Its opening day of the tournament and we have just one extravaganza to look forward to. So let’s start things off, game one, day one and I will be back here EVERYDAY to give my thoughts and predictions on each and EVERY match. Make sure to join me, take me on in my SuperBru league and enjoy the Rugby World Cup. Let’s get into it…..
JAPAN vs RUSSIA
The only match on the opening day will see the host nation taking on the Pool A’s fourth seeded Russia. Now the opening game is the big showcase for the host nation and they want nothing more than a big commanding win to get the home fans into the tournament and behind their side. With Japan hosting on opening night its left options pretty slim for a blockbuster opener that Japan would be favourites for. But do not underestimate this Japanese crowd, they have packed anything to do with the Rugby World Cup before a ball has been kicked and they will support this side regardless. Put aside what the fans and the occasion, Japan as a team will be desperate to smash this game.
So let’s talk rugby, Russia is going to have a hard time here. Huge pressure will fall to fullback and captain Vasily Artemyev to try hold this team together. They don’t have the top level experience, but do have a couple of highly caped players like Yuri Kushnarev and Artemyev starting this game. I expect the most we will see of those backs will be defending and chasing play as the Russians will likely stick their play towards the big boys in the pack and simple, one off, grinding rugby. If they can score some points and win some hearts its will be a successful night for the Russians.
We will learn a lot about the Japanese side in this opener that will tell us just how competitive they will be in the World Cup. I expect this match should be little problem for the Brave Blossoms who have thrown out the best side they can field. Expect guys like Michael Leitch, Tim Lafaele and Lomano Lemeki to have a storming game in open play. For those familiar with Super Rugby, you can expect Japan will bring the excitement like the Sunwolves did this season. They will attack wide and with pace to run this big Russian pack around and they should be far too sharp in those midfield and outside channels. It’s going to be a packed crowd, a massive atmosphere and a huge occasion. Japan will buzz, Japan will roar and Japan will do a dominant job against the Russians.
PREDICTION – Japan by 33.
I will have predictions DAILY for the Rugby World Cup! So make sure to subscribe to the page for updates when a new predictions goes live or check back each day for the next days matches. Who is your pick? Lets me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts!