The world has shifted its focus to Japan. The Rugby World Cup is what we will talk about, think about and dream about for the next couple of weeks. This time around, there is no certainty; no real victors can be forecasted. It is going to be a fierce battle, and the world rankings are confusing, to say the least, so are the sports betting odds. Wallaby legends George Smith, Owen Finegan, Greg Martin and Drew Mitchell believe that this is going to be one of the closest cups in the recent history of the Webb Ellis trophy. This is what they think about the upcoming battle.
Pick of Favourites
Even though the All Blacks have recently been dethroned form their top position on the world rankings, Wales, nor Ireland are in the group which they believe are the most productive teams to win the cup. After staying at the top for a decade, Wales bumped them from that position, then they took it back and entering the RWC, Ireland was in a leading position.
These Aussie rugby legends consider the world rankings to be confusing at this stage and stated that ranking would only have meaning once again after the final score has been settled in early November. Drew Mitchell, current Fox Sports rugby commentator and the most productive World Cup try-scorer, plainly stated that the world rankings are ridiculous. Their picking list includes Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England.
New Zealand Still They’re Favourite
With a complete disregard with the current ranking, they still see New Zealand as the top dogs entering the tournament, said Greg Martin, the former fullback for the Wallabies. Others do value the rankings, and this will possibly create some level of doubt in the All Black camp. Even more so it will give the competition greater confidence going in against the dethroned team. The Wallabies knows that they can win the All Black, Martin said.
Australia Never Finish Early
Over the entire history of the Rugby World Cup, Australia has never left the battle before the quarterfinals. It is then during playing for a much larger stage during the final phases of the cup, which the Wallabies manages to outshine the rest. With the All Blacks now entering in a position where their dominance is cracked wide open, winning the cup is free territory, and it might as well be the Wallabies who step out victoriously.
The legends also pointed out the fact the playing for a home crowd is another factor which needs to be taken into account. This year none of the most promising teams has that advantage. Japan is neutral territory, and that evens up the possibilities and once again even widens up the options even further, Finegan commented. George Smith, 111-Test legend, mentioned that Japan might also create a stir fuelled by the support of playing on home territory.