June Internationals: Week 3 predictions

Ireland

New Zealand v Wales

Wales once again showed that they can mix it with the best last week, but yet again they only showed it for a short amount of time. The second half they were simply blitzed and only a late surge gave the score line some form of respectability.

This weekend is surely a bridge too far now and the three heavy defeats on the spin will make this a nigh on impossible task for Warren Gatland to lift his men as they go to Dunedin.

Gatland has lost some important members of his pack as Gethin Jenkins and Bradley Davies flew home this week, with the former leaving a gaping hole in the front row that the All Blacks will look to exploit.

Steve Hansen has made five changes to his starting line-up but the one that will strike fear the most is Beauden Barrett coming in at fly half. He will push the tempo to the max and with Wales already looking like they are on the ropes then Barrett may just have a field day against those weary Welsh legs.

New Zealand by 25

Australia v England

England created history last weekend in Melbourne as they took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, but for Eddie Jones and his record book writers this simply isn’t enough for them to be satisfied.

At times, it was very much backs to wall in defence as they repelled wave after wave of Australian attack but their cause was also helped by the basic errors that plagued the host’s game in attack.

Nick Phipps was probably the guiltiest party on this front as his service from scrum-half simply wasn’t good enough. It’s surprising to some that he has kept his place but the addition of Matt Toomua will be a welcome sight to Wallaby fans. Bernard Foley is a different proposition with a ball handling inside centre outside him.

Will Skelton and Rob Simmons also come in for a new partnership in the second row hoping to add ballast to a faltering scrum.

For England just the one enforced change with Eddie Jones keeping good to his word that he won’t be handing out easy caps. Teimana Harrison comes in for the injured James Haskell and this could really have a greater effect on the game than expected. More competition at the breakdown and Harrison loves the ball in hand as well.

The Aussies will be fired up but the confidence oozing from the pores of this England side cannot be ignored. The game should be more open with the introduction of Toomua into the Australian backline but the Ford and Farrell axis should see England create more history.

England by 6

South Africa v Ireland

Ireland have been struck by injuries to two of their key players this week with Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw being replaced by Tiernan O’Halloran and Luke Marshall respectively. The return of the suspended CJ Stander is a major boost for them however and his carrying ability will be paramount to Ireland if they are to gain a victory here.

South Africa make two changes themselves. One is enforced by the injury of Duane Vermeulen as Warren Whiteley replaces him, whilst last week’s man of the match from the bench Ruan Combrinck replaces Lwazi Mvovo on the wing.

You have to wonder what effect last week’s comeback win for South Africa has had on this Irish squad and their mind set.

Injuries to two key players like Henshaw and Payne will weaken their attack significantly, so forward domination will be key for Ireland to gain a foothold. The set-piece has to be rock solid or else South Africa will have free reign to attack the inexperienced Irish back line.

The Springboks will look to continue where they left off in the final 20 minutes of last week and with that in mind I think their fresher legs will win out.

South Africa by 12

Japan v Scotland

Vern Cotter has made six changes to his side that lacked a little bit of cohesiveness last week as they stumbled across the line against an ill-disciplined and under strength Cherry Blossoms.

The Captain, Greig Laidlaw is dropped to the bench as Henry Pyrgos comes in to fill both the half back role and captaincy that Laidlaw has vacated.

Pyrgos should bring some zip to and pace around the breakdown which will help the Scots push the tempo and also keep the ball away from a Japanese pack that seemed hell bent on killing it every time the men in blue looked like getting on the front foot.

One thing that can be said for Japan though is that they are extremely tenacious, especially when defending in their own 22. They showed this last week and although their discipline overstepped the mark time and time again I don’t expect them to change the way they approach this one.

Pyrgos will be the difference though and quick ball will be more readily available as Scotland look to move the Japanese pack around and tire them as the game wears on.
Scotland by 15

How do you see the matches going? Share your predictions and give us your thoughts.

By Andy Daniel
(@scrum5ive)

12 thoughts on “June Internationals: Week 3 predictions

  1. Something is telling me that this weekend could see a piece of history made with Wales and Ireland winning and England completing a 3 nil whitewash

    1. I would love for that to happen

      Just can’t see the first though and although I like the look of the Irish team, Henshaw and Payne are big shoes to fill

      Fingers crossed England can get over the line but last week has to have taken something out of them and surely the Aussies can’t play as unintelligently again

  2. I think the Aus v Eng match will be the closest of the series with England edging it by 3 or less

    I fancy Ireland to win seeing as they were doing well in Joburg until the second half where they looked exhausted from playing at altitude for the first time this tour

    So far Wales have had a margin exactly 13 points less than England did under Lancaster in 2014 so on that entirely controversial and irrational basis i’m going for NZ by 36

    1. Not bad
      1 off on the England margin
      4 off the Wales Margin
      Got the Ireland result wrong unforetunately

  3. Last week England’s strong defence and wet conditions caused Aus to make so many errors in attack. Lots of knock ons and slow passes at the crucial moment. Also the fact they had no second playmaker didn’t help them. This week with Toomua coming in and the weather due to dry and bright in Sydney, I expect to see the Ford/Farrell axis come into it’s own. Harrison and Robshaw to put pressure on Toomua and Krutoje no Foley. Phipps has looked nervous with slow ball and Youngs can make the most of this. It will be tight but I think Farrell’s boot will have a big part to play again, and hopefully Jamie George’s!!!!!

  4. I know it’s a tier two fixture but I thought it was worth a mention that Georgia beat Fiji, in Fiji. Had they scored another try there’s all likelihood that they would have broke the top 10 with a hairs breadth between them and France.

      1. We’ve been saying that for a while now though but there is only two options
        7 nations or
        2 tier tournament with promotion/relegation
        Both have been discussed endlessly but none of the 6N organisers seems to be interested

  5. It would be lovely to have them involved, but: Where do we find space for the fixture in an expanded 6N? The big mandate for World Rugby is to harmonise the calendar but as things stand, 1 more game in an already over tight schedule means they won’t get that opportunity

  6. Also from a selfish point of view I don’t think a 7 nations would benifit the major NH teams. I think fewer teams of higher quality to rise up the standard would be more beneficial.

    1. Not quite sure where I said I want Ireland to get smashed because I most certainly didn’t and predicting 12 points after a long season, games at altitude and losing the way they did in the previous test would make me believe I was quite fair. Anyway, lots to take positively from the tour and some new faces gave them a fresh look………it’s whether Schmidt sticks around now or not!!

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