Thursday, September 17, 2015

Predictions for the opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup 2015!


So it’s finally here, kicking off tomorrow, and time to get some predictions in for the weekend.

England v Fiji get  us going, with an opening ceremony at 6.30 I think, all on TV3. Everybody is talking up Fiji, but I’m expecting England to play to their strengths with a pragmatic game plan involving playing in the right part of the field, and as many lineouts and scrums as possible. Fiji will try and keep it as loose and free as possible, but I think England will strangle the life out them.

Saturday starts with Tonga/Georgia, where I’d expect Pacific Island Power to triumph.

Then our tournament gets underway with a match against Canada. Joe Schmidt has picked the strongest team available to him, so more dress rehearsals, this is the real deal now! Canada are a fairly workmanlike team, captained by Jamie Cudmore, a punchy individual who was sent off in the Heineken Cup a few years ago for landing a few haymakers on Paul O’Connell, so there’s no love lost there! I’d expect about a ¾ performance from Ireland as they get up to speed, but that should see us easily.

Size will see the Springboks home over Japan, could be quite a big win for them. Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer had this to say a few years ago “Ballroom dancing is a contact sport. Rugby is a collision sport.” Good man Heyneke. Fnally nn Saturday France will take on Italy, which should tell us a lot about which France has decided to turn up, it’s normally  either champagne or meths laced wine . I think they’ll beat Italy, but not that well.

Then on Sunday, we have Samoa V the USA, where the islanders are going to’ bring the pain’ and fairly hammer the Americans I’d say. After that, Wales take on Uruguay, and even though the South Americans are my team in the office draw, I have to say they are the form team for the biggest defeat (and my prize!) as the group could easily be decided by points difference. Thus the levelling to ground zero of Uruguay has to be the objective of all the other teams in their group, starting with a 50-70 plus victory for Wales.

Finally, the day closes up with what should be the match of the weekend, when the All Blacks take on Argentina.  Tactically, the Argentinians are very astute, they make the break down a complete misery, and defend so aggressively the other team is on the back foot the whole time. But the power pace and skill of the best team in the world (apart from Ireland!) will see the All Blacks home.

Rugby World Cup
Friday, September 18
England vs Fiji    19:00
Saturday, September 19
Tonga vs Georgia    11:00
Ireland vs Canada    13:30
South Africa vs Japan    15:45
France vs Italy    19:00
Sunday, September 20
Samoa vs USA    11:00
Wales vs Uruguay    13:30
New Zealand vs Argentina    15:45

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