All Blacks will get through no problem, will it be a help to them? We will have to wait and see. I think Italy are in with a good chance of making it through.. I hope they do anyway :D
Borderline national hatred, tbh :p
Romania was a very good team in the 80s. There were some rumors about a possible inclusion in the Five Nations tournament. They beat France, Scotland, Wales (both at home at Cardiff Arms Park) However, in the next decade Romania began to fall.
The All Blacks would be able to win this group even with their third best team. These are my predictions:
NZL vs ITA and NZL vs SCO: NZL win by 50-60 points. I would not be surprised if Pierre Berbizier (Italy's coach) would not use his best players. Since Italy has no chances to beat New Zealand, it is better to have the best players rested for the other matches.
NZL vs ROM: 100 points
NZL vs POR: 200 points???
Other matches: Italy should beat Romania by 25-30 points. And Scotland should do the same. Last year Italy played against Portugal: final score 83-0. So, we should expect easy victories for Italy and Scotland vs Portugal.
The final match (Italy vs Scotland) will decide the second team of the group: Italy defeated Scotland at Murrayfield some months ago. Italy never qualified for the quarterfinals: this year they have a great chance.
I am Italian, so I am rather happy about this group. However, I don't think it is fair. Think about the other groups with France, Ireland and Argentina. Or England, South Africa and Western Samoa. All these six teams are much better than Italy and Scotland (Italy has never defeated Samoa), but two of them will be out of the quarterfinals.
This mean: COME ON, ITALY! However, nowadays lots of people (and I am among them)
do not like to say this. But this is related to politics.
In the last World Cup NZ's pool play was a debacle. I hope Henry doesn't rotate the team too much through pool play.
But wasn't that typical of John Mitchell? Win one Test and make 13 changes to the next and basically giving out a cap in a brown paper bag from your nearest supermarket. Make a few changes that is fine but that was OTT.