one first-round matches each. There will also be a quarter-final held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The 48-match tournament will run between September 7 to October 20.

"Reciprocals"

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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