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Ireland Not Qualifying Travesty


OMEGA

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How is it Ireland with 2 wins against Italy & Wales and a hard fought loss to an at Home PNG (4pts) don’t qualify while Samoa who were convincingly beaten by NZ & Tonga and only drew with a shot to bits and outclassed Scotland (1pt) go through to the quarter finals.

Surely someone should have anticipated this and organised a fairer way to decide the runner up spots.

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The only way to do it would be a qualifying play off between 3rd in larger groups and 2nd in the smaller groups. The format is just silly as Ireland would surely have beaten any one of Samoa, Scotland, Lebanon or France. Oh well it is what it is and thankfully next world cup will be 4 groups of 4.

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To be fair, Samoa have massively underperformed. Up to this year, they were the closest to the top 3 hence why England played them mid season. Ironically, going into the tournament from a qualification point, Tonga were the 4th seed in that group.

Agree that unless we're going to go with 4 equal groups in 2021 with 2 progressing from each, groups B and C could do with balancing out. Either that or we go with a format similar to the European championship football where a number of best 3rd places (or in our case second places in group C and D) go through. However, by that context, Ireland and Italy would have gone through rather than Samoa and Lebanon. In 2013 Tonga were in the same position as Ireland, showing the flaws in having 2 cross group games. Its clear that playing the USA at home (as PNG did) is far easier than playing Italy in Cairns.

No solution is perfect, but hopefully lessons will be learned for 2021.

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they have tried these lopsided groups as well as using the "supergroup" in 2008 obviously to keep lesser nations from the big three and to avoid large scores.

Realistically PNG and Fiji were miles ahead of the other nations in their group those close games didnt come. The organisers must have known that PNG would be hard to stop and of course Fiji have been the fourth best nation at the last two World cups. IMO thats the most convoluted thing about this system

The other problem thats unearthed itself is the Samoa anomoly of them not winning a game but qualifying. Drawn games  are fairly rare in rugby so perhaps they werent banking on this happening

hopefully future competitions will see more "traditional" groups of four with two through from each group.

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Samoa and Lebanon progress while Ireland go home

  • Ireland 4 comp pts, Samoa 1pt, Lebanon 2pts
  • Ireland 2nd in their group Samoa & Lebanon 3rd in theirs
  • Irland +44 pts diff, Samoa -44, Lebanon -42

I don’t care, there’s no justification in logic or common sense in this, it just makes a mockery of the group qualification phase

48EF0EBF-C289-400D-A375-608BAEC69089.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

Samoa and Lebanon progress while Ireland go home

  • Ireland 4 comp pts, Samoa 1pt, Lebanon 2pts
  • Ireland 2nd in their group Samoa & Lebanon 3rd in theirs
  • Irland +44 pts diff, Samoa -44, Lebanon -42

I don’t care, there’s no justification in logic or common sense in this, it just makes a mockery of the group qualification phase

48EF0EBF-C289-400D-A375-608BAEC69089.jpeg

It does show up the deficiencies in this system for sure hopefully like I say we can go back to groups of 4/5 with two qualifiers in each as nations like PNG, Fiji Tonga and Ireland keep their players and stay strong

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8 minutes ago, Marv Woodburn said:

It does show up the deficiencies in this system for sure hopefully like I say we can go back to groups of 4/5 with two qualifiers in each as nations like PNG, Fiji Tonga and Ireland keep their players and stay strong

The good thing about Ireland is their squad isn’t based on NRL heritage players so keeping the nucleus together shouldn’t be too hard.

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17 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

The good thing about Ireland is their squad isn’t based on NRL heritage players so keeping the nucleus together shouldn’t be too hard.

I'm confused. What's the difference between a team of NRL heritage players and a team of heritage SL and Champs players, in terms of keeping the nucleus together?

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19 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

The good thing about Ireland is their squad isn’t based on NRL heritage players so keeping the nucleus together shouldn’t be too hard.

 

1 minute ago, Farmduck said:

I'm confused. What's the difference between a team of NRL heritage players and a team of heritage SL and Champs players, in terms of keeping the nucleus together?

you beat me to it. I'm not sure some of these guys will put their hand up to play in Ireland in the Euro cup next november or whenever.

Ireland also had a decent side in 08 until some of the player were picked off by England, that will be Irelands Issue again here I think

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7 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

The OP conveniently forgets that Samoa was in a much more difficult group with much stronger opposition than Ireland.

