We finally got our big World Cup upset on day six on the tournament. Uruguay stealing all the hearts and headlines from Japan. In day seven, the tempo is increases with two games coming out of pool B and C and the chance of more upsets on the cards.
Italy vs Canada – Pool B
The Italians were opening their campaign just four days ago and are another side who will suffer from a rapid turnaround. We talked about how the Azzurri looked impressive against lesser opposition and they showed exactly that against Namibia and will get a similar test from the Canadians as well. All the play will again rotate around the crucial Tommaso Allan at flyhalf for the Italians. He was excellent in their opener and holds the key to the success of Italy.
It’s amazing how some sides have already played two game in their pool, while others, like Canada, havnt even got started yet! It has been an overall disappointing 2019 for the Canadians, especially against their old rival, USA. Once a fierce battle between the sides, has recently turned into near domination for the Americans which will leave Canada with concern. They have a number of key players to look out for, DTH van der Merwe and Jeff Hassler on each wing is where they will want to target along with the blockbuster captain, Tyler Adron in the back row. Adron is an advantage line breaker, strong set piece taker and a very important part of the Canada puzzle.
RESULT = Italy by 11
England vs United States of America – Pool C
England also started their World Cup the same day as Italy and will be hoping their squad depth will keep them afloat in these early group stages. Coach Eddie Jones has rung ten changes to the side that disposed of Tonga a few days ago, leaving George Ford, Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Joe Marler and Elliot Daly to start both World Cup games so far. Willie Heinz will start with the scrum half rotation between the two and we get our first World Cup look at Joe Cokanasiga who adds a much different element to the English attack.
Rugby is exploding in the USA and we have seen time and time again now on the sevens circuit just how good the Americans are becoming. But as we all know, sevens success doesn’t translate to fifteens. The USA could prove to be a real banana skin for England, but only if their pack can lay a decent platform for the attacking backs. Paul Lasike, Martin Iosefo and Marcel Brache are all attacking weapons but will be equally under pressure defensively.
RESULT = England by 18
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