After this weekend we will be over half way through this year’s tournament. You do have to wonder if anyone really wants to win it as no team has gone on to also win the Rugby World Cup in the same year. Anyway here are my predictions for this weekend.
First a link to my review of the round 1 action.
How did your round one predictions go?
2 from 2, spot on and a good start to the tournament for me.
South Africa v New Zealand
South Africa took this fixture last year but have been on a bad run of form since then. The November internationals didn’t go so well, Super Rugby was poor and they the loss to Australia. They are also carrying quite a few injuries which told particularly in the bench last weekend. They really will have to sort out their aimless kicking because this All Black side will cut them to pieces with those opportunities.
The All Blacks have had a good start to their international season with two wins. There has been the expected rustiness but they have go the job done. I’d expect there to be a fair amount of rotation and it’s going to be interesting who gets the 10 shirt with Dan not travelling. Either way there All Blacks are on a run of form where as the Boks are struggling a bit so I’m going for a narrow New Zealand win.
New Zealand by 5
Argentina v Australia
Argentina were well beaten by New Zealand but did show some signs of invention and picked up two tries. But their defensive line speed was far too slow to worry the All Blacks. If they give that amount of space to the Wallabies backs then the results could be equally terminal. The one area that will be different is the forwards in particular the scrums along with those driving mauls. Australia will need to get parity here or they will struggle. There are question marks over the Puma 10 as well but as with all teams we don’t know what the line up is going to be.
It’s the same old story for Australia, they need to get some parity in the forwards and then if their back splay with confidence they will be dangerous. By Cooper wasn’t playing with confidence so we will have to see. Personally after the loss last year I think that the Australians will just want this so much. Also after the issues they have had over the last few years stringing some win together would do them the world of good so I think they want to win this competition the most.
Australia by 9
I’m running a The Rugby Championship and Pacific Nations Cup prediction leagues on SuperBru if you want to have some fun trying to predict the results. Also starting soon I have leagues for the Currie Cup, ITM Cup and NRC. Click on any of the names to join in.