Welsh freefall has an upside for Kidney's struggling Irish

November 2012
Daily Mail;11/14/2012, p55
WALES are in danger of slipping outside the top eight in the IRB rankings before the World Cup draw is made in December � which would be a great boost for a beleagured Ireland camp. Declan Kidney's team had been slated for a potential winnertakes-all clash with Argentina on November 24, but it appears that the fates of both Wales and Scotland will have a greater bearing on Ireland's hopes of holding onto a second seeding. The world rankings currently put Wales in sixth, Argentina seventh, Ireland eighth and Scotland ninth. Saturday's defeat by Argentina was Wales's fourth consecutive Test loss. If they lose to Samoa � who pushed an in-form Wales side to the wire in last year's World Cup tournament � then they may slip out of the top eight altogether by Monday morning. The worst-case Welsh scenario would require the Pumas to beat France and Scotland to beat South Africa this weekend, but with Tests against New Zealand and Australia to follow in Cardiff it is a very real possibility. It would be a nightmare end to the season for the Grand Slam champions and World Cup semifinalists, who had been eyeing fourth spot at the start of their autumn series.


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