My 2015 Rugby World Cup predictions

With the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC), the premier international tournament in the sport of rugby union, scheduled for next month, I’m going to make predictions for every game of the entire tournament. Since this is a two-stage tournament, with a four-pool, 20-team round robin segment called the pool stage, followed by an eight-team elimination segment called the knockout stage, with a somewhat complex point system being used to determine standings for the pool stage, predicting the entire tournament correctly is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible.

In the RWC, wins in the pool stage are worth four points, draws are worth two points (if two teams are tied after regulation in the pool stage, the game is declared a draw), and losses are worth zero points. Additionally, one bonus point is awarded for scoring four or more tries (in rugby, a try is scored by grounding the ball behind the opposing team’s goal line) in a game, and one bonus point is awarded for losing by seven points or fewer. I’ve listed games according to pool and in the order within the pool that they are scheduled to be played. I’m using the (winning team) (winning score)-(losing score) (losing team) format to display projections, with teams scoring bonus points (BP) being noted in parenthesis. For standings, if at least one game in a particular pool ends in a draw, I’ll use the win-draw-loss format for team records, and, if no games in a particular pool end in a draw, I’ll use the win-loss format for team records. Points are displayed as the following mathematical formula: (win and draw points)+(bonus points)=(total points)

Here are my predictions for the pool stage of the 2015 RWC:

POOL A (Australia, England, Wales, Fiji, Uruguay)

England 21-17 Fiji (Fiji BP)
Wales 32-6 Uruguay (Wales BP)
Australia 25-19 Fiji (Fiji BP)
England 17-17 Wales
Australia 49-9 Uruguay (Australia BP)
Fiji 20-19 Wales (Wales BP)
Australia 34-30 England (Australia and England BP)
Fiji 31-11 Uruguay (Fiji BP)
Australia 25-13 Wales (Australia BP)
England 71-3 Uruguay (England BP)

Australia – 4-0-0 – 16+3=19
England – 3-1-0 – 14+1=15
Fiji – 2-0-2 – 8+3=11
Wales – 1-1-2 – 6+2=8
Uruguay – 0-0-4 – 0+0=0

POOL B (Japan, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, United States)

Japan 22-21 South Africa (South Africa BP)
Samoa 29-22 United States (Samoa and United States BP)
Scotland 11-10 Japan (Japan BP)
South Africa 57-24 Samoa (South Africa BP)
United States 22-20 Scotland (Scotland BP)
Samoa 31-12 Japan (Samoa BP)
South Africa 37-20 Scotland (South Africa BP)
South Africa 30-24 United States (South Africa and United States BP)
Samoa 27-15 Scotland (Samoa BP)
United States 22-21 Japan (Japan BP)

South Africa – 3-1 – 12+4=16
Samoa – 3-1 – 12+3=15
United States – 2-2 – 8+2=10
Japan – 1-3 – 4+2=6
Scotland – 1-3 – 4+1=5

POOL C (Argentina, Georgia Republic, Namibia, New Zealand, Tonga)

Tonga 40-15 Georgia Republic (Tonga BP)
New Zealand 19-18 Argentina (Argentina BP)
New Zealand 102-6 Namibia (New Zealand BP)
Argentina 38-10 Georgia Republic (Argentina BP)
Tonga 35-14 Namibia (Tonga BP)
New Zealand 49-18 Georgia Republic (New Zealand BP)
Tonga 22-9 Argentina
Namibia 24-19 Georgia Republic (Namibia and Georgia Republic BP)
New Zealand 32-20 Tonga (New Zealand BP)
Argentina 49-3 Namibia (Argentina BP)

New Zealand – 4-0 – 16+3=19
Tonga – 3-1 – 12+2=14
Argentina – 2-2 – 8+3=11
Namibia – 1-3 – 4+1=5
Georgia Republic – 0-4 – 0+1=1

POOL D (Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania)

Ireland 36-11 Canada (Ireland BP)
France 40-36 Italy (France BP, Italy 2 BPs)
France 39-12 Romania (France BP)
Italy 29-16 Canada
Ireland 41-3 Romania (Ireland BP)
France 41-20 Canada (France BP)
Italy 33-29 Ireland (Italy BP, Ireland 2 BPs)
Canada 44-30 Romania (Canada and Romania BP)
Italy 55-12 Romania (Italy BP)
France 19-19 Ireland

France – 3-1-0 – 14+3=17
Italy – 3-0-1 – 12+4=16
Ireland – 2-1-1 – 10+4=14
Canada – 1-0-3 – 4+1=5
Romania – 0-0-4 – 0+1=1

In rugby union, tries are worth five points in a game, conversions after tries are worth two points in a game, and goals (which can be scored on either penalty kicks or drop kicks) are worth three points in a game. If I’ve predicted a team to win a game and earn a bonus point in the standings, lose a game by more than seven points and earn a bonus point in the standings, or lose a game and earn two bonus points in the standings, then I’m predicting that the team will score at least four tries in the game in question.

