Springboks v Ireland Rugby World Cup

The Springboks close to the tryline against Ireland. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Early exits: Prepare for a Rugby World Cup travesty!

The Rugby World Cup is set to be devalued when two of the top four teams inevitably crash out before the semi-finals.

Springboks v Ireland Rugby World Cup

The Springboks close to the tryline against Ireland. Photo: SA Rugby website.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup was always heading for the inevitable moment when the quarter-final match ups served as a reminder of a major competition flaw.

In what has turned out to be an error in judgement, the pools for the 2023 competition were announced on 14 December 2020, just under three years out from the start of the World Cup in France.

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It has resulted in a lopsided draw, with the top five nations in the rankings in either Pool A or B. As a result, two of the current top four teams – France, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa – will not make it into the semi-finals.

As it stands, the Springboks look likely to face France, while Ireland are now looking in line to clash with New Zealand in the first round of the playoffs.

It’s an absolute travesty that two teams of such quality will crash out at the quarter-final stage simply because of the nature of the draw, while the likes of Wales and England could find an easy route to the final four.

ALSO READ: How Springboks could still MISS out on World Cup quarter-finals

You can how the Rugby World Cup pools currently stand by clicking here

How the Rugby World Cup knockout phase will work:

Interestingly, there is a chance that the knockout stage could progress something like we have outlined below in a prediction that could see the Springboks again face Ireland in the title decider.

Quarter-finals: WAL vs ARG; ENG vs FIJI; SA vs FRA; IRE vs NZ

Semi-finals: IRE vs WAL; SA vs ENG

Final: Ireland vs South Africa

ALSO READ: Fans call for Springboks to call up Lukhanyo Am after injury!

Before the World Cup began, World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont explained why the draw was made so early, and that they are looking for resolutions for the next men’s tournament in 2027.

“The reason why the pool draws were made earlier was because of the surety of the host cities and knowing where teams were going, which is very important,” he told The Breakdown.

“What we will be doing is looking to have the pool draw as late as possible so that you get more consistency around the balance in a pool.

“There’s always going to be one pool which is tougher than the others. When we go to Australia, we will be looking at how late we can make the pool draw.”

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Remaining pool games

Thursday, Oct 5 – New Zealand v Uruguay, OL Stadium, 9pm

Friday, Oct 6 – France v Italy, OL Stadium, 9pm

Saturday, Oct 7 – Wales v Georgia, Stade de la Beaujoire, 3pm

Saturday, Oct 7 – England v Samoa, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 5.45pm

Saturday, Oct 7 – Ireland v Scotland, Stade de France, 9pm

Sunday, Oct 8 – Japan v Argentina, Stade de la Beaujoire, 1pm

Sunday, Oct 8 – Tonga v Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 5.45pm

Sunday, Oct 8 – Fiji v Portugal, Stade de Toulouse, 9pm

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