With Ireland’s world cup campaign creeping closer and closer it’s time to look into our crystal ball and see what lies ahead for Ireland on the rocky road to the world cup.
By now you should have a good idea of the pool fixtures, if not shame on you, let’s recap.
Ireland will face four teams in pool D. Firstly Namibia this Sunday followed by Georgia, France and finally Argentina. The top two placed teams from each pool will qualify for the quarter-finals, while 3rd, 4th and 5th placed teams will be eliminated.
So Ireland have two secure 1st or 2nd place to go through to the quarter-finals, but what happens next? Well this depends where Ireland finish, let’s run through some possibilities.
Ireland win pool D: If Ireland win their group they will then play the runner’s up in group C (New Zealand, Scotland, Italy, Romania, Portugal). This is likely to be Scotland however Italy are also in with a chance. New Zealand are undoubtedly favourites to win this group. So if Ireland win their group they are likely to play Scotland in the quarter finals.
Ireland runner’s up in pool D: If Ireland come 2nd in their group they will face the winners of Pool C. At this moment in time we can only say with nearly 100% certainty that this will be New Zealand. No team wants to face the tournament favourites this early but it is a very likely scenario for Ireland.
Ireland really need to win their pool to have a good chance of progressing. However if you want to win the world cup you will have to beat the big boys at some stage!