Friday, October 21, 2016

November Test Play A Role In World Cup Qualifying

The upcoming November internationals are going to be key to the U.S. vs. Canada World Cup qualifying series next year. From what TIAR understands from multiple sources the World Rugby rankings released in December will decide who hosts the second of two matches this summer for a spot in the World Cup. The U.S. are currently 17th in the rankings with 65.60 points while Canada are just one spot behind at 18th and 64.53 points.

With the two teams so close in the rankings the November internationals are going to be key. One distinct advantage for Canada is that they have three opportunities to earn points while the U.S. only have two. Canada will face Ireland, Romania, and Samoa this fall while the U.S. will play Romania and Tonga. Their match against the Maori All Blacks doesn't count toward the rankings.

Take the jump to read more.
Several things impact the rankings from a match. This is from the World Rugby website:

Both Men's and Women's World Rugby Rankings are calculated using a 'Points Exchange' system, in which sides take points off each other based on the match result. Whatever one side gains, the other loses. 
The exchanges are based on the match result, the relative strength of each team, and the margin of victory, and there is an allowance for home advantage. 
For each match, there are only five possible outcomes that can affect points exchanges: either side winning by more than 15 points, either side winning by up to 15 points, or a draw.
In the end results matter. If you can pick up a win and do it by more than 15 points you are going to take away more points. It also matters who you are playing. For Canada they are playing one team (Ireland at #6) well above them in the standings and two more ahead of them (Samoa at #14 and Romania at #16). If they can pull off a results against two of those teams they can take away more points than the Eagles if the U.S. only wins one (Tonga is ranked #15). If both teams beat Romania then the margin of victory is going to play a factor.

To make it simple, the best way for the U.S. to ensure that they host the second leg in the two match series next summer is to beat Romania, something they've been able to do recently, and beat Tonga, something they haven't been as good at.

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