Yes, Ireland and Fiji were in the same group as Engand in the last WC and PNG were lambs to the slaughter in 08 so I guess its swings and roundabouts 

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I agree with the thrust of the thread. It isn't fair that Ireland have gone out with a 2-1 record, and conceivably they could have drawn last week and still they would have gone out. But it wouldn't have been fair, though, to compare their fixtures with those of, say, Lebanon or Samoa.

I would prefer:

Groups A and B: top two go through, and best third-place record. On that basis Samoa would have gone out, although arguably they would have tried a bit harder yesterday if they knew they not only had to win but beat Lebanon's record.

Groups C and D: top team goes through, and best second-place record.

On that basis Ireland progress and Samoa would have gone out, although arguably they would have tried a bit harder yesterday if they knew they not only had to win but beat Lebanon's record.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

Its not ideal but i would fancy Samoa to beat Ireland and they have had a much tougher run of games. It makes sense and i understand why but its not a great look.

Shouldnt happen in the same way in 2012 with the move to 16 sides, but im not sure what format we will go with next time. 4 equal groups didnt really work in 2000 and i dont think would work now.

Its a difficult circle to square and im not sure 16 isnt harder to fit in.

This is a fair assessment. In an ideal world 4 equal groups would be great but in doing that you're just creating more mismatches and giving the best 3/4 easy games for a few weeks. 

The real problem has been that the seeding is made extremely difficult by the lack of real internationals in-between the World Cups. Outside of the big 3, the World Cup becomes about who can scrape the best squad together for the tournament. Scotland were in Group B based on results including drawing with NZ last year. A lot of the heritage countries play few internationals with very different squads for the intervening 4 years.

Even if we move to 4 groups there'll still be a seeding problem with the heritage countries. 

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58 minutes ago, Farmduck said:

I'm confused. What's the difference between a team of NRL heritage players and a team of heritage SL and Champs players, in terms of keeping the nucleus together?

In a word, Availability

 If a one off Test/friendly 4Ns or World Cup is held in the Northern hemisphere then the majority if not all would be more likely to be available. Beyond that if Ireland want to conduct ‘in seasons training get together then it’s unlikely that NRL heritage players would be released.

I think in Scotland’s case we’ve seen how the loss of NRL. Based players effect a squad 

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The problem with going back to 4 groups of 4 and splitting the big teams up is that unless England get to a final, they will only be able to play Oz or nz but not both. With a pretty scarce international calendar already, do we really want even less games against strong nations? 

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Also, it wasn't too long ago that Ireland were finishing dead last in the European Cup and were being labelled as basket cases. If all the players turning up when there is a jolly to Oz on the table actually bothered to put their hands up every time they'd probably have a much better ranking and would have got a better draw. That also goes for the wales/Scotland eligible players. 

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7 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

The problem with going back to 4 groups of 4 and splitting the big teams up is that unless England get to a final, they will only be able to play Oz or nz but not both. With a pretty scarce international calendar already, do we really want even less games against strong nations? 

We may not play the Kiwis this tournament despite being in the same group as the Aussies.

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5 hours ago, Farmduck said:

I'm confused. What's the difference between a team of NRL heritage players and a team of heritage SL and Champs players, in terms of keeping the nucleus together?

 

4 hours ago, OMEGA said:

In a word, Availability

 If a one off Test/friendly 4Ns or World Cup is held in the Northern hemisphere then the majority if not all would be more likely to be available. Beyond that if Ireland want to conduct ‘in seasons training get together then it’s unlikely that NRL heritage players would be released.

I think in Scotland’s case we’ve seen how the loss of NRL. Based players effect a squad 

Ireland have played in the European Cup every year since the last World Cup and many of those SL players were nowhere to be seen. Then NRL-based James Hasson, Api Pewhairangi and Rory Kostjasyn all flew over from Australia to play for Ireland in non-WC events while Kyle Amor and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook were still hoping for their England call-ups.

The point of the weird structure is to try to avoid mis-matches. I don't think anyone expected Ireland to be as good as they have been because this Ireland team is vastly different to the one we have seen over the last four years. If Ireland had been in Samoa's group and hadn't had the last minute additions that made us competitive we would have suffered the same fate as Wales. As Maximus Decimus said above, it's impossible to have proper seeding when squads change so dramatically between World Cups.

