The Wallabies will reach the 2019 Rugby World Cup final

David Lord Columnist

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    Little wonder Wallaby coach Michael Cheika sported a broad smile sitting next to his former Randwick teammate Eddie Jones, now coach of England, at Kyoto during the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw this week.

    The men in gold had just been handed two golden wands.

    Not only did the Wallabies end up with a dream draw, but if the sudden-death format is the same as 2015, the Wallabies will be in the bottom half with Ireland, leaving the All Blacks and England to battle out the top half.

    An All Black-Wallaby final, a repeat of 2015?

    It makes no sense having the draw two years, four months, and ten days out from the Rugby World Cup kick-off, but it’s sensible now from the Wallabies’ point of view.

    Here’s how the draw unfolded, with current world rankings in brackets.

    Ireland (4) in Pool A.
    All Blacks (1) – Pool B.
    England (2) – Pool C.
    And the Wallabies (3) – Pool D

    Then the next four rankings.

    Scotland (5) – Pool A.
    Boks (7) – Pool B
    France (6) – Pool C,
    And Wales (8) – Pool D.

    The next four:

    Japan (11) host, pre-qualified from 2015 – Pool A.
    Italy (15) – pre-qualified from 2015 – Pool B.
    Pumas (9) – Pool C
    And Georgia (12) – pre-qualified from 2015 – Pool D.

    If the knock-out format is the same as 2015:

    Quarterfinals
    All Blacks – winner of Pool B
    Scotland or Japan – second in Pool A.

    England – winner of Pool C
    Wales – second in Pool D.

    Walabies – winner of Pool D
    Pumas – second in Pool C.

    Ireland – winner of Pool A
    Boks – second in Pool B.

    Semi-finals
    All Blacks
    England

    Wallabies
    Ireland

    The Wallaby prediction is based on Cheika whipping his Wallaby squad into international standard, far removed from their pitiful performances during this year’s Super Rugby.

    Michael Cheika laughing

    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    It’s been embarrassing watching all five Australia franchises stumble and bumble through the tournament with precious few moments of quality.

    To prove the point, not one of the five are in the black on points for and against.

    The Brumbies are all square with 194 for, and 194 against.

    The Waratahs are 80 behind with 249 for, and 329 against.

    The Force is 82 adrift with 168 for, and 250 against.

    The Reds are 122 in debit with 204 for, and 326 against.

    And the Rebels are way behind by 238 with just 116 for, and 354 against.

    It’s been widely reported the Australians haven’t won a game in 17 against their Kiwi counterparts this season, but it’s never been mentioned by how much.

    Brumbies – 0/4 – 59 for – 109 against.
    Rebels – 0/4 – 50 – 205.
    Force – 0/3 – 39 – 85.
    Reds – 0/3 – 52 – 102.
    And Waratahs – 0/3 – 83 – 119.

    Those totals – 0/17 – 283 – 620, meaning the Kiwis have crushed the Australians by a massive 337 points.

    If the Australians don’t feel humiliated, they damn well should.

    The stats aren’t that much better against the South African Conference:

    Reds – 2/2 – 97 – 126.
    Force – 1/2 – 73 – 102.
    Rebels – 0/2/1 – 22 – 100.
    Brumbies – 0/1 – 22 – 27.
    And the Waratahs – 0/3 – 74 – 118.

    In 14 games the stats read 3/10/1 – 308 – 473 – the difference 165.

    So it won’t come as any surprise the biggest success has been within the Australian Conference, where it is of course dead square across the board.

    Waratahs – 3/1 – 92 – 92.
    Brumbies – 3/1 – 113 – 58.
    Rebels – 1/1 – 44 – 49.
    Force – 1/2 – 56 – 63.
    And the Reds – 0/3 – 55 – 98.

    Of the 16 games played within the Australian Conference it’s 8/8 and 360 – 360.

    Realistically, not one Australian side deserves to be in the play-offs, but the Conference winner automatically gets a start.

    But whoever it is won’t last long.

    Roll on 2019.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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