The Roar
The Roar


The rugby gods had the last say in Scotland’s loss

The ARU's new strategy plan is moving rugby in a much-needed direction. (EPA/ANDY RAIN)
Roar Pro
21st October, 2015

Let’s face it, anybody watching the last five minutes of the Wallabies’ games against Wales and Scotland would say that both British opponents should have won.

Wales should have been at the top of the Pool of Death and therefore met a less formidable opponent in the quarter-finals. Scotland should have sent the Wallabies home on the next plane.

But it was not to be. Why is that?

For the Wallabies getting out of the Welsh jail in the pool match is already bad enough. But getting out of the Scottish jail the following week? Luck? And both by the skins of the Wallabies’ feet?

It can’t be luck. Just ask the rugby gods. The answer to the above must lie with the stars, or rather with the rugby gods who might be also watching the World Cup from above with the millions of mortals around the world.

Here is one take of what is really taking place.

There is a belief, even if it appears superstitious, that if the rugby gods are to have their way, as they have done so far, they will also determine who will win the 2015 William Web Ellis Cup.

In saying that, it does not mean the rugby gods have any particular liking for Michael Cheika or Stephen Moore.

Sounds far-fetched? Not really, and here is why.


So far the rugby gods have made two laws that are yet to be breached by any team coming to the 2015 World Cup.

1. No team which has lost a game in the pool stage has won the World Cup
2. No team under a foreign coach has won the World Cup.

Before reaching the semi-final, Scotland and Wales already breached these two laws. Scotland and Wales each both lost one game in the pool stage. Secondly, the coaches of Scotland and Wales are Kiwis.

Let’s see what the rugby gods had to say about the quarter-finalists.

1. Wales versus Springboks
We know Wales were already finished, after the rugby gods didn’t allow them to score in those famous seven minutes when the Wallabies had only 13 men. Because of that, Wales had to meet up with the Springboks.

Both the Springboks and Wales lost one game in the pool stage going into the quarter-final. As far as the rugby gods are concerned, Wales have another problem. They have a foreign coach. So the rugby gods favoured the Springboks to go into the semi-final instead of Wales.

2. Scotland versus Wallabies
The Wallabies won all their pool matches and did not have a foreign coach. Scotland had lost one game in the pool matches and to make matters worse they had a foreign coach. We know what happened in the 78th minute of the game. The rugby gods intervened at the last moment to stop Scotland’s progression.

3. Ireland versus Argentina
Ireland won all of their pool matches, but they had a foreign coach. Argentina lost one game in the pool matches, but had their own national coach. On balance, somehow, the rugby gods favoured Argentina to move forward to the semi-final.


3. France versus All Blacks
France had lost one game in the pool matches, while the All Blacks won all of theirs. Both did not have foreign coaches, and so France were humiliated.

So will the whims and fancies of the rugby gods still hold true in 2015 for the semi-final matches?

Firstly, all four teams in the semi-finals do not have foreign coaches.

You take your pick on who will reach the final, but if the rugby gods are to have their way again in 2015 then Australia and the All Blacks, both unbeaten, will defeat Argentina and the Springboks, who have both lost once.

Which means, if the rugby gods are right, the likely scenario is a final between the All Blacks versus the Wallabies, given both won all their pool matches.

That does not prevent the Springboks and Argentina reaching the final, however. Past teams have lost a pool game but still made the final, only to fall at the last hurdle.

The prediction so far is that the All Blacks in all likelihood will be in the final.

But there is one problem for the All Blacks.


In the history of the World Cup, no defending champion has ever won the tournament. And the All Blacks, coming into the 2015 World Cup, are the defending champions.

The Wallabies are the only team coming into the semi-final without any encumbrances of the rugby gods.

However, in sports, there is always a first time.

As we mortals watch the semi-final and the final in the coming two weeks, we have to wait to find out whether the rugby gods will hold their nerves and still dictate the outcome of the game, or whether history will be made.

You see, there is a reason why the pundits have called rugby as a game played in heaven, where the losers are sent to hell.