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So with 4 groups of 4, how should it be structured? Two super groups with the top 3 qualifying and then two lesser groups with only the group winners qualifying? It is tricky to know what format is best, although I am certain that dividing up the big three into different groups is not the answer.

Group A
Australia
Tonga
Ireland
United States

Group B
England
New Zealand
Scotland
Wales

Group C
Fiji
Lebanon
France
Qualifier

Group D
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Italy
Qualifier

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4 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Four groups of 4 with top two through from each group would be the fairest way. Yes there'll be some blowouts but that happens in the union world cup too. Who will be the two extra countries though? Canada or Jamaica, plus an African qualifier? 

Should be another North American and another European. With Lebanon having automatic qualification, South Africa should go in either Europe or North American qualifying. 

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25 minutes ago, eal said:

So with 4 groups of 4, how should it be structured? Two super groups with the top 3 qualifying and then two lesser groups with only the group winners qualifying? It is tricky to know what format is best, although I am certain that dividing up the big three into different groups is not the answer.

Group A
Australia
Tonga
Ireland
United States

Group B
England
New Zealand
Scotland
Wales

Group C
Fiji
Lebanon
France
Qualifier

Group D
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Italy
Qualifier

If they go to 16 teams, I don't think they can do anything else but split it into 4 equal groups with the top two going through from each. Although they did this in 2000 they somehow shoe horned England and Australia into the same group which was pretty bizarre but then again they also thought including NZ Maori was a sensible idea.

I've created a possible group list based on current strength; I've randomly picked the teams. This has the semi-finalists as seed 1, quarter-finalists as seed 2 and then had the remaining teams as seed 3 apart from USA and Wales who join Canada and Serbia say as 4th seeds.

 

Group 1

England

PNG

Scotland

USA

 

Group 2

Tonga

Lebanon

Italy

Serbia

 

Group 3

New Zealand

Fiji

France

Wales

 

Group 4

Australia

Samoa

Ireland

Canada

 

From a competitive point of view it isn't that bad. My concern would be about where are the standout games? Out of the opening 24 games there would be few to really get the heart racing. There are a few with a chance of small chance of upset like NZ-Fiji, Eng-PNG or Australia-Samoa but there are no truly big games involving the big nations. In reality on current form it would be a procession for the 4 top seeds.

There would be some probable competitive games in the other games like Lebanon-Italy, Samoa-Ireland or France-Wales but these would still be lesser events. What I suspect they will do is to handpick games where possible for instance moving Samoa into Tonga's group.

Then of course there are the horror shows. I'm talking Australia-Canada, Tonga-Serbia and England-USA. We like to talk about how other sports have mismatches and they do but we already have enough mismatches with a skewed format. Under this format we could have as many as 16+ of the opening games being a victory by more than 30 points.

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50 minutes ago, eal said:

So with 4 groups of 4, how should it be structured? Two super groups with the top 3 qualifying and then two lesser groups with only the group winners qualifying? It is tricky to know what format is best, although I am certain that dividing up the big three into different groups is not the answer.

Group A
Australia
Tonga
Ireland
United States

Group B
England
New Zealand
Scotland
Wales

Group C
Fiji
Lebanon
France
Qualifier

Group D
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Italy
Qualifier

I've put together a possible 16-team seeded group format:

Group A - three teams advance to quarter-finals

Previous Winner, highest ranked previous Semi-finalist, highest ranked previous Quarter-finalist, highest ranked qualifier

Group B - two teams advance to quarter-finals

Other previous Semi-finalist, third highest ranked previous Quarter-finalist, fourth and fifth highest ranked qualifiers

Group C - two teams advance to quarter-finals

Previous Runner-up, second highest ranked previous Quarter-finalist, second and third highest ranked qualifiers

Group D - one team advances to quarter-finals

Lowest ranked previous Quarter-finalist, three lowest-ranked qualifiers

* Quarter-finals use a bracket system, third from Group A shifts to the other bracket

Quarter-Finals

A 1st Group A vs. 2nd Group B
B 1st Group B vs. 2nd Group A
C 1st Group C vs. 3rd Group A
D 1st Group D vs. 2nd Group C

Semi-Finals

E Winner A vs. Winner B
F Winner C vs. Winner D

Final

G Winner E vs. Winner F

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