No games today and “everything is quiet on the western front”, as they say. Yesterday’s results went according to the script although the USA and Japan will be disappointed and Italy had to work hard for their victory. Having a look at the tables as well, there have been no big upsets or unexpected results yet.
So what do we have to look forward to this weekend. It kicks off with England’s crunch game against the Springboks on Friday evening. This will be a humdinger I think but England will collapse and the South Africans will march on towards the next round. If England didn’t have two crocked fly halves (and a suspended captain) I would have given them a fighting chance. However, I think South Africa are going to throw everything and the sink at the no. 10 channel and test Farrell to the limit. And on what I’ve seen of his performances to date I don’t think he’ll cope. Others will have to compensate and that will leave them exposed leaving Habana and co. to have a field day on the wing.
New Zealand versus Portugal is going to be an absolute mauling. I don’t think there’s much else to be said about that.
The Welsh take on Australia and on paper this should be a win for the Aussies. But I’m reluctant to write off the Welsh. They’ll take a lot of heart from their opening win, guys like Charvis and Thomas seem to be raring to go and I think the Australians will be hit hard. Whether it’s enough to win is doubtful but it’ll be close.
Of course what I’m really looking for this weekend is Ireland’s “crunch” tie against Georgia. I’d have written this off as a no brainer before the tournament. After the uncertainty of the warm up games and the first outing against Namibia this fixture will be getting a little more attention. The Georgians are going to go in with an all or nothing attitude. While Ireland should do likewise I think they’ll be keeping an eye on the next two games and so self-preservation may be the aim of the day. I don’t think the result is in doubt, nor the bonus point for that matter (famous last words anyone?) but I could see injuries playing a part and with six days until the French game that could be key.
On Sunday I reckon Fiji will get the better of Canada, Samoa will win the clash of the islanders when they take on Tonga and France will show us how it should have been done against the Namibians. I actually feel sorry for the Namibians going up against a wounded France. Lets hope they get that out of their system before meeting us next!
Do you agree with the predictions? God knows, after my last bout of predictions I’m bound to get some right? You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned any scores this time!