Crystal ball time. So has the road to the World Cup final become a little clearer? We crystallise our thoughts.
Yes, England to slide out of their own tournament: ie Australia will win all of its matches - the Wallabies have enough petrol in the tank to beat a confused, under-pressure England at Twickers on Sunday. Welsh momentum will trump Fiji in Cardiff on Friday, although don't write Fiji off. So the Welsh rearguard win over England will get them through at the expense of the hosts.
South Africa have picked themselves up - and with all due respect to a great player, Jean de Villiers won't be missed with Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende reunited in the midfield. Samoa's intent is good, but their organisation was found wanting against South Africa so we're picking the Jocks to beat Samoa in Newcastle.
Already a foregone conclusion...sorry Tonga. Argentina are dark horses in this World Cup with strong semifinal potential - they would be decent chances against Ireland or their long time bunnies France in the quarters. The big question is whether a soft group will leave the All Blacks - who were amazingly unconvincing against the lowly part-amateurs Namibia - under-prepared for the quarterfinals.
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So long as Ireland don't get ahead of themselves they will dispense with Italy in London on Monday. That means the finishing order rests on the final clash between France and Ireland in Cardiff. In a sudden death match, we might pick France. But Joe Schmidt's clinical coaching of Ireland should win the day - France are more dangerous when everything is on the line.
Sunday October 18
QF1: South Africa v Wales, London (Twickenham), 4am
QF 2: New Zealand v France, Cardiff, 8am
Monday October 19
QF 3: Ireland v Argentina, Cardiff, 4am
QF 4: Australia v Scotland, London (Twickenham), 8am
Possible semifinals (both Twickenham)
South Africa or Wales v New Zealand or France
Ireland or Argentina v Australia or Scotland