Since the top two in each pool advance to the knockout stage of the RWC, that means that I predict that Australia, England, South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand, Argentina, France, and Italy will advance to the knockout stage. In addition, I’m also predicting that, in addition to the eight teams that I’ve predicted to advance to the knockout phase, Fiji, the United States, Tonga, and Ireland will qualify for the 2019 RWC based on their performance in the 2015 RWC.

The quarterfinal pairings for the knockout stage are 1B (first-place from Group B) vs. 2A (second-place from Group A), 1C vs. 2D, 1D vs. 2C, and 1A vs. 2B, with the winners of the first two quarterfinal pairings facing each other in the first semifinal, and the winners of the last two quarterfinal pairings facing each other in the second semifinal. The winners of the semifinal matches advance to the final to play for the Webb Ellis Cup that is presented to the winner of the RWC, whereas the losers of the semi-final matches advance to the bronze final to play for third-place.

Should any knockout stage game end in a tie after regulation, two ten-minute extra time periods would be played, with both periods being played in their entirety regardless of whether or not scoring occurs and/or one team is ahead after the first extra time period. Should extra time end in a tie, a ten-minute sudden death extra time period, in which the first team to score wins, would be played. Should neither team score in the sudden death extra time period, a kicking competition, in which both teams will get five place-kicks at goal, would be played, and whoever kicks the most goals in the kicking competition wins. Should the kicking competition end in a tie after each team has taken five kicks, then a sudden death kicking competition, in which the kicking competition is continued until one team kicks a goal and the other team misses, would be played.

QUARTERFINALS

England 25-22 South Africa (Sudden Death Extra Time)
New Zealand 41-19 Italy
France 45-18 Tonga
Australia 36-15 Samoa

SEMIFINALS

England 26-23 New Zealand
Australia 24-21 France

BRONZE FINAL

New Zealand 33-27 France

FINAL

England 19-19 Australia (England wins in Sudden Death Kicking Competition 12-11)

I’m predicting that England, the primary host country of the tournament (Wales will host several games, although most of the games will be held in England), will win the 2015 Rugby World Cup and claim the Webb Ellis Cup.

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21 thoughts on “My 2015 Rugby World Cup predictions

  1. Please tell me how bonus points are allocated to teams ..

    I love rugby but never got to understand this

    Just love the way the outcome of games are panning out …. thanks to all the awsum supporters for the games so far #finalNzvsAus 🙂

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    1. Thanks for noticing the error…My game-by-game predictions would have NZ (4 wins) and Tonga (3 wins and 1 loss) advancing to QF out of Pool C, not NZ (4 wins) and Argentina (2 wins and 2 losses). That has ripple effects on some of my elimination stage predictions, as I would predict France over Tonga in the quarterfinals (I originally had Argentina over France), a narrower Australia semifinal victory (over France; I originally had Argentina), and a narrower New Zealand bronze final victory (over France, I originally had Argentina).

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  2. Interesting read. I am a kiwi who follows rugby closely, and my expectation is a NZ-ENG final. I am worried that the NZ team has too many players who are past their best, and I wouldn’t be surprised if England won it at fortress Twickenham.

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  3. Hi Mr. Camp

    I would like to offer you advise or help if you like. I’m a south african and make my living betting rugby games.

    So if you want to know something hit me up. I admire and appreciate you for at least try to get to know the game I love.

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  4. in pool A the pool of death Austrailia will def make it out on top even though there form has been average lately they are undoubtedly a powerhouse in world rugby England and Wales will slug it out for 2nd in pool but fiji are in form and could cause a massive upset to either of these teams,also Samoa are playing well and could upset Scotland and knock them out.Anything could happen but my prediction is Eng doesnt make the final and New Zealand win cause they are too strong

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  5. Hi Aaron,

    Nice attempt and hope you’re looking forward to the matches!

    My 2c (opinion) … note I’m Australian so obviously my perception will influence my views, which may or may not be the same as bias ;o)

    So a summary of the teams, roughly grouped into tiers of current form as I see it …

    1. NEW ZEALAND
    Considered by most to be the best team in the world pretty much since the first RWC in 1987 (and of course before!) apart from say, the Wallabies around 1999-2000 and England 2002-3.

    BUT the catch … despite this, they’ve still only won 2 of 7 tournaments to date, somehow managing to lose to the French, Springboks and us even when heavy favourites. Think the current side has only lost to England, SA and Australia since 2011 (once each!!) so again they’ll be expected to win … but they’re away from home and have a target on their backs.

