Wow what a weekend of rugby we had last week, I only hope that it compares this weekend. Here are my predictions.
First here is a link to my round-up of all of last weekend’s action.
How did your round 1 predictions go?
7 from 9, not bad considering there was a draw. The Ireland result was the one I really didn’t pick.
My 30 second 1 Line Predictions with the full reasoning written below.
Tonga v Georgia
I was thinking that this would be a tough long tour for Georgia where they might not get any results. That was because they aren’t at full strength with some players still with their clubs in the Top14 and also the alien conditions. The draw last weekend has changed my opinion. Tonga did push Fiji all the way but their thoughts will be on Samoa next weekend and they are having to play in Fiji. So I think that Georgia will take a tight one.
Georgia by 5
Fiji v Samoa
Fiji won a tight one having to come back against Tonga last weekend whilst Samoa drew against Georgia. I think that this one will be a very tight match and I think it could go down to the wire. I’m backing home advantage to be the little thing that tips the balance.
Fiji by 3
New Zealand v Wales
Wales gave a the All Blacks an alright scare last weekend when they led at halftime. In the end the benches were the difference as the ABs changes made a real impact. Since then Wales have been thrashed by the Chiefs in mid-week before travelling straight after that game to Wellington. Part of the All Blacks problem was playing too loose and not earning the right to go wide. I can’t see that mistake happening again and with the injury of George North that’s an entire Lions back 3 missing through injury for Wales. This one looks like a home win from every angle.
New Zealand by 25
Australia v England
Last weekend was a battle of the coaches with Eddie Jones coming out on top. It’s going to be really interesting to see what the coaches have learnt and are able to change a week later. We already know the Australian starting 15 with McMahon replacing Pocock and the same starting centre pairing. I can’t imagine that England will start with Burrell and imagine we will see a second playmaker included. I think that loss of Pocock is a big blow and I’m backing a narrow England win. Even though it goes against history with England never winning twice in the same tour before.
England by 5
Japan v Scotland
Japan started their set of games with a win in Canada but it was far from comfortable with the Canadians getting the ball over the line only to be held up at the end. Scotland coming off the back of a good Rugby World Cup and 6 Nations will be a major step up. There has never been an official test between these sides in Japan but Japan have won an unofficial one there before. I think that Scotland will just bring too much quality to the game and the losses of the Sunwolves and temporary coaching setup won’t help the home side.
Scotland by 7
Spain v Uruguay
Uruguay had a shocker and it wasn’t only the lighting! 40-0 is going to really dent confidence. Spain had a good opener running Namibia close. This time I think Spain will get a scalp against a Rugby World Cup side.
Spain by 3
South Africa v Ireland
Ireland put in a heroic performance last weekend to win with 14 men for most of the game. The Boks though didn’t help themselves as they didn’t appear to have a plan B and their core skills let them down. For a team that has a reputation for forward power to not get past 5 phases more than a couple of times is very poor. Irish defence was part of the cause but not all of it. I’m expecting a big backlash as is the public vote on Twitter I held.
South Africa by 5
Romania v Argentina XV
Romania kicked off with a big win over Uruguay in a game that was split over two days due to lightning. This weekend they take on an Argentina second team which won the Americas Rugby Championship earlier this year. I think this will be a big step up for Romania and I’m backing an away win.
Argentina XV by 7
Canada v Russia
Canada came very close to upsetting Japan last weekend and that will have been good preparation. As far as I’m aware this is Russia’s first game of the window and I think that Canada will have more skill and from.
Canada by 5
USA v Italy
Italy put in a decent performance against Argentina last weekend even if it was a comeback in a loosing cause. With this being the first run out for the USA and with the setup getting used to working with players coming from ProRugby I think that they will be some rustiness. With that in mind I’m backing Italy but after their poor 6 Nations not by a big margin.
Italy by 3
Argentina v France
The last game of the round sees Argentina facing France. France who will be missing players who are still playing in the Top14 playoffs. This is the farce that is unfortunately French rugby at the moment. They must have their full squad together for about half the number of games that the other top sides do and so it’s no surprise that they are in decline. Argentina should win this one at home even though they didn’t put Italy away as easily as I expected.
Argentina by 7
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