PARIS, France – There is at least one requirement for the Women’s Eagles Saturday against New Zealand: win. In order to keep the “Final in ‘14” goal alive, the U.S.A. must first and foremost defeat the Black Ferns in the final Pool B match at IRB Womens' Rugby World Cup 2014.
However, because of the scenarios that could play out, the Eagles will most likely need to gain a bonus point, as well, by scoring four tries.
A number of what ifs can play out Saturday in Marcoussis, with just the scores of other games deciding exactly who moves on to the semifinals and who is relegated to the fifth-eighth place matches.
With the Eagles kicking off later in the day (12:00 P.M. ET), they will have a better sense of what is required before heading into its match against New Zealand.
The easiest of scenarios to move forward is if Kazakhstan defeats Ireland, in addition to the Eagles’ win over New Zealand. A Kazakhstan win alone would put the U.S. atop Pool B.
If that does not occur, England and Canada will be the next deciding factor. Each controls its own destiny with a win, but the loser will have the biggest effect on the Eagles.
However, both England and Canada would move on to the semifinals with a draw. Each would have 13 points from pool play and nullify any chance of advancement for both the Eagles and Black Ferns.
With the England-Canada match kicking off at 9:45 A.M. ET Saturday, the Eagles will know if a bonus point is needed, if simply a win will suffice, or if a fifth-eighth-place match is guaranteed.
In the scenario that England and Canada do not draw, the necessity of a bonus point will be determined by point differentials and tries scored by the loser during the match.
To not need a bonus point, England will have to defeat Canada by at least 27 and hold Canada to less than four tries for the match. For Canada to win, the Eagles will need the Maple Leafs to beat England by at least 68, holding the Roses under four tries for the match.
Further, the Eagles would need France to win, or lose without gaining a bonus point.
If either England or Canada gains a bonus point in a loss, the Eagles will need a bonus point and to defeat New Zealand by a to-be-determined margin.
Also, to ensure the Eagles moving to the semifinals, France will need to win its match over Australia, lose without gaining a bonus point, or lose by a to-be-determined margin.
With the number of scenarios to play out, every team’s fate will be determined Saturday.
No team has secured its place in the semifinal round.
Ireland, England, Canada, France, and Australia hold their own fates – win and go through to the semifinals.
Universal Sports will be covering the Eagles’ match against New Zealand. Coverage of the event starts at 11:30 A.M. ET.