We have another full round of international action to feast on and here are my predictions.
First here is a link to my round-up of all the action from last weekend.
How did your round 3 predictions go?
9 from 13, I was caught out by some of the T2 games.
Here are my 1 line predictions, read below for the full reasoning.
First up are the fixtures in the SuperBru prediction league with the other games listed below.
French Barbarians v Australia
Put simply the Wallabies have been looking better as the year has gone on and I can’t see them losing to a scratch side. Obviously with a game against Ireland a couple of days later this is going to be a second string side. The French Barbarians though will have been playing Top 14 up until this week and so there will have been very little preparation time. Let’s just hope it’s an entertaining game.
Australia by 15
Canada v Samoa
Neither of these sides have had a good window of games so far. I’m going to go with the side that has been traditionally the strong of the 2 in Samoa. They will have the better natural ability and it’s just a question of structures. Canada rugby is at a cross roads and some of the players will be thinking about their futures and income. The ProRugby teams that were muted won’t be happening and also ProRugby has said it won’t be hiring Canadian players. So with families to feed their minds might be distracted.
Samoa by 5
Italy v Tonga
Italy are coming off the back of perhaps their greatest ever victory. Tonga have had a good warm up to this with moral boosting victories. This though will be another level and whilst Italy got thrashed by New Zealand it does look like they might be on an upward trajectory.
Italy by 10
England v Argentina
England got the regulation victory over Fiji but will know that they can’t go to sleep against the Pumas in the same way. Argentina are coming to the end of a long season and I think the toll of picking your national squad from 1 team is telling. OK so not all the players play for the Jaguares but nearly all of them do and I think we will see the weakness in that policy this weekend.
England by 15
Scotland v Georgia
This will be the game that Georgia have been targeting as proof that they belong in the 6 Nations. unlucky for them Scotland look to be on the up but they do have injury issues in the front row. That is where Georgia will target and this will be a tough old forwards battle. I think that in the end Scotland will have too much for Georgia to handle out wide and win a narrow one.
Scotland by 3
Ireland v Australia
The big game of the weekend. Can Ireland maintain the level of intensity that they have brought to the 2 All Blacks games? Can the Wallabies maintain their grad slam bid? Ireland will be missing a couple of key people such as Sexton and we will get to see if Ireland have the depth to be a top side. This will be Australia’s biggest challenge so far and they have had the perfect run up to this game. I’m backing Ireland to maintain their intensity and discipline to win this game on home turf.
Ireland by 7
Wales v South Africa
The battle of the struggling sides. It’s hard to build up any enthusiasm for this game as both sides are in the doldrums. At least Wales has been getting victories so they know how to get over the line. But their play has been so dour. South Africa have been very similar looking un-couched and the players suggesting different ways to rectify the situation. It screams of a camp that are in chaos and so I’m backing Wales to get the home win despite how poorly they are playing.
Wales by 5
France v New Zealand
I have been so impressed by France and the return of their attacking play. I’m not sure I would dog as far as Rugby Lad but it has been exciting. Even though they have a history of upsetting the All Blacks I just can’t see it. Having that loss to Ireland was a massive kick up the backside and there will be no complacency even if they are playing in a horrible alternate strip. This should be a comfortable New Zealand win.
New Zealand by 15
Japan v Fiji
Japan have been a revelation in how they have turned things around from a big loss to Argentina. What’s been even more impressive is that they have lost so many players since the Rugby World Cup. Fiji on the other hand are another side having a poor time of it. They lost first up to the Barbarians and then to England. Having so little time together and less funding for off field resources continues to hamper them like all the pacific island sides. I just think that Japan are improving and should take this game against their more talented opposition.
Japan by 5
Other games that aren’t listed in SuperBru.
Germany v Brazil
Let’s be honest I don’t know a lot about these 2 sides. But Germany have had a good window with 2 victories including over Brazil last weekend. I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t rack up another victory and continue to have their highest ever world ranking.
Germany by 10
Romania v Uruguay
Romania have gone well after everybody was saying that they are behind Georgia and slipping backwards. Uruguay lost to Germany and clearly thing aren’t going great for them. So with that little knowledge I’m backing the home side for this game.
Romania by 5
Join the #RugbyChat on twitter for an hour of discussion reviewing the action on Tuesday. If you can’t make the hour then you can still give your view as the conversation keeps going over the following day.
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