We have just two more weekends of World Cup rugby to go. Here are my predictions for the semi finals.
Here is a link to my review of the quarter finals.
How did the quarter final predictions go?
3 from 4, I thought that Ireland would be able to contain Argentina. Without Sexton though they didn’t have the control.
South Africa v New Zealand
As I suggested on the #RugbyChat I think the biggest issue could be if this is a big enough occasion. That’s going to sound silly being the semi final of the Rugby World Cup. The thing is that this All Blacks side have nothing to prove against the Boks. The two best performances from New Zealand have been at Eden Park in response to losing in Australia and against France burying ghosts.
The Boks have looked much better since that upset against Japan. However they did struggle to breakdown the Welsh defence which admittedly has been very strong. They will have to stick to a typically power Bok game if they are going to have a chance and rely on their defence. If Tey go behind early it could be a big loss but if they come out all guns blazing then they could push New Zealand close. Either way I can only see an All Black win.
New Zealand by 7
Argentina v Australia
Initially I thought this was an easy prediction. However my thoughts have done a full 180, maybe that means I have over thought this one. Here goes anyway.
I feel that Australia are going to come up short due to the effect of those hard pool games. Maybe it was just down to a bad day with the boot that kept Scotland in it. But maybe there are a couple of tired minds out there too. The other point is that suddenly their scrum was struggling.
Argentina have a string scrum and could easily get dominance at the set piece. When you consider that I asked if their backs were better than the forwards you reside here is a dangerous team. However they need to produce that over the full 80 minutes. They beat the Irish by being best for the first and last 20, that probably won’t be enough against the other sides that are left. Still I’m backing them for a hard fought close win.
Argentina by 5
The European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup start soon, I’ll be posting my predictions and reviews of all rounds. Click on the competition to join in the predicting fun.