‘Robbie said it's really hard to call and went through all the permutations he sees as possible out loud. He says he can see a world in which Scotland - who he claims have been flying under the radar despite being ranked 5 in the world - beat the other two. He says he could equally see Ireland topping the group, or a world in which the Springboks don’t click and go out in the pool stage. To be fair to him, he posed this last thought before the Springboks demolished the All Blacks in their pre-tournament warm up test.
Although Squidge admits there is a possibility that all three beat each other and it comes down to points, when push came to shove he admitted his gut feeling was that South Africa would win the group and Ireland would come second. He also noted that despite the influx of new talent, he does not see Tonga causing an upset in this group, noting that the increased firepower may not have come in the right places - flair players instead of dominant forwards.
So, who does Squidge think will win the Rugby World Cup? He says that no one really has any idea. For him, only Australia under Eddie Jones and Wales under Warren Gatland have a real shot at making the final from the weaker side of the pool. He says either team could win it all, the Wallabies would need a tactical masterclass from Jones, whereas he thinks Wales could win “playing the most boring rugby ever seen,” although he admits that he may be saying that mostly because he is Welsh.
When pressed for an answer Squidge said he sees New Zealand with the best chance of winning (again, before they were mauled by South Africa). He says it feels like the All Blacks would be the side “most comfortable getting to the final,” while exerting the least emotion. He says that France and Ireland are the other title contenders, but he says the emotional drain could take a toll on France and Ireland has a very tough run to the final.’
Those are extracts from an article. He also picked Libbok as one of the backs to look out for in the tournament. The one thing he did get right was picking Ox as one of the forwards to look out for. For the rest his predictions were wrong pretty much every time.
I guess it’s easier pouring over the tapes after the game and identifying possible reasons the teams that won were successful.