Typhoon set to cause major Disruption to RWC Pool Games
With the England v France and New Zealand v Italy games already cancelled, there is some real uncertainty on how this Typhoon will affect the outcomes of the remaining games over the weekend.
Fingers crossed, the England game will be rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions. Safety is the most important thing for players and spectators alike but it would be a huge shame should some of these World Cup group placings be ultimately decided by the weather conditions.
Recap on last week’s games
South Africa v Italy
South Africa were the far superior team, their physicality was immense at times. The Italian red card was justified and should have been two red cards in my opinion. This changed the game and any hope they had of getting back into it at that point vanished. If two red cards had of been given, South Africa may have put a few more points on the board.
It is fantastic to see South Africa continuing to bounce back from their initial defeat to New Zealand at the start of the tournament.
They look to be a force to be reckoned with and the only concern is for Cheslin Kolbe, who hobbled off a few minutes before the final whistle. I feel he will be OK for a quarter final where it seems they could be facing either Japan or Ireland.
England v Argentina
England are proving to be a difficult team to beat in this tournament. I think Eddie Jones will be happy with where they are at the moment. England didn’t have the best day out against Argentina but they were ultra-professional.
They made a few mistakes along the way, but they got the job done and got the bonus point win. They had men come off the bench like Jack Nowell who had been injured for a long time and he managed to score the last try of the game.
Tomas Lavanini who made the tackle on Owen Farrell went shoulder to head and in my eyes, this is a straight red card. For everyone watching the game, it sucks the life out of it, the match is over after 17 minutes. There was no chance Argentina with 14 men were going to beat an England side with 15.
You could see the life being drained out of the Argentinean team when Lavanini went off. It seemed they lacked concentration from here on in the game.
Scotland v Japan > My big pick this weekend!
Japan have the advantage over Scotland who have only 3-4 days to recover from their match with Russia. Looking at Ireland when they were playing Japan they struggled slightly.
Then having a four day turn around against Russia, yes, they won by 35 points, but it wasn’t the Ireland we seen in the first game again Scotland.
Japan will be rubbing their hands together, and wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the host nation win 4 out of 4 in the group stages of a Rugby World Cup!
I do think Scotland can win this, but they need to play a fast, loose game and go tip for tap with the Japanese. This could be dangerous for some players. Their back row is where the bigger nations would target. But they have held their own in the scrum and mauls.
I think the Japanese are getting behind their team and are going to win this one and Scotland to be dumped out.
Ireland v Samoa
The weather doesn’t seem to be on our side, but I think World Rugby will do everything in their power to make this game go ahead.
If the game does, I feel Ireland can get the bonus point win they need. But Samoa have a lot of fight in them. They are big hitters with a lot of physicality. However, I don’t think they have the same skill, game management or continuity that Ireland have.
I think Ireland are far more superior in those areas. Ireland need to get Johnny Sexton playing more than 40 minutes and get a full-strength team out.
They have had 10 days off to prepare to hit the ground running. I am expecting a similar level of intensity as we witnessed against Scotland in the first game. I fancy Ireland to run out a 30-40-point win again.
Namibia v Canada
The game I am most looking forward to watching this weekend is Namibia v Canada as these two teams may not make it into the next World Cup.
I used to play alongside Peter Nelson for Ulster who has only recently joined the Canadian team, so I really hope it goes well for my old pal.
Here’s to another exciting weekend from the Rugby World Cup! I will be back next week with more exclusive content on my Ladbrokes blog.