It was a slightly disappointing 6 from 9 last weekend, as I failed to pick Japan’s win over Italy, Wales’ beating Argentina and of course South Africa’s remarkable victory over England.
There are another 9 games coming up tomorrow, and we’re looking to bounce back.
Tonga v Samoa
Both sides suffered narrow defeats last weekend, but I think Samoa will be strong in this one. Samoa by 13
Fiji v Georgia
And these were the two sides that narrowly beat Samoa and Tonga above, and I’m going with Fiji as the slightly stronger team with home advantage. Fiji by 11
Japan v Italy
A resounding win for Japan over Italy last weekend, and it’s hard to see how the Azzurri can turn things around. Japan by 13
New Zealand v France
A good first half for France, followed by an absolute drubbing. I suspect French morale will be low and the All Blacks will not have such a slow start, but there’s a bit of rain forecast which might just limit the damage, or maybe not. New Zealand by 28
Australia v Ireland
The Aussies were impressive last week, adding a resolute defence to their game to repel the relentless Irish running. Ireland’s disappointing away record continued, and it will be interesting to see how they respond. With Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong restored to the starting side, I fancy them to level the series. Ireland by 2
South Africa v England
What a game at Ellis Park last weekend, a Test match both epic and ridiculous. I’m concerned at England’s preparation, and what seems like a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face by acknowledging the effects of playing at altitude. Why on earth are they training in Durban at sea level this week? Yes it has nicer beaches than Bloemfontein, but that’s not really good enough.
The team selection is more encouraging though, with Chris Robshaw dropped, and I’m excited to see what Brad Shields can offer for England. The back row has a much better balance to it than it has for some time, and the unit will need to be much more effective this week to nullify the threat of Faf de Klerk.
I’d love to see the series go to the decider in Cape Town next week, but England’s preparation doesn’t seem right and smacks of complacency – and the Boks will be better this time out too. South Africa by 5
Argentina v Wales
What happened to the Jaguares last weekend? I didn’t see the game, but I was very surprised at the result. On paper the Pumas side looks stronger, and with home advantage as well. Sticking to my guns and putting last week’s result down to an anomaly. Argentina by 4
Canada v Russia
The Russians lost by 49 points to the USA last weekend, which made me fear for some of the scorelines we’ll see in the Rugby World Cup – although luckily they aren’t in the same group as the All Blacks. Canada by 33
USA v Scotland
A fine win for Scotland last weekend, not just edging a victory over Canada but really putting them to the sword. They ought to do the same to the USA too. Scotland by 23
Which predictions do you disagree with?
Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James