With only 3 rounds before the playoffs this is a quick tournerment and room for slip ups. Here are my round 2 predictions.
First here is a link to my round 1 review.
How did your predictions go in round 1?
6 from 6, so the perfect start but I’m still only 14th in my prediction league. It was a fairly predictable round in the end.
France U20 v Japan U20
France kicked off their campaign with a good win over Wales but did fade later on. Against Japan that shouldn’t be a problem even if Japan were markedly improved in the second half. The game was well gone by then though but hopefully it shows that they will put up a stronger fight going forwards.
France U20 by 20
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20
Ireland won their first game with the last kick of the game in contrast to the routing that NZ inflicted on Scotland. However they were against very different opponents. In the U20 6 Nations earlier this year Scotland hosted Ireland and won 17-10. So perhaps I’m letting the images of their senior sides sway my thinking but I think the efficiency of Ireland will win a tight game.
Ireland U20 by 3
New Zealand U20 v Argentina U20
New Zealand showed their power in the first game running up 9 tries to score the most points of the round and lay down a marker. Argentina lost out to a last minute kick but have shown that they are a competitive side. It won’t be enough even though New Zealand were arrogant with some of their play against Scotland.
New Zealand U20 by 30
South Africa U20 v Samoa U20
South Africa gained the win they needed over Italy even if it required a yellow card to open up the lead. Samoa showed that they had improved from their warm up tournament performances. I still feel that South Africa will have too much and will come away with a win but not by a large margin.
South Africa U20 by 10
Australia U20 v Italy U20
Australia will be very aware that a big win here will give them a good chance of qualifying for the 1-4 playoffs. That is either as winners of the group or best runner up. Italy did well against South Africa until they lost a man to the bin but how much did that take out of them? I’m expecting that Italy will take a lot of lifting to get back up to that level and Australia will run out comfortable winners.
Australia U20 by 25
England U20 v Wales U20
England managed a very good win against Japan from a first half performance. Against Wales they will need an 80 minute game and will be very aware of that after losing 21-15 in the U20 6 Nations this year. That though was on the back of some very poor discipline and I can’t see them making the same mistake again. Wales fell to the power of France and even if they are the fittest side int eh tournament couldn’t come back at the end. I think they will come up short again in a close battle.
England U20 by 5