Quarter final rugby is here and this weekend we have four big matches! The highlight for fans of the defending champions is their match against Ireland and All Blacks fan Christian Catley has been kind enough to give his thoughts about the match to be played on Saturday night.
By Christian Catley
New Zealand come into this game as top qualifiers from Pool B and Ireland as the 2nd ranked team in Pool A. Ireland has three wins and one loss in the Pool stage and New Zealand grabbed three wins and had a cancelled game against Italy due to the typhoon. Ireland’s only disappointing result in this tournament so far has been to host nation Japan which they lost 19-12, but finished off the group stage well with a 45-5 win over Samoa.
New Zealand have had a pretty comfortable ride in the Pool stage besides their first match of the tournament against South Africa. Plenty of their players have had a hit out, but the big concern remains over Brodie Retallick who hasn’t had much time on the field after returning from injury. Key players in the All Blacks will have to be the duel playmakers in Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett, with the likes of Ardie savea in the forwards and in the backs George bridge and the X-factor of Sevu Reece. The All Blacks have strengths all over park. New Zealand’s weakness over the years against Northern Hemisphere teams is the rush defence. They will need to find a way to contain that if they want to make it into the semi final.
Ireland will go into this match up not fearing facing the defending World Cup Champions. My key players for Ireland are Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray. Ireland have plenty of strengths but have shown a few weaknesses during pool play. I think where they are lacking compare to New Zealand is in the outside backs. Great pack and world class talent in the halves at nine and ten. Both teams defending is outstanding and have great attacking players if given the opportunity. Ireland have never made it past the Quarterfinals at a Rugby World Cup and will be chasing their first Semi Final Appearance. While New Zealand are trying to keep their dreams of a three peat alive.
This is going to be a great game to watch, I can’t wait for this. Winner will play against England or Australia in the Semi Finals. I see New Zealand getting this done, but only slightly.
RESULT: New Zealand by 8
Special thanks to Christian Catley for putting this piece together. If you enjoyed reading what Christian has to say, leave a like and/or comment on the page to let me know and hopefully you will see more from Christian soon.
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!