RWC2019: Day 17 Update

Dan Biggar

Argentina 47-17 USA
The Pumas gave a good account of themselves in their final World Cup fixture, thrashing the USA by 30 points. Bautista Delguy made some memorable contributions, showing a glimpse of why he was selected ahead of Santiago Cordero.

The Americans were very poor though, missing nearly a half-century of tackles, and perhaps they are more focused on beating Tonga at the weekend.

Scotland 61-0 Russia
A great performance from Scotland will give them confidence going into their crucial game with Japan on Sunday. They were expected to get the required bonus point, but the showing from their second-string players should lift the whole camp and give them the belief to overcome the hosts.

George Horne managed a hat-trick from scrum-half, whilst fly-half Adam Hastings scored two and was denied his third at the death as it was ruled out for a forward pass.

In keeping Russia at bay, Scotland became the first ever team to win back-to-back games to nil.

I think they might beat Japan on Sunday – what do you think?

Wales 29-17 Fiji
This was a lot more fun than I expected, and Fiji controlled the match for a long time, racing to a lead through two early scores and then regaining it in the second half when you might have expected Wales to pull away.

They threatened to score late on with only 5 points between the teams, but Wales just about prevailed in the end and my pre-match prediction was way off.

Josh Adams scored a great hat-trick, overshadowing his more illustrious colleague on the other wing, and Liam Williams looked threatening with the ball in hand running from full-back.

There were concerns for Dan Biggar after a nasty collision with Liam Williams, and is likely concussed, but he left the field on foot. Jonathan Davies also hobbled off after setting up Adams’ third try, and both are key players for Wales if they are to reach the last week of the tournament.

It was very enjoyable to see Fiji fighting so hard, whilst displaying some of their handling flair in attack, but that defeat to Uruguay ultimately made it all in vain, and if they had avoided that banana skin, this group would have been much more competitive.

On this evidence, and given the injury concerns, England fans might fancy a quarter-final against Wales more than Australia, particularly as a win there would lead to a semi-final meeting with South Africa rather than New Zealand.

How do you rate Wales so far in the tournament?

Day 18 Preview

Australia v Georgia
The Wallabies go into their final group game determined to work on their discipline, having conceded more penalties than Uruguay in their last match, and they had two players sin-binned. Ill-discipline is unlikely to cost them against Georgia, but it could be a problem come the knockout stages. The Georgians have been slightly disappointing for me, and haven’t challenged Wales or Fiji so far, and I suspect this will be another heavy defeat.

This is Australia’s final match of the pool stages, with the odds suggesting that a quarter-final against England awaits. I’m not sure how much we’ll learn from this one as it’s mostly a second-string side, but Michael Cheika’s selections have been slightly odd so far, so you never know.

I’ve picked Australia by 33 on Superbru, and Australia -25 looks generous with the bookies.

22 thoughts on “RWC2019: Day 17 Update

  1. Thought Wales were lucky with a number of the referees decisions. Should have had a second yellow for pen try maul collapse and one of Fiji’s yellows was very dubious

  2. I only saw the Wales/Fiji game which I enjoyed. Not the best from Wales but they got the job done. The same as England have faired so far really. I thought Navidi was man of the match, he was excellent. Some players were really off the pace though, Alun Wyn was poor as was Davies at 7 and Moriarty. Adams was great in taking his tries but his poor defence let him down.

  3. I’d just like to say I nailed this: “Wales by about 12”. Should’ve put some money on it.

    I thought the game was a cracker. Fast tempo, creative, running rugby, some awesome flair and finishes, great tackles and about optimal level of shithousery by both teams. Had to miss the last 20mins but up to there a thoroughly enjoyable watch. This Wales team have added ability to close out tight matches to their repertoire, where they used to get too emotional. At this rate they could be real contenders.

    1. Stroudos, Wales struggled v an 11th ranked Fiji. They ought to have, as 2nd ranked team, closed Fiji out more convincingly, surely?

