NEW YORK, NY – Welcome to Week 2 of the November Internationals. Some of them may seem to be in the periphery of the rugby fan, but I am not called the rainman for nothing.There are loads of matches one started last night and though the big matches are this weekend there are a few going into midweek next week that are of importance.
Now lets begin the art of breaking down matches that are not headliners on the fight card and picking the winners:
Spain vs Zimbabwe at Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium:This match was played yesterday and though Spain prevailed 47-14, Zimbabwe coach Cyprian Mandenge, said the Sables gave their best and it was for their fringe players to get experience. By the way, we did pick Spain.
Greece vs Bosnia & Herzegovina: I got to go with B&H… Rugby is experiencing growth in loads of former Eastern Block countries and Greece may lack the forwards to win.
Germany vs Moldova: Moldova!! Believe it or not Germany and rugby have not clicked. Moldova is tiny but they will win out on pride and passion.
Ukraine vs Czech Republic: The pick here – Ukraine, easy! They are more established in rugby than the Czechs, so will have better backline play.
Netherlands vs Switzerland: The Oranje Army, led by Sep Visser, will win out-wide and continue their climb to be ERC 1st Division in spite of an organized performance by the Swiss.
Austria vs Cyprus: We’re going with Austria. If this was 7s, the Cypriots would have a chance… but not in 15s.
Georgia vs Japan at Tbilisi: Japan will try and play an up-tempo game but Georgia will keep it tight and play to their strength the forwards, and power their way to victory.
RFU Championship XV vs NZ Maori at Castle Park: It will be great test for the players from the English 2nd Division to play solid international competition, but it will be the Maori in a cake walk.
Chile vs Portugal at Santiago: Portugal on the basis that Chile try to play like Argentina but don’t have the players to do so.
Ireland XV vs Fiji @ Thomond Park: Fiji! Believe it or not. Ireland XV won’t have the same class as England. This have RWU co-host Declan Yeats responding in 3…2…1
Basque XV vs Japan at Estadio Anoeta: The Basque 15 will be made up of Top 14 players from the three Top 14 teams in the Basque Region of France. The clubs are Bayonne, Bairritz and Mont-de-Masan. The players will include the Norweigan Eric Lund, Australian Dane Haylett-Petty and Fijian Seremaia Burotu. The side will also feature former French international Dimitri Yachvili. The Japanese Midweek side will take this match-up, but it will be a high-scoring affair.
Watch Haylett-Petty get crunched in this:
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.