2015 Rugby World Cup Update: Final Pool Games
The final round of Pool games at the 2015 Rugby World Cup are upon us and there is still plenty of moving that can occur in terms of what nations will progress to the knockout phase of the tournament.
While a number of countries are already locked into final eight positions, just who will play who next weekend is yet to be determined and the results of this week’s fixtures therefore could not be more important.
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South Africa vs USA
South Africa suffered a shock defeat to Japan in their first match at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but have since been pretty clinical in their performances against Samoa and Scotland to sit atop Pool B. The USA Eagles were gallant in defeat to Samoa first-up but again faced too great a task in the Scots and are probably just too out of their depth this time around. There is only one possible result in this match and betting value undoubtedly lies in backing the line.
Namibia vs Georgia
In what could very well figure as one of the week’s more well-contested fixtures, African minors Namibia face Georgia for little more than bragging rights early Thursday morning. Georgia have been far from disgraced through their Cup campaign so far; delivering Tonga a heavy defeat and testing Argentina and to a lesser extent New Zealand. Namibia are yet to post a match win this campaign but perhaps scored the tournament’s best try so far, and are worth consideration to beat Georgia at current odds.
New Zealand vs Tonga
It has been plain to see that New Zealand have been far from their best during the 2015 Rugby World Cup despite yet to taste defeat, but it is also fair to say they are yet to really be tested by quality opposition. Tonga have been less than impressive through their own campaign and leaked plenty of points in their most recent match with Namibia. This is another fixture that realistically only has one result, and backing the line offers the best value.
Samoa vs Scotland
Samoa appeared to be on track for a good tournament when weathering a brave USA in their first pool match, but having been thrashed by both South Africa and Japan in their two most recent matches, now stand no chance of progression. Scotland’s form through the last four years has been shaky to say the least, but they have returned to the World Cup in good, competitive form and will progress with South Africa into the final eight if they (and should) justify their favouritism in this match.
Australia vs Wales
Finishing order in the Pool of Death will be officially decided when the Wallabies face Wales early Sunday morning Australian time. Both teams posted impressive wins over host nation England to secure passage to the final eight, and both remain defeated after seeing off Uruguay and Fiji. Flanker Michael Hooper appears likely to miss the clash via a one game suspension, but it may be a blessing in disguise for Michael Cheika’s men to have a key forward fresh for the knockout phases. Wales boast a big and mobile pack similar to the Wallabies, and this match with likely be won at the scrum. Australia deserve to be favourites and we’re confident they will complete an undefeated run through Pool A with a tough win over quality opposition Wales.
France vs Ireland
Monday morning’s match between Pool D leaders France and Ireland is arguably the most crucial tie of the final round of group games. The situations for both teams is pretty clear – win and top the pool, lose and draw reigning World Champions New Zealand in the Round of 8. Neither team is yet to taste anything but success through their first three matches, however Ireland have been slightly more convincing in their efforts and will be tough to beat in front of a largely-green crowd.