RWC2019: Day 13 Update

Owen Farrell

South Africa 49-3 Italy
It was a convincing win for the Springboks over Italy today, and the result was never really in doubt.

The Azzurri lost two props to injury within the first quarter, which led to uncontested scrums and the nullification of a key Springbok strength. But it didn’t matter, as South Africa used their lineout to good effect and when Andrea Lovotti received a red card for a totally pointless tip tackle on Duane Vermeulen, South Africa were able to run riot.

Cheslin Kolbe looked electric once again, and there will be some concern over his fitness as he hobbled off near the end with a resigned expression on his face.

What did you think of the match?

Day 14 Preview

Australia v Uruguay
Michael Cheika has reverted to the halfback pairing of Nic White and Christian Leali’ifano, the same combination that featured in the Wallabies’ win over New Zealand and I was surprised not to see them play Wales last week. I can’t see anything other than a big Wallaby win, although it might not be quite the 65-3 as it was when these teams met in the last World Cup.

I have gone for Australia by 46 on Superbru.

England v Argentina
This is a huge fixture in the context of Pool C, where a win for England would likely knock out the Pumas, whilst an Argentina win would open it all up again.

I’m excited about the England lineup and the pack should be strong at the set piece with George Kruis and Maro Itoje in the engine room, and with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill at 6 and 7, they should provide some quick ball at the breakdown too.

England’s defence has been solid so far, albeit without the sternest of tests, and there are question marks over Argentina’s attacking game as they appear to be caught between different styles of play. Dropping Nicholas Sanchez is an odd decision for me, and I don’t think there’s much confidence in the Pumas’ party.

England need to sharpen up in attack, but if they can keep the Pumas out, that will be half of the battle won and I am confident they will prevail on Saturday – yes Argentina are a great World Cup team, but England generally have the measure of them whenever they play.

I originally picked England by 13 on Superbru, but I’m considering increasing the margin a little. The bookie handicap is England -15.

Japan v Samoa
The Samoans were very disappointing against Scotland, and whilst the conditions were very difficult, not to even grace the scoreboard is poor. Japan will likely be superior in every facet of play, and if both sides deploy their fast, chaotic gameplans, it will be great to watch and Japan will win. Add in home advantage and the potential of winning the pool, Japan could win comfortably.

Japan by 23

How do you think tomorrow’s games will go?

4 thoughts on “RWC2019: Day 13 Update

  1. “Tip tackle” does not do justice to the outrageous assault on Vemuelen. The Italians are lucky Vermuelen wasn’t badly hurt. Both “tacklers” should have been red carded for this. Italy were very competitive up to this point, but I’d have happily watched SA run in a load more tries against 13 men. Also, I think Benevuti should have had a yellow card for the neck roll earlier in the game – reckon he only got away with it because it was a wing on a prop.

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  2. Japan by 23? ..sorry, I don’t see that. Samoa are better than that. They could beat Japan and Ireland. Don’t write them off. People are too quick to say: A beat C by 34-0, D beat A by 27-3, and B beat D by 19-12 therefore B must beat C and D must beat C…. it just doesn’t work like that. Samoa are TARGETING Japan and Ireland. That was always their plan. Tier 2 teams teams always pick their targets, moths in advance, maybe even years. Samoa are set up to take on Japan and then do Ireland in the humid subtropics of Fukuoka, October humidity typically 70% there with high temperature hazy sticky conditions possible. Pool A is wide open…
    This from an Irishman.

    On that note. Conor O’Shea has proven he is every bit as mediocre a manager as he was a player. He should never have been put in charge of Italy. He never proved himself in the English leagues despite the resources he had. They didn’t lose to the Boks, they were taken apart despite getting a free ride in the scrum. They couldn’t even compete. Italy have gone backwards under him and he should be removed.

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  3. Speaking purely as an England fan, i think tomorrow is the day we discover just where we stand in relation to what i would term the “big four” in this competition: NZ, SA, Australia and Wales and just how realistic are our chances of winning the cup.

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