    ———————
    2. ENGLAND, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFRICA
    Debatable I’m sure, and at best only half a step above the next tier below. England have home advantage, South Africa and Australia are usually the other “heavyweights” to challenge NZ, with the Springboks usually more consistent.

    England and Australia are in the same group with Wales and Fiji however, which means neither is guaranteed to make it to the Quarters (though favoured)

    ———————
    3. IRELAND, WALES, ARGENTINA
    These to me are sides that “on their day” can (and have) take out the sides above them save for NZ (who Ireland and Argentina have never beaten, and Wales not since 1953)

    Caveats – Ireland have recently had a couple of losses so seem off form, Wales lost a key player (Halfpenny) at the weekend, Argentina have only really joined this tier recently as they’ve joined the “Rugby Championship” to play NZ/Aus/SA regularly, with only a couple of wins.

    ———————
    4. SCOTLAND, ITALY, TONGA, FIJI, SAMOA
    These teams pretty much on the fringes of the big boys. Scotland and Italy might run some of them close in the right conditions (e.g. playing the Wallabies on a cold, wet, muddy day) but generally lucky to be within 20 points.

    The Pacific Islanders usually have some good results here and there (think Fiji and Samoa have both beaten Wales, Tonga beat France in the last WC) but struggle with consistency – often not helped by the organisers scheduling their matches only days apart so they don’t have enough recovery time.

    ———————
    5. THE REST
    The remaining sides would need to produce a pretty amazing performance to beat anyone in the 4th tier above, though not impossible – Japan, the USA and Canada being the best chances IMO (bizarrely, Georgia held Ireland to 14-10 eight years ago, so you never know!)

    Stiaan’s notes on the matches are pretty good I think. That said, forgetting the scores, I think your final standings in each pool aren’t that far-fetched apart from Scotland finishing last (I think even the most pessimistic Scot would be surprised!) – just that there would be some pretty big upsets!

    FWIW most commentators seem to be predicting

    Pool A
    1. England
    2. Australia (but Wales a chance)

    Pool B
    1. South Africa
    2. Scotland

    Pool C
    1. New Zealand
    2. Daylight (ok ok, Argentina)

    Pool D
    1. Ireland
    2. France

    … after that NZ-SA & Ireland-England semis and a NZ-England final.

    Personally though I hope there are lots of upsets for a more entertaining tournament!!

    Enjoy the matches and hope your team goes well!

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    1. I really liked your predictions, but more important, I love when you said -“Personally though I hope there are lots of upsets for a more entertaining tournament”. I really would like that Scotland could get to semifinals, in spite of very happy for my country getting to semis again. by the way I´m argentinian! VAMOS PUMAS! THE SOUTH RULES!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mr. Camp, I’m just wondering if these are fantasy rugby predictions or real predictions? Also, what do you base your predictions on and have you been following world rugby closely enough? Thanks for the intro to RWC basics, but a look at Stiaan’s comments on the predictions might be useful since current perceived form and rankings (with the exception of NZ) could be deceptive.

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      1. ALways great to see an American showing interest in rugby… however some of those are pretty out there…

        There is hardly much between the top 6-7 ranked teams… with NZ wayyy ahead of the pack… that said anything can happen (in a knockout tournament) amongst those 6 maybe even 8… outside of that the rest will get hidings…

        Current rankings…

        http://www.worldrugby.org/rankings

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  7. Hi there, as a lifelong rugby fanatic, my two cents worth.

    Fiji 20-19 Wales – You overestimate Fiji. Wales have a solid team. Over time have played 10 matches and lost only 1.

    Japan 22-21 South Africa – You overestimate Japan by a lot. South Africa is a powerhouse. Japan is not. I will bet a bunch this will be a big score in South Africas favour. The Japanese will be very brave in defence, but to no avail.

    Scotland 11-10 Japan – You overestimate Japan by a lot. Truly a lot.

    South Africa 57-24 Samoa – South Africa is powerful, but Samoa match their physicality. SA will win, but not a huge score.

    South Africa 30-24 United States You overestimate the USA.

    New Zealand 19-18 Argentina (Argentina BP) You underestimate NZ.

    New Zealand 49-18 Georgia Republic. Again you underestimate NZ.

    Italy 33-29 Ireland You underestimate Ireland. They will win Italy.

    England 26-23 New Zealand – No chance they will lose to England.

    My prediction for Semi Finals and Finals:

    Semis 1: SA v NZ – too close to call.
    Semis 2: Ireland v England – England.

    Finals SA or NZ v England.

    Liked by 1 person

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