The 2015 World Cup has continued to produce some top-level rugby through the last week and shows absolutely no sign of slowing down with a number of fixtures set to be played between key pool nations and old, bitter rivals over the coming days.
Australia remain undefeated at the 2015 World Cup after delivering Uruguay a comfortable defeat on Sunday night, but undoubtedly face their biggest task to date in host nation England early Sunday morning.
Other matches will see the All Blacks take on minnows Georgia on Saturday morning Australian time, while the Springboks will all but confirm their qualification to the knockout phase of the tournament with success over Scotland.
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Wales vs Fiji
In what could very well figure as a key clash in their hopes of progression to the knockout phase of the World Cup, Wales face off with Fiji at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff early Friday morning Australian time. Wales barely got away with a 17-13 win last team these two nations met, but will be full of confidence after seeing off England in their most recent fixture. Fiji have continued to improve and are by no means easy beats but will have to kick up another gear if they are any chance of beating Wales in front of a parochial crowd.
France vs Canada
The French were seriously tested by a brave Romanian side in their most recent fixture at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but are again clear favourites to beat Canada on Friday morning Australian time. The Canadians almost pulled off their biggest ever win at a Rugby World Cup when just going down 23-18 to Italy last Saturday, and are sure to have taken plenty of confidence from what was a classy performance. Realistically, they don’t stand much chance of success over France.
New Zealand vs Georgia
In what will undoubtedly be the most one-sided match over the coming days of the 2015 World Cup, reigning champions New Zealand face one of the tournament’s lowest-ranked nations in Georgia. Georgia did post an impressive 17-10 win over Tonga in their first match this campaign, but received a huge reality check when on the wrong end of a 54-9 score line against Argentina. The All Blacks are another step-up in class, and value undoubtedly lies in backing the line in this match.
Samoa vs Japan
Samoa weathered a spirited USA Eagles in their first match at the Rugby World Cup, but were unlucky to face South Africa off the back of their loss to Japan are were comfortably defeated 46-6. Japan undoubtedly produced a nation-best effort to defeat the Springboks first-up but appeared to have placed all their eggs into one basket when Scotland charged past them 45-10 last weekend. This match has every chance of figuring as the most tightly-contested match over the coming days and Japan offer great value in head-to-head markets but will have to dominate possession from the outset if they are any hope of overcoming the big Samoan pack.
South Africa vs Scotland
South Africa restored order with a convincing win over Samoa last weekend, and will take a big step towards consolidating top spot in Group B will success over Scotland. A former mainstay in the knockout phases of previous World Cups, the Scots have receded somewhat through recent years and are now considered one of the Six Nations’ easy-beats. Their performance against Japan was patient and convincing and while they probably will not beat the Springboks this time around, they are a great chance of making the final eight.
England vs Australia
One of the most highly-anticipated matches at the 2015 World Cup will be played out when England meet Australia at Twickenham early Sunday morning. Expected to travel through the pool undefeated, England were not 100% convincing in beating Fiji on opening night before being beaten by Wales last weekend. Faced with the prospect of elimination should they lose this weekend, the English are sure to rally hard and throw everything they have into their match with the Wallabies. Australia were unable to secure a valuable bonus point despite also beating Fiji first-up, but were far-more hardened for the match when breezing past Uruguay on Sunday. This match is a huge test for Michael Cheika’s men, but we’re confident they offer great value as outsiders and are more than capable of getting one back over the old enemy.
Ireland vs Italy
Considered the best ‘dark horse’ to lift a maiden World Cup trophy in 2015, Ireland continue their charge against Italy early Monday morning Australian time. Boasting a slick, fast backline and typically heavy Northern Hemisphere-style forward pack, the Irish destroyed Canada in their first match before comfortably seeing off Romania on Sunday. Italy were lucky to get away with a win over Canada and probably face too great a task in Ireland, in current form.