      1. Misunderstanding Don P. Just recall – Ireland didn’t struggle against Japan, ranked lower than Fiji – they lost!! To expect results to follow blindly the world rankings going into the tournament is deluded.

        1. Hardly blindly Taliesin. There can always be odd results bucking trends, like Japan v SA in 2015. They then lost to Scotland BTW. However, my ? still stands. Wales missed 31 tackles (I think it was), according to Jamie Roberts. Rankings regardless, they’ll need to buck up in the 1/4ers, don’t you think?

      2. Remember that game in 2007 Don? Absolute cracker, one of my favourite world cup matches.

        That, along with games lost narrowly at the end usually to Australia, is the general image I have of Wales. It’s probably a quite unfair reputation these days, but I still find I’m impressed when they don’t let teams back in at the death.

        I don’t give a shit about rankings. If Fiji got more chances to play against top tier opposition I’m sure their ranking would be higher.

        Fiji are an amazing attacking side – just look at the way they started this game. They can conjure tries out of nothing. I think they do struggle with the 80-minutes fitness, but still to keep that winning margin through to the end, I think was a pretty good effort by Wales.

  4. I agree that Scotland should beat Japan BUT they have home favour with the refs and they are dangerous. I don’t see them getting a bonus point.

    1. They either need to get a try bonus themselves or deny Japan one as if both end up on 14 points its down to the winner of the H2H

      1. It’s a tricky one for the Scots. I predict something like 22-12 in Scotland’s favour. A measured performance is yet again what is needed, like they did against Samoa.

        They may only need to win though if Ireland can’t beat Samoa, time will tell. Unless Ireland improve, I see no bonus point vs Samoa. Points difference is looking good for the Scots too +71 vs +53 for Ireland.

        I just hope the typhoon doesn’t intervene. Nobody wants a cancelled game or a game in a shitstorm.

    2. Might be right Biggsy, but why? I too initially thought the Scots might turn Japan over, but since then they have been caned by Ireland whom in turn were caned by Japan! Japan top their table. They might be a tougher nut than Russia.

  5. A measured performance like against Samoa?? Lol oh come on! It was Samoa! Scotland are rubbish and Japan will Beat them by circa 10 points! You heard it here first

    1. Not so Mr Maul. I’ve already got a bet on with a Scotsman – Japan by at least 4. (I reckon 10 too but didn’t want to be too Billy Bigbollocks about it).

    2. Sorry I think that’s probably right. Japan will run Scotland ragged, as they did Ireland.
      I still pray it can go ahead so Scotland at least have a crack.

  6. Scoreboard indicated Scotland spanked the Ruskies. E Std agreed. Russia hardly got a mention. However for me, it was interesting how & why the score didn’t reflect the the game’s competitiveness. Russia played with plenty intent. Had their basics right, yet couldn’t score. Kicked pointlessly at times, but likewise Scotland. And when the latter needed the points?! Anyway, Russia’s ‘D’ was sometimes somewhat awry & by the end, in disarray. Just lacked that bit of accuracy, timing on attack, in defence. Also in some decision making. That their team comprised some part timers & amateurs showed, especially in the end. Nevertheless, I still can’t help but think that the score line was disproportionate. Fine margins, big difference it seems. Jocks cockahoop, but doubt Joseph’s Japan will be so generous.

  7. Wales for the cup? Never know, but on that performance? A definite maybe. Fiji? If only they had had a bit more composure.. & didn’t have a Frog ref FFS! Yellow happy or what? Anyway, during the last 1/4, in the the Welsh 22, they turned it over twice! End of. Also, thought Andy had a bit of a thing about Whinge-jJnes sticking his tongue in the ref’s ear (yuk!) & all that. However, on one particular 1st 1/2 occasion, with a clear cut decision called (so clear I can’t remember what it actually was!), AW-J pontificated with no off switch at such length, I feared full time would be called! Should have been pinged & or marched 10. Anyway, who mentioned ‘beads of sweat’? Was it a Welshman?

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