The November International window is now officially open and we have a flood of exciting games. Here are my predictions.
First here is a link to my round-up of all the action from last weekend.
How did your round 1 predictions go?
3 from 5, not bad with a draw and historic Irish win.
Here are my 1 Line Predictions and read below for my reasoning.
First up are the fixtures in the SuperBru prediction league with the other games listed below.
Barbarians v Fiji
The Barbarians will be into their third game by the time this comes around as they have a mid-week game over in Romania [Edit – they played the Czech Republic not Romania]. They will be having to balance their squad as players can’t play 3 games in a week. Fiji will be starting their series of games and so their might be some rustiness but even so they are still facing what is essentially a scratch side so I’m backing the pacific islanders.
Fiji by 10
Georgia v Japan
The 2 fairy tale sides from the Rugby World Cup come head to head. Japan though are a very different side to a year ago with players injured or opting out of international rugby. When the squad gathered before their game against Argentina only 2 forwards were capped. Georgia are a different story and had a great June in the pacific islands going undefeated. This should be a relatively comfortable home victory.
Georgia by 15
Italy v New Zealand
You have to feel sorry for Italy. New Zealand will be hurting after that loss to Ireland and will be looking to make a statement. Conor O’Shea’s first November International window in charge of the Azzurri is going to have a very tough start. Clearly New Zealand are going to win this and it’s only a matter of how big the margin is.
New Zealand by 50
England v South Africa
England are on a great run of form having won all their games this year. There are some injury concerns with the loss of Haskell, the first choice lock pairing and both first choice wingers. However injuries can’t be an excuse if you are gunning to be number 1. The Springboks have had a tough year and it’s the coaching that’s really been questioned. The assistant coaches were changed for this tour but it’s going to take time for them to implement their ideas. They only just drew against the Barbarians last weekend and this weekend should be a tougher test. I fully expect England to break their losing streak against the Boks.
England by 10
Scotland v Australia
The rematch of the quarter-final at the Rugby World Cup where the Scottish felt robbed by a late refereeing decision. Also Scotland tend to go well in the european autumn and then disappoint in the 6 Nations and June tour. This has all the makings of an upset win for the Scotts. However Australia have been together for much longer and did look good last weekend even if they lack the clinical edge to claim all the points available. So it’s with not much confidence that I’m going for a Wallabies win as they are the better side but this is Scotland’s time of year.
Australia by 3
France v Samoa
We have all heard of France’s issues due to the strength of the clubs and number of imports in their domestic game. This week they come up against Samoa who have issues with getting access to their players and off field problems that mean the players don’t get the best preparation normally. Due to that lack of preparation I think that France will win this via a dominant forward effort but don’t expect it to be pretty.
France by 7
Wales v Argentina
Wales were poor last weekend against Australia and really are looking like an old style side that haven’t moved with the times. Argentina put an inexperienced Japan side away last weekend and are another side that have been together for months. Well you could say all year as they are only picking Super Rugby and Argentine based players now. So they have been together essentially all year at the Jaguares and now with the Pumas. As long as they cope with the travel from Japan last weekend we should see them claim an important victory.
Argentina by 7
Ireland v Canada
Ireland are essentially resting their first team squad who were in the USA last weekend and whilst this is a senior game will be mainly the Wolfhounds. Rugby in Canada is in a bit of turmoil at the moment as they were expected to have ProRugby teams next season but that has fallen through. There will be players in this squad that were looking forward to that and will be upset with the authorities. I think that the greater professionalism that the Irish players have will be enough to see off the Canadian threat.
Ireland by 10
Other games that aren’t listed in SuperBru.
Romania v USA
Romania lost heavily to the Barbarians earlier this week [Edit – no they didn’t the Barbarians played the Czech Republic] and the USA lost heavily to the Maori All Blacks. So this 1 is hard to pick, Romania aren’t progressing like Georgia and didn’t have the same successful Rugby World Cup. But then against the USA didn’t either. These teams sit 16th and 17th in the World Rankings and I’m going to back the home side here.
Romania by 5
Spain v Tonga
It’s good to see Spain getting games in this window and they currently sit 23rd in the World Rankings. Tonga who sit up in 15th should have too much for them but these are exactly the games they need to grow.
Tonga by 10
Germany v Uruguay
It’s a similar story in Germany where the home side sit in 26th and host the 19th ranked side who were at the Rugby World Cup last year. This should also be an away win but a good learning game for the home side.
Uruguay by 10
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