After the second day of scratching our heads wondering what to do as the World Cup has an off day, we kick back into action with two games on match day eleven. From pool D, France will start the day against the USA and then to wrap it up, New Zealand will take on Canada from pool B.
France vs USA – Pool C
After the early must win clash against Argentina to open their World Cup, France has made thirteen changes to their starting side to take on the USA. Only backs Yoann Huget and Gael Fickou remain. It’s a bit chance for the rest of the squad to stand up for selection in the crunch march against England. Camille Lopez will get a crack at stealing his number 10 Jersey back from impressive youngster Romain Ntamack. Paul Gabrillagues returns from suspension dating before the world cup started and is part of a whole new pack that should be very mobile around the field. Coupled with explosive ability of Alvireti Raka and Thomas Ramos in the back thrre, this is a dangerous French team.
For the USA it’s been a tournament to forget so far. Red card, defeat and hardly challenging their opponent is a tough pill to swallow for a side bumptious in their ability to perform. The red card to John Quill for his tackle on Owen Farrell against England, has forced the back row change of Hanco Germishuys to start on the open side. Bryce Campbell and Mike Teo come into a pretty settled backline for USA, where game play continuity and preparing best for their final two games is about as good as it should get for the Americans. The pressure is on France to keep up standards required even if the pressure from their opponent isnt there, often their biggest downfall.
RESULT = France by 11
New Zealand vs Canada – Pool B
Pool B has been pretty cut and dry so far, nothing extraordinary has happened and thats the way New Zealand would like to keep it. After the fierce battle with the old rival South Africa, the All Blacks have undergone major changes for Canada. A new front row is the feature of the pack that will see the two captains battle it out at the back. There is two big talking points in the backline. First the return of the horedisly out of form and once untouchable Reiko Ioane on to the left wing and secondly the niggly injured midfield pairing of Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue. All three players will be key in the long run for the depth of the squad if the All Blacks are to go deep into this Rugby World Cup.
Most people are fairly scared for Canada. They suffered at the hands of the Italians in their opening game and it’s hard to see them having much their way in the game. The Canadians have four changes to their pack, two of those the props, and just two in their backline. Conor Keys was impressive in the pack last outing and fullback Patrick Parfrey looked safe when asked but should expect a barrage of high balls from the New Zealanders. The experienced midfield duo of Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainer may have a busy night trying to keep that midfield tidy also. As last time for Canada, I am pinpointing DTH van der Merwe and Tyler Ardron, the latter who will be very familiar with most of these All Blacks, to be the key to Canada having any fun on Wednesday.
RESULT = New Zealand by 38
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