“[November Internationals] ..isn’t it great when England and France have to fight?”
NEW YORK, NY – Yesterday, we looked at the IRB Minnows and broke those matches down for you. Today, we’re looking at the bigger fish in Week 2 of the November Internationals. As Pyk O’Kallpyher wrote about on Monday, these games will affect the seeding for the 2015 World Cup in England.
That said, it looks like it will be a dogfight between England and France for 4th place, with the winner being top seed in Pool D. However, with the way Australia are performing, they could well slip to 5th for the first time since Webb Ellis picked up that soccer ball. But really, isn’t it great when England and France have to fight?
Here are the IRB World Rankings for the Top 20. You’ll see that there is little room between key countries on the table:
Here is the complete Fixture List. Now let’s look at this week’s matches and pick the winners for you.
Wales vs Samoa at Millennium Stadium: Wales will redeem themselves. With Head Coach Rob Howley finally dropping out of form players, captain and open-side Sam Warbuton and fly-half Rhys Priestland, Wales may actually look like winners again. Samoa beat up on Canada but Wales ain’t Canada.
England vs Australia at Twickenham: After watching the Wallabies get smashed by France and England put Fiji to the sword, Stuart Lancaster’s charges have no excuse for not taking this big. England by 30.
Scotland vs South Africa at Murrayfield: We are hoping for a Scotland win just so I can see my Saffer friend’s head explode. However, it will likely be the Springboks by the skin of their teeth again.
Italy vs New Zealand at Stadio Olimpico: The undefeated streak continues as NZ wins easily, using their classy backs and undervalued front row.
France vs Argentina at Grand Stade Lille Metropole: The pick here is Argentina.You can bet Monsieur Pyk O’Kallapfer will now strike me off his Christmas List, but as impressive as France’s win against Australia was, Argentina are coming off a bigger win. The Argies beat Wales now take on a French side of whom many are professional teammates of. And when the enemy knows you well… Los Pumas to eat Les Roosters!
Okay, so these aren’t exactly “Big Fish” in rugby…
Canada vs Russia at Parc Eirias: Much like how the USA used Russia to get their groove back, Canada will do the same here. The Canadians traditionally have better backs than the USA and will look to exploit a Russian team with a flashy attack but no steel in the tackle area. Canada big.
Tonga vs USA at Parc Eirias: This will be the most physical match TEAM USA players will possibly ever play. The Eagles are under pressure to repeat their performance from last week and show that it was not a flash in the pan. Tonga are coming off a narrow unconverted try loss to Italy and will be as foul as Scrooge on Christmas Eve. This will be a tough and tight affair but I gotta go with my mind and say Tonga by 8.
That is it for me for now. Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats and @Mathew Drew Turner, respectively.
And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.