The Rugby World Cup warm up games keep on coming, as the Rugby Championship sides bow out we have some interesting tier 2 games coming up. Here are my predictions.
First here is a link to my review of last weekend’s games.
How did your predictions go last weekend?
4 from 4, it was good to bounce back after getting round 1 wrong.
Japan v Uruguay
Japan have not be performing the way that they would want to. Also there have been off field issues with players not agreeing with how things have been done. We now have the breaking news that Jones could be off to South Africa after the Rugby World Cup. How much is this affecting their play? A couple of wins would probably make this all go away. Uruguay haven’t been involved in any of the warm up competitions that I have been able to find out about. So I’m expecting them to come into this game relatively cold and could struggle against the home team who are higher in the global rankings.
Japan by 10
Italy v Scotland
Scotland put in a good performance against Ireland last weekend. That’s something we have been saying about Scotland for a year now and the wins still aren’t coming. This weekend they face Italy and it’s the best chance in a while. This is Italy’s first warm up game and so they will be rusty and I think that will be enough for Scotland to edge it and get some much needed confidence.
Scotland by 5
France v England
England out scored France 3 tries to 1 but were still only 5 points a head at the end. Both sides will show many changes but France will need to be much sharper in attached and get more from their backs. England will need to improve the discipline and handle the forward power of the French much better. With both sides being closer to full strength I think England will edge it.
England by 5
Canada v USA
These two sides must play each other more than any other two sides in international rugby. They recently faces off in the 5th-6th place final at the Pacific Nations Cup. The USA came out on top on that occasion. One of the reasons given for Canada’s struggles was the transition from 7s to 15s for some of their players. Having not automatically qualified for the Olympics they had to go to the regional playoffs. Now that these players have had more time in the 15s environment I’d expect more improvement from Canada than the USA. Add in home advantage and I think Canada could seek a close one.
Canada by 3