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“Facts are precious things,” a wise person once said. The facts are that the USA Women can advance into the semi-final round of the Women’s Rugby World Cup if they defeat England this Wednesday in Dublin. A win would constitute a highly unlikely outcome, and one similar in scope to Ireland’s Women surprise conquest of New Zealand in the 2014 WRWC.
The Eagle’s task is formidable; the Red Roses – WRWC gold medalist in 2014 - are ranked number one in the world after having defeated Canada, Australia, and New Zealand at an earlier tune up tournament this summer.
England's victory against the Black Ferns stopped New Zealand’s win streak at 13. In addition, England’s Women are the only professional side from salaried contracts with the English Rugby Football Union. Finally, expect a big showing of support from English fans who will make the short journey to Ireland to support the team.
The USA are 2-0 with wins against Italy and Spain. The luck of the draw placed the Eagles in Pool B with only England ranked higher. In France in 2014, the Eagles played in a pool with Ireland, New Zealand, and Samoa, losing to the first two teams.
There exist many other permutations for the USA possibly moving forward but rather than speculate with multiple bonus point conjecture scenarios, it’s prudent to wait for Wednesday’s matches.
The Eagles must keep the score close to the Red Roses to have any chance for advancement in the event of a loss. Basically, also, root for New Zealand to win big over Canada, and for France to beat Ireland by lots of points.
Finally, hope also for no ties (worth two points) in the other pools.
The preliminary rounds end Thursday. The three contests among the 2-0 pool leaders follow:
Pool A (KICK OFF AT 7 A.M. ET)
New Zealand 2-0 - 10 points
Canada 2-0 - 9 points
Pool B (KICK OFF AT 9:30 A.M. ET)
England 2–0 – 10 points
USA 2–0 – 10 points
Pool C (KICK OFF AT 2:45 P.M. ET)
France 2–0 – 10 points
Ireland 2-0 – 8 points