We’re now getting towards the serious part of the round robin phase, and a team that slips up over the next weekend or two may end up taking a flight home sooner than they would have wanted. The only true upset we’ve had so far is the Irish beating Australia which didn’t really change anyone’s flight plans but who knows what this weekend may bring. Here’s the Openside Flanker’s predictions for this weekends world cup games.
Australia v USA – 34 to 4
It would be strange to see anything other than a convincing Australian victory in this match. The Wallabies have rested a few players but their replacements are full of experience such as Drew Mitchell, whilst USA have one eye on next week’s game against Italy and have dropped (or rested) 14 players from their last outing. Yeah, this could be a blowout.
England v Romania – 33 to 10
Again another blowout on the cards in Dunedin on Saturday. England will be looking to bounce back after a couple of under-whelming games against Argentina and Georgia. And the Romanians may well have one eye on next week’s game against Georgia, shame really, so another blowout.
New Zealand v France – 40 to 17
Despite the prediction of a 23 point New Zealand win and talk of the France fielding a ‘B’ team and looking to lose, this match will be one to watch. The French are notorius at spoiling the All Blacks world cup chances and would love to upset them again we’re sure, especially after all the talk of fielding an under-strength team by the New Zealand media during the week. This may be closer than the Openside Flanker thinks.
Samoa v Fiji – 34 to 19
A Pacific Island clash at Eden Park on Sunday pits Samoa against Fiji. Samoa look like the in-form team of the two, with Fiji not impressing at all during the cup so far. Yeah, a 15 pointer to Samoa sounds about right.
Ireland v Russia – 34 to 4
Another clobbering on the cards here. Ireland are looking good and a second-string Irish team would even dominate the Russians. Sorry to say a 30 point margin looks good.
Argentina v Scotland – 19 to 15
This is more like it, with the Openside prediction of this game swinging in the favour as Argentina as the tournament progressed, it’s probably fair to say this will be a close game. Both sides have quarter-finals aspirations and with England in the same group, this is virtually a knockout game if you believe England will beat Scotland next week. We’re pretty certain no-one will be rested and both teams will go all out for the win. If you can only watch one game this weekend, this is the ONE to watch!
Openside Pick of the Weekend
Sunday night’s game in Wellington between Argentina and Scotland is the pick of the bunch, whether you’re having a asado or serving up haggis with neeps and tatties, grab yourselves a cold one, sit back and enjoy!