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Who gets fourth spot?

International Cup 2014

Who will grab fourth spot and go through to the semi-finals of the 2014 AFL International Cup?  It's almost impossible to call.

First up, who will the other 3 be?  Our understanding of the AFL's rules for IC14 are that the top team in each pool at the end of Round 3 will go through.  As you can see on the ladders (Ladders after Round 2) there's six nations still in contention.  Ireland and Nauru, PNG and South Africa, New Zealand and USA are all on 2 wins 0 losses.  Each pair are drawn to play each other in Round 3 (Community Round).  This doesn't seem likely to be a coincidence.  Unless there's a draw there will be one team sitting on top of each pool on 3 wins 0 losses.  They go through.

If the matches go on historical form that means Ireland, New Zealand and PNG.

Then the pools are combined to determine 4th spot - the last semi-final position.  We've crunched some numbers and come up with some fascinating possibilites, with Nauru, South Africa and the USA all obvious candidates, but Tonga, Fiji, Canada and Great Britain all in with big chances too.  That's even tighter than the AFL's run to this year's finals.

Consider this realistic scenario (and using similar margins for want of a better estimate).

Ireland defeat Nauru 85 to 40.
PNG defeat South Africa 80 to 40.
New Zealand defeat USA 80 to 40.
Canada defeat Sweden 110 to 40.
Tonga defeat Japan 120 to 40.
Fiji defeat GB 50 to 40.  Or GB defeat Fiji 100 to 40 (and this is probably the hardest match to call).

Then by our maths that gives ladder positions 4 through 10 as: 

Speculative end of Round 3 combined Men's ladder
Pos Team W L %
4 Fiji * 2 1 282
5 Canada 2 1 271
6 USA 2 1 270
7 Nauru 2 1 265
8 South Africa 2 1 254
9 Tonga 2 1 237
10 Great Britain * 2 1 226

* Assumes results as above and includes both GB d Fiji and Fiji d GB for comparison.

 

These are all educated guesses at sensible final results, and of course Nauru, South Africa and the USA are all aiming to defeat their opponents and finish atop their pools, and if any one of those win their opponent will likely have sufficient percentage to finish 4th overall.  So Ireland, PNG and NZ are looking pretty safe for the semi-finals either way, but if they all win there's going to be one hell of a battle for 4th spot.

Tonga and Great Britain are probably unlikely to get wins big enough to push up to 4th, but the challenge is not impossible.  If Nauru, South Africa or the USA miss out to Fiji, Canada, Great Britain or Tonga one can imagine they will be fairly unimpressed by the nature of the draw, especially the USA having just defeated Canada by a comfortable margin in the end.

The AFL will want to be triple-checking every result before announcing their ladder this Saturday night!

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Who gets fourth spot? | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Who gets fourth spot?
Authored by: Rog on Thursday, August 14 2014 @ 11:52 am ACST

I would go with Nauru taking out 4th. Ireland haven't looked that strong yet, and I think Nauru will probably get away with a 4 or 5 goal loss. Ireland only beat Fiji by 45 points and Nauru are looking better than Fiji. Tonga are probably the other team I would think might sneak into 4th, if they get hold of Japan (100+ point win).
I think Pakistan or more likely France might even get past Japan for the last Division 1 place (12th). If any of them actually want it.

Edited on Thursday, August 14 2014 @ 11:58 am ACST by Rog

Who gets fourth spot?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, August 16 2014 @ 12:18 am ACST

Yeah it wouldn't surprise if Nauru manage to contain Ireland and keep their percentage intact.

But although I favour GB marginally over Fiji, it would be no surprise to see them hang on in which case they might squeak in on %.

Unfortunately the draw has put probably the 2nd best team in each pool up against the best team and the 3rd best team. So even if they win as seeded, they won't get the % that the 3rd best team will probably get by smashing a lower side. So 3rd is likely to finish above 2nd and one of them will get through to the semis. Alas a fundamentally flawed system in hindsight.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Who gets fourth spot?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, August 16 2014 @ 12:38 am ACST

Actually I just did my best guess and I have USA squeezing in:

NZ
PNG
Ireland
USA
Nauru
South Africa
Canada
GB
Tonga
Fiji
France
Sweden
Japan
Pakistan
Finland
China
Indonesia
India

That's with Fiji losing to GB. But if Fiji win it, even by just a point, I reckon they'll go through.

So in order of likelihood, my tip is that 4th spot goes to USA, Fiji, Nauru.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN