We have reached the final weekend of international matches for the year! There were questions as to if we would make it to this stage so well done to all parties that have made it happen.
It’s been far from perfect with Fiji forfeiting all their games so far. Also the lack of fans in the stadiums has been a downer. But let’s look on the positive side of things. We have had 3 rounds of games in Europe and the finals are going ahead.
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Anyway you’re here for the Autumn Nations Cup predictions so let’s get into them.
Georgia v Fiji – Georgia by 3
Let’s hope that Fiji are well enough to be able to play. Also that they have had enough training so that it’s safe for the players to play. Having been locked up in their hotels rooms for however many weeks they can’t be in prime condition.
That lack of training let alone no game time is going to be a massive hinderance for the Fijian side. Georgia haven’t been ripping up trees but at least they have put up defensive displays. Having had that match practice and obviously being able to train surely they go into this as favourits?
From a historical context, these sides have met 4 times with Fiji winning 3 times and Georgia just the 1 game. I think that we’ll see that gap close a little this weekend IF the game goes ahead.
Ireland v Scotland – Ireland by 3
Scotland have had a really good autumn campaign. Beating Georgia, Wales and Italy with the only loss coming against France. Sure France aside the opposition hasn’t been the strongest. However you can only beat the teams that turn up on the day. The 5 game winning streak leading into the France game means that there’s plenty of positivity around the Scotland camp.
Ireland would love some of that. Ireland also have wins over Georgia, Wales and Italy along with a loss to France. They also have been beaten by England. However it’s the performances rather than the results that people are talking about. There is just a lack of creativity in the side.
Question marks over Farrell’s coaching credentials are being raised and this is a must win game for him. I think that home advantage will be the difference even though there aren’t any crowds. Scotland did win away against Wales but they still have to do more to prove they can get results away from Murrayfield.
Wales v Italy – Wales by 7
Wales lost at the weekend to England and yet the mood around the team improved from their win over Georgia. This is also a must win game for the head coach. Wales only have 2 wins this year, coming against Italy and Georgia. The mood around the camp has changed a lot since that 42-0 win over Italy back in February.
For Italy it’s even worse, they haven’t won a game all year. Was the cancelled game against Fiji their opportunity of a bullet dodged? We’ll never know.
For all the poor performances from Wales they should beat Italy fairly comfortably. Italy will put up a fight until they go behind and then their heads will drop and Wales should pull away.
England v France – England by 7
This should be the glorious finale to the competition as the top 2 sides in Europe go head to head. However France struck a deal with their clubs meaning that players can only appear in 3 games during this international window. That means they are missing something like 8 players.
There’s plenty of comments and articles going around about how this makes the final a farce. However I think that this is still going to be a decent side that the French put out. They have built some real depth and it will be interesting to see how they go.
England are up to second in the world rankings just behind the Springboks. They are playing some very good rugby at the moment with an incredible defence. It’s really that defence that gives me confidence that England will come away with the victory. France missing some x-factor players could mean they lack the keys to unlock England.
Record So Far
9 from 9, it doesn’t get much better than that 🙂 Let’s me honest it’s been a very predictable tournament.
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