Most international team sports tournaments have a degree of predictability about them. The outsiders very rarely have a day in the sun. And if they do they almost never have two.
Four teams have won the Rugby World Cup there has been no achievement such as Denmark winning the football European Championships against Germany or even Uruguay coming fourth in the World Cup.
Too many opportunities to score points and too much of a bias towards power and fitness keeps the minnows in their place.
But you only have to look at the world of rugby Sevens to know it doesn’t have to be like that. The Kenyans (the same country that has just finished THIRD in the World Athletics championships!) have begun to follow in the footsteps of the Fijian Sevens. So how long till the 15 man game suffers a similar seismic shift.
Though it is very hard to look beyond the usual suspects. The two major candidates to break into the last four from nowhere must be Tonga and Fiji. With South Africa not at their best and Wales far from the finished article it is perhaps these two teams that can land a decisive blow over 80 minutes. I believe one of them will come out of the ‘group of death’. Samoa performed magnificently against the Tri Nations winners Australia only two months ago and Fiji took a draw with Wales last autumn.
Mapasua has been a fantastic player in the Premiership and Bai is a joy to watch. If Samoa can add flair to their steel and Fiji add steel to their flair anything can happen
It would be fantastic two see one of these exciting rugby nations make it into the quarter finals and then anything can happen.
They would then come out and play an opponent from pool C were only Australia are playing at a world class standard at the moment.
To have Fiji or Samoa in the semis would be a magnificent achievement from either and prove that Rugby Union has moved on another step towards being a global sport.
Who knows? They might go one step further!