Another full on weekend of international rugby, it’s all starting to feel a bit glutinous. Anyway here are my predictions and amazingly there are no match ups that will be repeated at the world cup.How did last weekends predictions go?
First up here’s a link to last week’s review.
7 out of 9 was fairly good especially as there are so many teams that we don’t get to see very often.
Fiji v USA
Fiji have had a hard series and could very easily have won last weekend against Wales. USA on the other hand look like they are going to come out of this series with one win and lots of work to do. It all started with the razzmatazz of having the All Blacks in town and has been a bumpy ride. I see the Fiji making it two wins for the pacific islands v the USA.
England v Samoa
England have had a rough time of it over the last couple of weekends and but this should be a moral boosting win. It will be interesting to see how much change there is to the side where players could do with some confidence but also there are fringe players that need game time.
Samoa have had a bit of a roller coaster with a loss to Italy followed up by a win over Canada. Unfortunately their November was decided in that first loss to Italy as they are expected to beat Canada and lose to England.
Scotland v Tonga
Two weeks ago I’d have said this one would be in the balance but Cotter has transformed Scotland’s performances. Tonga have also been having a good series with two wins in games that in all honesty they were expected to win.
Tonga will come into this full of confidence but I think that Scotland are also full of confidence and have put in very good performances so will take this.
Romania v Canada
These two teams are very close to each other in the rankings. Romania though have had a hard time of it with two losses so far including the USA who are a similar team to Canada. Canada have mixed in a win even if it was against the lowest ranking team, so with the extra confidence I’m going for Canada.
Italy v South Africa
Italy stared off well with their win over Samoa but lost to Argentina. South Africa will also front up with a powerful scrum but will offer much more from the backs than Argentina. So Italy are going to come out of this set of games with just the one win.
South Africa are back on a roll and will be using this game as a warm up for Wales the following weekend and aiming to end on a high to erase the memory of the loss to Ireland.
South Africa win
Ireland v Australia
Ireland have had a great couple of games which shouldn’t have surprised us so much as they are the 6 nations champions. I’m expecting them to build on the first two weeks and add another win.
Australia have been up and down which should be no surprise with a new coach and all the off field issues that have gone on. Obviously that’s not going to be helped now that Beale has joined the tour.
Wales v New Zealand
This is a simple one, the All Blacks are playing and so you back them. They weren’t as great against Scotland but never really looked like losing. This weekend will see the resumption of their best combinations and a comfortable if not a run away victory.
Wales are in a mess, losing a close one to Australia again, only have plan A and struggling to put away a 14 man Fiji. Does it really matter? They will be back to beating the other European sides come the 6 nations anyway.
New Zealand win
France v Argentina
Argentina won an arm wrestle against Italy last weekend that went someway to rectifying the loss to Scotland. But they are going to come up against a revitalised France who will test them in so many more ways than Italy could. The new players that they have brought in have played without fear and lifted the whole team.
Georgia v Japan
Japan will hopefully have got over their jet lag and put in a better performance this weekend. Bouncing back last weekend against Romania was exactly what they needed after the Maori games. Georgia are another of those teams that is probably going to end up without a win and have a lot of work to do heading up to the world cup.