Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017: Round 3 Predictions

Ireland Rugby

Ireland Rugby

New Zealand versus Canada, England versus United States and Ireland versus France are the pick of the fixtures on day three of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Here are the predictions for the climax of the group phase at the tournament, which continues on Thursday…

POOL A

New Zealand v Canada
Billings Park, UCD
KO 12:00

New Zealand dispatched Hong Kong in ruthless fashion on Sunday as they touched down 19 times – including a record eight tries from Portia Woodman – in a 121-0 rout.

However, the Black Ferns know that things are about to get serious as they prepare for their toughest assignment yet against Canada to decide who tops Pool A.

The Canucks, who saw off Wales 15-0, have not conceded any points at the tournament so far but that record – and their unbeaten run – will be under threat on Thursday.

Prediction: New Zealand by 12

Wales v Hong Kong
UCD Bowl
KO 17:15

Despite another brave challenge, Wales suffered their second successive group loss as Canada ended their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

The Welsh though will get the opportunity to earn their first win in Ireland when they face Hong Kong in the final pool game at the UCD Bowl.

Hong Kong, who have conceded 219 points in their two matches, will be hoping to at least get off the mark by scoring their first points at a World Cup.

Prediction: Wales by 58

POOL B?

England v United States
Billings Park, UCD
KO 14:30

Holders England showed no signs of letting their grip on the title slip following another convincing display with 10 tries in a 56-13 victory over Italy.

The Red Roses are favourites to wrap up Pool B, but are likely to be given a stern test by a physical United States side who also won impressively at the weekend.

A clinical USA scored six tries and were awarded the first seven-point penalty try in the competition’s history as they overpowered Spain 43-0 to set up the expected group decider.

Prediction: England by 18

Italy v Spain
UCD Bowl
KO 14:45

Italy made England work hard as they trailed by just four points on 25 minutes before the English pulled away and finished strongly thanks to their reinforcements off the bench.

The Italians, who also pushed the United States close in their opening game, will be looking to secure their first win of the tournament against Spain.

Las Leonas suffered another big loss to the USA on Sunday, but they will be also aiming for victory in their final pool match with the Azzurre.

Prediction: Italy by 9

POOL C

Ireland v France
UCD Bowl
KO 19:15

Ireland were given a huge scare by Japan as they trailed 0-14 at half-time before scoring 24 unanswered points after the restart to avoid a major shock.

The Irish, who were sloppy and failed to claim a four-try bonus point, will need to play much better to see off an impressive France in Pool C’s crunch match.

Les Bleus were rampant as they scored eight tries in a 48-0 dismantling of Australia to set up a winner-takes-all clash with the hosts.

Prediction: France by 10

Australia v Japan
Billings Park, UCD
KO 17:00

Australia saw their hopes of a top two finish in Pool C ended in emphatic fashion by France following a narrow opening loss to Ireland.

The Wallaroos will look to restore some pride against Japan, who almost produced a massive upset as they led the Irish 14-7 with 15 minutes to go before losing out.
The Sakura 15, who lost heavily to France in their first match, will take confidence from their gallant effort on Sunday into Thursday’s game with Oz.

Prediction: Australia by 28

By Aron Hegarty