Rugby World Cup 2011 Predictions: Quarter-finals

It’s the ‘business end’ of the tournament this weekend, and that makes predicting results that much harder. I’ve had a pretty good run over the last 40 matches, so let’s hope the last 8 are somewhere near the mark.

After the northern hemisphere games tomorrow, my nails will be bitten, my nerves wracked and my hair torn out (if I had any), but I’m backing victories for Ireland and England in a partly ‘heart over head’ move.

The first quarter-final could be the game of the tournament so far, with both teams in fine form and keen to play a fast game. Sam Warburton has another big job ahead of him to contain Sean O’Brien, but he has Dan Lydiate back alongside him to strengthen their back row. Rory Best is fit, which is great news for Ireland, and in my view gives them a marginal edge up front, and I think they’ll have just enough experience and guile out wide to get through to the semis.

England v France…who knows? The French have been a complete shambles of a side, whilst England haven’t been much better. I’m wary of a French backlash, but rumours of unrest in the camp suggest that they might be keen to get home, so I’ve gone for an England win.

Then on Sunday, I’m hoping for a South Africa win over the Wallabies, and this is where their pedigree in knockout rugby might begin to count – a superior pack and a deadly kicker should see them through, although the Aussies will be keen for redemption and are more than capable of a win. Boks to go through for me.

It’s a shame that the final match of the weekend is looking slightly one-sided, even with Colin Slade pulling the strings instead of Dan Carter. I have a feeling the All Blacks will run riot for a comfortable win – and perhaps building up a false confidence before the semis in the process!

Here are my Rugby World Cup quarter-final predictions – let me know what you think.

Ireland v Wales: Ireland by 5
England v France: England by 6
South Africa v Australia: South Africa by 8
New Zealand v Argentina: New Zealand by 33

18 thoughts on “Rugby World Cup 2011 Predictions: Quarter-finals

  1. Agree except Ireland v Wales, i reckon Wales’ young bucks will play without fear and have that extra 5% to win it by a slim margin, i’ve gone for a 4 point margin. Whoever gets through that has a great chance of making the final for the first time!

    1. Fear is different when it comes to knock out rugby, and Ireland have the most experience there. A fascinating encounter, the 2 strongest representatives of the Rabo Direct Pro 12, but remember – the top 3 sides of that league were all Irish sides. I believe we will win but yeah, it could be a nail biter.

  2. I think you are close to the money Ireland will have too much experience for the
    Welsh if they are patient they can win well
    England look like winners but you never know which French team will turn up
    if England win it will be a close game but if the French turn up they could win by 20
    SA should have too much power for Australia if they keep it tight they will grind out a win
    NZ should have a comfortable win over a wounded Argentina but the forwards will know they were in a battle
    Great weekend of rugby coming up

  3. Very glad to be waking up as a neutral tomorrow morning. The Wales-Ireland match should be all time with the victor likely to progress to the final. I’m tipping Ireland because I think they have the edge in big match mentality.

    France-England: The kermits have made it through despite themselves. England should take this out in usual ugly fashion. But if one of the oldest cliches in RWC comes true, then this could be England’s banana skin.

    Australia finally have a full strength team this weekend. The nation is demanding aggression and mongrel from our forward pack. Something that has been sadly lacking since the tri-nations. The wallabies have proven (by beating the bokke 4 of the last 5 encounters) that they know what they have to do to win on Sunday. Hit them hard, absorb the pressure in the first half, then run the old legs ragged in the second half.

    Deans’ selection of McCabe over Barnes is a bit controversial, as Barnes has the ability to calm Cooper down. But it also gives an insight into the ‘defensive wall’ tactics that work well against this team. Barnes should come on at the 50 minute mark. Australia can win and should if they turn up for it.

    Oh, and the kiwis to choke :-)

  4. I think Wales will beat Ireland. The Welsh should achieve parity up front. The front fives look a match for each other. Sean O’Brien is a fantastic blind-side flanker, but not an open side. In Warburton, Wales have the best ‘fetcher’ in the Northern Hemisphere at present. Unless, I’m wrong and Ireland dominate up front, Wales’s exciting young backs – particularly George North, who is starting to look like a real superstar in the making – should give them the edge, probably by 6-8 points.

    I think England will do enough to comfortably see off the French, who look in as much disarray as their football team did last year.

    South Africa/Australia is difficult to call. Although the Wallabies’ recent record against the Springboks is good, I have a sneaky feeling that South Africa will edge it, 24-23.

    New Zealand will run riot against an ageing, tired-looking Argentina, missing two or three key players. Expect a cricket score.

  5. Ireland, England and SA all by under 5 point margins and AB’s by over 25. There, I’ve said it – no more fence sitting for me!

      1. Right that should have put the mockers on pretty much everyone so it will be an Aussie v France final again!

  6. My prediction before I opened the article was that an English pragmatist would go for Ireland , England ,SA and NZ so I got that right at least !

    So I’ll go for Wales , France , Australia and well NZ of course (not that daft).

    More likely to get some tries in the semi finals/final if that lot get through .

      1. Most amazed about the Australian result , still trying to work out how they won that game .If only I’d had the same conviction in the Super Guru league where I went for England and S Africa to win before I came on here and decided to be contradictory !

  7. I think Irelands passion will shine and the old patnership of Wilko and Flood at centre will see off the French for England…….Cannot believe the Boks are underdogs against the Aussies(Boks to Shine by 14)….New zealand to have a tough sixty minutes but will get daylight of 16-20 points.

  8. ach! shoulda known you’d put no faith in the better teams!
    Wales outclassed a defensive outfit who had no reply
    France played rugby and England had to try and score a try without ever doing it before
    Australia and their openside flanker and digby back, always thought they’d take it, but i figured it would be by more
    The most standard of wins by the AB!

  9. Oh my word Hutch – who would have thought that things would turn out the way they did! I too was way off the mark with my quarter final predictions. I’m so sad that the Boks lost. I really thought that they would smash the Aussies. I’m still depressed about it! Just shows you that no team is safe.

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