Since I will not have my quarterfinal dataviz ready before Australia vs Samoa on Friday, I want to record my predictions now. Mostly so I can say I told you so.
The four quarterfinals are:
Australia vs Samoa
Tonga vs Lebanon
New Zealand vs Fiji
England vs Papua New Guinea
I expect Australia will win, but I hope Samoa will get at least a couple of tries. Tonga vs Lebanon could get tasty but I expect Tonga to win by several tries. I am excited for NZ vs Fiji, even if I know Fiji, the team I want to win, probably won’t win.
With regard to England’s quarterfinal, I want to join everyone else in saying that it’s not fair that it is being held in Melbourne rather than Port Moresby. As Papua New Guinea are co-hosts with NZ and Australia, it is wrong that they don’t host any matches after the group stage.
It also improves England’s chances of beating them.
I am slightly torn because I want PNG to do well, but I don’t want a team featuring James Graham, James Roby, Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival to lose. I also think a close match might finally kick England’s posteriors into gear. Because that second half against France was not acceptable.