RWC 2019 Warm-ups: Wales v England Prediction

Elliot Daly

Having won convincingly at Twickenham last weekend, the pressure is off England this time as the teams head to the Millennium Stadium for a rematch.

Instead it is Wales who will be feeling that this is a must-win match for them, lest they head into a potential Rugby World Cup quarter-final meeting having lost two in a row to England, home and away – and against an England side that is not full-strength.

Eddie Jones has only made a couple of changes, with Charlie Ewels discarded from the squad and Tom Curry sitting this one out after coming off injured last weekend. Ruaridh McConnochie will win his first cap if he can stay fit between now and kick-off, and the bench is stronger for the presence of Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler.

As has been discussed at length on the team selection article, it’s unusual to see two hookers on the bench, and it seems as though Eddie will test out some contingency plans with a few players out of position. I’m not against this is a strategy, and we know how meticulously Sir Clive would try to prepare his team for every eventuality. That’s not to say though that I don’t have a few issues with the imbalance of Jones’ squad selection, but this is the squad and these are the players that Eddie has to work with.

The seemingly undroppable Elliot Daly is collecting a few doubters, particularly after a strong showing from Anthony Watson last weekend, and he needs a commanding performance at full-back this weekend to justify his continued selection.

Wales are missing the unfortunate Gareth Anscombe, but Dan Biggar is an able deputy and one that always raises his game against England. I would expect Biggar to be testing Daly, and generally employing a kicking game to push England back, and it will be interesting to see how it goes – and if there are any ramifications if Daly continues to look a little shaky.

James Davies at openside flanker is an interesting proposition, and with England lacking an ‘out and out’ 7 and with three locks in the starting lineup, Jonathan’s brother could cause some issues at the breakdown.

With home advantage and a lot more to lose, I think Wales might sneak it this time.

Wales by 2

Here are some facts and figures that may also help with your predictions, courtesy of GentingBet

‘The Biggar Picture’

  • Despite Wales’ 14 point loss to England at Twickenham last weekend, let’s not forget they were in red hot form heading into that.
  • They’re unbeaten at home in 11 matches including a 21-13 victory over England in this year’s Six Nations.
  • England have won four of the last five matches against Wales, but the majority of those victories have come at home.
  • Yes, Gareth Anscombe is a big blow for Wales but there’s no question that Dan Biggar is a more than adequate replacement.
  • Although on average Anscombe has gained more metres for Wales in 2019 (15.6m to Biggar’s 7.9m), Biggar’s kicking accuracy trumps Anscombe’s (94% to 78%).
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  • he pair have near identical records for tackles won too with Biggar’s 88% just pipping Anscombe’s 87%. Importantly though, Biggar has also missed less tackles and conceded fewer turnovers.
  • Finally, both are well disciplined figures, just the one penalty for Biggar between the pair for Wales in 2019.

Wales to win – 11/10 with GentingBet

  • Wales win would see them record back to back victories against England at home for the first time since 2013 (first win in that double was 2011).
  • But more importantly…they could jump to the top of the world rankings if New Zealand lose against Australia on Saturday.
  • Wales to win by 1-5 points – 7/2 with GentingBet

  • Since the last World Cup, both matches between the two sides at the Millennium Stadium haven’t exceeded a winning margin of more than 8 points.
  • The last time Wales lost by more than 7 points against England at the Millennium Stadium was in 2003 – a warm-up game for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
  • England to win – 17/20 with GentingBet

    Could England actually do it again? Surely not?

    16 thoughts on “RWC 2019 Warm-ups: Wales v England Prediction

    1. I feel Daly needs to be on the pitch due to his cannon boot but alas not at fullback, his best position is at centre yet is never played here by England.

      Having someone who can kick 3 points from half way puts a certain pressure on teams not to give away penalties in a position that normally would be safe and Farrell for all his self confidence hasn’t got the range.

      I agree Watson looks far more secure at fullback.

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      1. Unpopular opinion but I think too much emphasis is placed on Daly’s kicking ability from the tee. According to rugby pass, he averaged 50% and 58% from the tee for England and Wasps respectively in 2019. These are hardly stats to write home about.
        Whilst it is good to have the option, if a penalty is won inside our own half, I’d much rather England pump it down field for a lineout in good field position that take a 50/50 on a long goal kick attempt. Ford can also knock them over from halfway so there is the option there too.
        Daly is not a FB, and EJ seems unwilling to play him at centre. This leaves wing which is one of England’s strongest positions in terms of depth. If Nowell and May are both 100% then I don’t think Daly gets into the starting XV.

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        1. Jake, There’s a really interesting article by the Economist back from during the 2015 RWC which essentially showed statistically you’re far more likely to win a match kicking for sticks rather than to the corner for a try. Admittedly the article only used limited data from just RWC 2015 pool stages, but essentially tries were scored against Tier 1 nations off the back of line outs and scrums just 9.8% and 12.5% behind the 22. So even a long kick with a 50% success rate is often a better option.

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    2. Wales to win this one as they will want it more
      England team no longer playing for their squad place but more trying get the systems in place and working while welsh out for revenge playing in front of their home crowd and still trying to get on the plane

    3. I fancy England to win this again. Not as comfortable in the first half as last week, but it’s a hell of a bench to come on!!

      Does anyone know if the Scotland vs France game is being televised?

        1. Thanks Rich. Such a shame these warm up games are not on easily accessible TV. I was assuming the Wales game would be on BBC ( as they show everything else Welsh) but they can’t even be bother to fork out to show that. Shameful!!

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          1. Wales V England is live on Channel 4, though hopefully not with the Irish commentary team from last week who genuinely sent me to sleep during the Ireland V Italy game.

            I agree about the games being more readily available as I won’t be forced to pay Sky for nothing.

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    4. Going for a Wales win on this one, not taking nothing away from England last week but Wales butchered a fair few chances that could have swung the momentum. Wales by 5-7 points, but a good old test match!

      Not sure I am as convinced as many that a) the fact Daly has a big boot he should be on the field ‘somewhere’. He misses as many long ranges as he gets. and b) not convinced Watson is much more secure @ FB. I am sure when he has played there for England has also been suspect. Emission of Brown may come to haunt us!

      ps if England DO win this, then let the talk begin of lifting the Webb Ellis roll on!

    5. I’ve said before and I I’ll say it again the WC final will have England it. Whether they win it or not depends on who they have to face on the day.

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