Thursday, October 8, 2015

What new tricks does Joe have for Ireland against France?

Canada's World Cup hopes were cruelly snatched from them against Romania – leading 15 nil with 15 minutes to go, they suffered a spectacular collapse and lost by two points.

In the next match, a fairly restrained Fiji beat Uruguay easily enough. But the Uruguayans, having only ever scored one try in the history of World Cup, went on a try scoring blitz and scored two in one match. Things look ominous for England on Saturday in this type of form…

South Africa dispatched the USA with ease, although in fairness, the Americans will be saving themselves for their final match against Japan.

Georgia Namibia was a one point game in the end.  Namibia have never won a wold Cup match, and this is their first point ever.

On Friday New Zealand, with a bit of criticism flying around, will be sure to hammer Tonga, although the Tongans won’t die wondering.

On Saturday, the once mighty Samoa look likely to be picked off by Scotland, with the Scots claiming then second place in the pool.

The Big Match is Australia Wales, both sides now want to top the group and avoid the Springboks in the next round. Australia will be favourites – Wales haven’t beaten Australia in the Gatland era, and the Wallabies were imperious against England, while Wales’ victory had a touch more luck about it.  I had thought Wales might concede this one, preserve their players and look to take the Springboks. But both sides have put out full teams, hard to see Wales winning though.

Poor England have to play Uruguay – nobody, neither the players nor the supporters will really want to be there, out of all the people in the stadium only the Uruguayans and their fans will be able to muster any enthusiasm.

Uppermost on Argentina’s minds in their match against Namibia will be avoiding injuries now, so they will win and get out of there with as little fuss as possible.

Romania Italy should be low on razzle dazzle but pretty intense, the Romanians must fancy this.

Then it’s OUR big one, the pool D decider, as the by now enigmatic Ireland take on the notoriously mercurial French. Expectation is high for a real Irish performance – Joe Schmidt will swirl his cape to reveal the all new, all singing, all dancing Ireland. And all eyes on the on the French, do they feel like playing, or are they saving themselves for the All Blacks again. It’s going to be incredibly tense, probably low scoring and very close, but when has Joe let us down before, I’m saying we’ll win!

Finally, Japan, possibly already out of it at that stage, can still wrap up their best World Cup ever with a third victory, 300% better their previous best!

Tuesday, October 6   
Canada 15 - 17    Romania
Fiji 47 - 15    Uruguay

Wednesday, October 7           
South Africa v    USA     4:45 PM    Olympic Stadium, London
Georgia v    Namibia     8:00 PM    Sandy Park, Exeter
Friday, October 9           
New Zealand v    Tonga     8:00 PM    St James's Park, Newcastle
Saturday, October 10           
Samoa v    Scotland     2:30 PM    St James's Park, Newcastle
Australia v    Wales     4:45 PM    Twickenham Stadium, London
England v    Uruguay     8:00 PM    Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Sunday, October 11           
Argentina v    Namibia     12:00 PM    King Power Stadium, Leicester
Italy v    Romania     2:30 PM    Sandy Park, Exeter
France v    Ireland     4:45 PM    Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Japan v    USA     8:00 PM    Kingsholm, Gloucester

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