The Roar
The Roar


Ten Nations climax: What you need to know

The All Blacks are awesome personified. (AAP Image/ David Rowland)
Roar Guru
25th November, 2016

The world premier annual international rugby tournament moves into its final weekend with a series of four matches having implications from the top of the table down to the lower reaches.

As predicted, previously first and second place has been locked up between England and New Zealand. With their crucial wins against South Africa and Ireland respectively maintaining their unbeaten records in the tournament they have together reached an unassailable peak where the tournament biscuits can distributed free of interference from lesser teams.

The All Blacks sit in prime position for first place with big wins earlier in the tournament paying off big time by giving them a healthy advantage over England in their simulated match producing a crucial four table points.

Coming into their matches against France and Argentina this simulated win may very likely prove the difference between sweet vo-vos and comforting arrowroots if the results go to form.

England do still maintain a couple of paths to number one. The most obvious of these is via on a trademark French upset of the All Blacks. If they were to beat Argentina by 52 more points than the New Zealand versus France margin this would overturn the key simulated match result and give England 2016 glory.

Once we drop from the biscuit sharing top echelon we find Australia, Wales and South Africa jostling for third place respect.

The fate of this group largely rests on South Africa, specifically their simulated matches.

Firstly, the Africans must beat Wales but to achieve third they must do so by a minimum five points and achieve a 31-point difference across their result and what the French can do against NZ.

Failure to do all three would mean a win against Ireland would be enough to lock in third for Australia (easier said than done) whereas the Welsh will be wanting to keep maximum pressure on by taking their prime opportunity for a big southern hemisphere scalp.


Further down we have Scotland, France and Ireland. The Scots are currently sit in fifth with a one-point lead however with no scheduled match for this final week to generate additional points it will be a nervous weekend in front of the telly for them.

They may even find themselves developing unexpected soft spots for Australia and New Zealand and rediscover their love for all things Welsh.

The worst-case scenario for these three teams is to be overtaken by a big South African win over Wales and be relegated to eighth. Its also worth noting that South Africa also have a chance of finishing eighth if results don’t pan out their way.

At the bottom end Argentina and Japan have already locked in ninth and 10th. Japan’s problems with lack of tournament matches has been well discussed previously but a best case ninth place finish with still a match to play is an extremely disappointing position for the Pumas to be in.

Their promising signs early in the year are not translating to victories.

A great finale awaits: four matches involving eight of the ten best teams in the world. The rugby world braces itself for the final questions of the 2016 international pecking order to be answered and for immortality to be achieved by one special team.

Complications aplenty but In 48 hours we will know all.
Full tournament results, standings and rules can be found on the 10 Nations website here.