The kickoff of the 2019 Rugby World Cup is just days away so before we look at each match up individually, I’m going to give an overall finishing positions in pools and the finals.
Pool A has huge potential for some upsets with less than convincing performances in the buildup by Ireland and Scotland who are the top seeds. The mission is for hosts Japan, Samoa and Russia to upset them. If Ireland can keep Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton fit and continue their late improvement of form, they will top the pool. Second spot is up for grabs. It is Scotland’s to lose and the hosts will be licking their lips at the possibility of stealing that in front of their home fans. Samoa is another who can upset things if they play at their best. Here’s how i see them finishing:
In pool B there is two powerhouses and a few other sides tussling over the minor spots. The question is who will take out the opening clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks? Aside from those two, there’s quite a contest for the minor places. Italy normally looks much better against the lesser sides but its with Canada that I will pick a little upset to steal forth from Namibia.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
There’s plenty of chances for an upset to the places in this pool, but sadly I don’t see it happening and will finish just as they were seeded. England will cruise, France may slip but will still take the qualifying spot to the knockout stages. Argentina have really struggled nationally recently and their woes will continue in 2019 against the higher ranked sides. They may tip up the French but could just as easy slip against USA or Tonga and with that gain no real advantage. The Eagles good form in the Pacific Nations Cup will see them keep ahead of Tonga.
Will the Wallabies step up their form again in the Rugby World Cup? They have a real test in Wales in their pool, which I think they may slip on. They don’t need to win that game but will likely want to avoid England in the quarter finals. I like the chances of Fiji to steal the third spot in the pool and resign Georgia to forth. The strength of Fiji and Georgia in the pool will see Uruguay struggle to tip anything their way.
England vs Australia
New Zealand vs Japan
Wales vs France
Ireland vs South Africa
Now things start to pick up. With how I have them finishing we have a pile of cracking games! England vs Australia, relive those 2003 dreams/nightmares and I’ll nudge England by a whisker in this clash. New Zealand will ease past Japan for another week untested. Wales will get a tough blast from France and this is where experience on the big stage could come to effect. France love the spotlight and again, will exceed expectation for another sides demise. France to again go into the final four. Ireland get another rough draw with the Springboks waiting at their door. It’s never easy when you get to this stage and I cant see the Irish making those last four again.
England vs New Zealand
France vs South Africa
Any team, on any day, can upset the greatest side. Consistency is one of the key words to win a global tournament like this and to get through all these tough sides to make the final, is no easy task! England will take on New Zealand and France will face South Africa. Call me stubborn but there’s clearly two sides I really rate in the Rugby World Cup this year. All Blacks, Springboks, a dream meetings for the final.
New Zealand vs South Africa
Here we are, on the day it’s anyone’s game. It’s been a long tournament but there can only be one. This is as much a lottery to pick as their opening exchange, but by this time who will still be fit? How many replacements will be called in? How will the key players be? What’s their form? A flip of the coin, but I like making history, All Blacks for the threepeat!
What are your Rugby World Cup predictions! Who do you think will win the trophy? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts!