It’s quick turnarounds in this tournament and that will test the depth of the squads. This competition isn’t just about the first 15 players and with it being so short every game is important. It already looks like points difference could decide the 4th semifinalist for example as bonus points might not be enough to seperate the teams.
Here is my video with my World Rugby U20s Championship Round 2 Predictions:
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 – South Africa U20 by 30
An Impressive start by the Baby Boks with a 24 point win over Scotland. They’ll be needing a similar performance this weekend as the Baby Blacks also got the TBP win. Georgia have become a fixture at this level but still are a few years away from competing with the biggest teams.
Australia U20 v Ireland U20 – Ireland U20 by 3
This should be an absolute cracker of a game in the pool of death. Both these sides opened up with TBP wins and with 3 very good sides in this competition that was important as Australia, Ireland and England could all finish with 2 wins.
I think it’s going to be tight and in reality my pick was a coin flip for this one.
France U20 v Wales U20 – France U20 by 10
France beat Wales 32-10 earlier this year in the U20s 6 Nations. I think that this Wales side are going better than they were then. However I think the reigning champions should top this group fairly easily.
Argentina U20 v Fiji U20 – Argentina U20 by 5
Argentina will be disappointed with their loss to Wales in the opening game. Fiji could be on the end of a bounce back performance if they aren’t careful. Being the newly promoted side Fiji were always going to have a tough time but the score against France didn’t blow out. I think that shows there’s something about this side and so I think they’ll also keep this one close.
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 – New Zealand U20 by 30
A TBP win is the minimum requirement for the Baby Blacks in this game. They showed in the opening game how damaging they can be if they get their offloading game going. Smothering defence is going to be the order of the day for Scotland but I don’t think they’ll be up to the task.
The Baby Blacks were a big topic on the All Blacks Edition podcast this week.
England U20 v Italy U20 – England U20 by 15
You really have to feel sorry for Italy in this tournament. They had an ok U20s 6 Nations but to get drawn with Australia, Ireland and England gives them little chance. The result earlier this year was a 35-10 loss and I’m picking it slightly closer this time around.
For England discipline is going to be important. No more cards especially red ones.
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