We are into the last few warmup games before the Rugby World Cup, all the squads have been chosen and it’s nearly the lull before the storm. But before we get there here are my predictions.
First a link to my review of last weekend’s action.
So how did last weekend’s predictions go?
2 from 3, not many people picked Wales to beat Ireland.
Georgia v Canada
The games kick off early this week with this Wednesday evening encounter. Georgia’s only run out so far was a loss to Newcastle Falcons last weekend. I don’t know how close that was to a full strength side but it’s not an encouraging result. Canada on the other hand have had quite a bit of rugby over the last couple of months. The results have been poor but they did manage a win over Glasgow last weekend who are building up to the Pro12 which kicks off in a couple of days. So even though Georgia are 5 places higher than Canada in the world rankings I think the more recent rugby will mean a narrow victory for the maple leaves. On a side note this game is in England so neither side is the home team.
Canada by 5
England v Ireland
Ireland lost their number 2 ranking due to that loss to Wales last weekend. Their discipline was what hurt then in the end and that’s also been an issue for England over the last two games. Both sides will be looking to rectify that and I hope that the referee doesn’t have to use his whistle too much. I’m going for England as I think they need the result more than Ireland. This is because of the strength their Rugby World Cup pool and the order of the games. Ireland have Canada, Romania and Italy before their crunch game against France where as England are straight into it with Fiji. This means England need to be further along in their preparation where as Ireland still have time to grow.
England by 3
Georgia v Japan
Georgia are playing two games in 4 days which is probably good preparation for a tier 2 team going to the Rugby World Cup. It does mean that they will be rotating a lot of their players. Again Japan have had much more game time recently and are coming off the back of 2 big wins over Uruguay. So I think the men from the land of the rising sun will take this one and may even leap frog over Georgia in the world rankings.
Japan by 10
Wales v Italy
Wales are coming off the back of a moral boosting win over Ireland. It wasn’t a pretty display and they have plenty to work on especially from an attacking point of view. Italy are coming off the back of two losses to Scotland and will really need to up their defensive game to be anywhere in this one. I think that Wales will run riot as Italy miss plenty of first up tackles in midfield.
Wales by 35
France v Scotland
Both of these teams seem to be in fine fettle heading towards the Rugby World Cup. It have been France’s goal kicking and discipline that has been of note in their two games against England. There has also been plenty of rugby played but with the ball not always going to hand. Scotland have two moral boosting wins now rather than just good performances. However those were against a poor Italian side and so I think we will see the French coming out on top in this one.
France by 10
USA v Australia
The USA are coming off the back of a loss to Harlequins which slipped under my radar. This is another one where I don’t know what kind of sides were put out but it’s not a good place to be in going up against the new 2nd best team in the world. Australia have drafted in some players who are not in their Rugby World Cup 31 for this game and so I don’t think we will be seeing a full strength side. Even so I think they will run out fairly comfortable winners.
Australia by 15
Canada v Fiji
Canada are another side that are playing two games in this round. That is going to stretch their resources but as I said with Georgia will be good practice for the Rugby World Cup. Fiji have had a break from games since winning the Pacific Nations Cup so will be fresh. They will be looking to clean off any rust a head of facing England in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup and I think will run out fairly comfortable winner here.
Fiji by 15
Here are a couple of games that have been missed off by SuperBru.
Romania v Tonga
I think this is Romania’s first run out in preparation for the Rugby World Cup. Tonga on the other hand had a big win over Championship side Nottingham last weekend and were playing in the Pacific Nations Cup recently. So I can only see one result with the Islanders picking up the win.
Tonga by 15
Leicester Tigers v Argentina
Tigers will be in the middle of their preseason as the Aviva Premiership has had to delay it’s start due to the Rugby World Cup. Argentina on the other hand are looking to be fully battle ready. It’s going to come down to the sides that are selected but I think that Argentina should have too much for Tigers.
Argentina by 10