I like the format for this one - the only unforeseeable is how many NRL/SL players will switch allegiance to the minnow teams come world cup time. This results in weaker teams becoming stronger, so skews the format. This also means we will not see many blow-outs from now on - the biggest one this years was 62 points - not too bad given the teams involved.
If for 2017 we have more of the same, and personally i think we will as the International teams get bigger I would like to see 4 groups of 4 (for this example lets say Lebanon and Jamaica get through as they will be able to draw from NRL/SL players)
Group 1 - Australia, Samoa, Wales, Italy
Group 2 - NZ, France, Tonga, PNG
Group 3 - Eng, Scot, CI, Leb
Group 4 - Fiji, USA, Ireland, Jam
Sure, Aus, NZ, Eng should come through the group stages unbeaten and putting 30-40 points on each team, but like we have seen with this WC the most exciting matches involve the other teams. All groups will be really competitive for the second place spot and would see some cracking match ups.
QF's would see
Aus vs France
NZ vs Samoa
Eng vs USA
Fiji vs Scot
Once again some cracking matches there, with only the Aus/France a walkover
Semi's - Aus/NZ, Eng/Fiji
Final - could be any two of these 4.
We need to expand - slowly - but also have a one country rule.