Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Rugby World Cup Final: England vs South Africa

After the final semi-final whistle went, the 2019 Rugby World Cup final lineup has been
announced with England and South Africa ready to go head to head to win the William Webb
Ellis Cup.

England beat New Zealand in an exciting match which saw the defending champions broken
down by a relentless English side as they went on to win 19-7 and secure their spot in this
year’s Rugby World Cup final. This meant that New Zealand failed to reach the final and they
would not become the first-ever team to win the tournament for a record 3 times in a row.

South Africa guaranteed their spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final after a tight match with
Wales went all the way with a narrow final score of 19-16 to the Springboks. This sent South
Africa to the final and Wales to a third-place playoff against the mighty All Blacks, a match
which nobody wants to play. However, if the men in red can secure a rare win over New
Zealand, it’ll be the first time in 66 long years.

Both England and South Africa have strong forward packs who will try to bully each other in
the set pieces and around the rucks, the game could go down to a moment of brilliance such
as Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal in 2003.

After World Class referee Nigel Owens was ruled out of the match with a fitness problem,
World Rugby have appointed controversial referee Jerome Garces for the final with both
English fans and South African fans mostly unhappy with the appointment. However, Garces
will allow for a free contest at the breakdown which is where the back-rows of either team
will be desperate to one-up the other team. Keep an eye on Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Siya
Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit who will all be massively important to their sides on
Saturday’s match.

Whatever happens, Saturday’s match should be an extremely close game with both sides
desperate to win in a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup final where South Africa came
out on top.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Rugby World Cup: England vs New Zealand

England vs Australia last weekend was an entertaining spectacle where England eventually ran away 40-16 winners. New Zealand also dominated in their quarter-final performance  with a 46-14 win over Ireland. Both teams will be fairly confident in their abilities as they  prepare for a monumental semifinal clash. As soon as the final whistle went in New Zealand’s
quarter-final clash, all eyes turned to the semifinals where England were to play the famous All Blacks.

New Zealand have had a good 2019 so far, however, they didn’t win the 2019 Rugby
Championship after losing to Australia and a draw against South Africa ended in a
second-place finish for the All Blacks. They then went into the Rugby World Cup beating
South Africa in their opening game, a dominant 63-0 win over Canada, a 71-9 win over
Namibia before having their match against Italy cancelled and given as a 0-0 draw. These
results in Pool B meant that New Zealand finished as group winners and they would play the
runners up in Pool A, Ireland.

England won 3 of their 4 games in Pool C after their match with France was called off. This
meant that they also topped their group and would play the runners up in Pool D, Australia.
England dominated all their games so far in this year’s Rugby World Cup including their
quarterfinal matchup with Australia and they’ll be increasingly confident that they can secure
their final spot on Saturday.

New Zealand have their stars in Beauden Barret, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea and Jack
Goodhue who’ll all have to be on top form if they are to turn over the English team. England
also have their stars, captain Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola and George Ford will all take part
in the New Zealand clash on Saturday.

England haven’t beaten New Zealand since December 2012, however, they’ve never beaten
the All Blacks in a Rugby World Cup, so they’ll be hoping to make history this weekend.
Anything other than a win here for New Zealand will be a disappointment as they look to win
the Rugby World Cup for a record third time in a row

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Rugby World Cup: England vs Australia

 
After Wales’ win over Australia and England’s game with France called as a draw, all eyes have been on the quarterfinal matchup between Pool C winners England, and Pool D runners up Australia. These two have a great history in Rugby World Cups and this matchup promises to be a monumental encounter.

The last time these two played against each other in a Rugby World Cup was 2015 where Australia beat England 33-13 to guarantee their spot in the quarterfinals of that year’s competition. England however, were knocked out in the pool stages of the tournament due to finishing third behind Australia and Wales.

England will want to avenge their 2015 woes by beating a very strong Australian side on Saturday as they look ahead to a potential semi-final clash with either Ireland or New Zealand.

Going into this match, England are unbeaten after convincing wins against Tonga, USA and Argentina put them at the top of Pool C. Their match against France was cancelled and was therefore given as a draw. However, England had enough points to secure top spot and a place in the quarterfinals.

Australia beat a strong Fiji team along with Georgia and Uruguay to finish second in their group behind a strong Welsh team who clinched the top spot after securing 4 wins from 4, their first time to do so in a Rugby World Cup. Fans are currently unsure as to whether this loss affected the Australians, however, they’ll be determined to not end their Rugby World Cup campaign on a quarterfinal loss.

Saturday’s match is crucial for both sides as neither will want to lose and an exit in the quarterfinal will be seen as a failure. A surprise omission from England’s starting XV for Saturday’s game is fly-half George Ford who performed superbly in the Pool matches as he’s replaced by Owen Farrell. Australia give only a third cap to 19-year-old centre Jordan Petaia as he looks to make an impact. England should dominate the game upfront and as the bookies favourite, they’ll be desperate to not make the same mistakes they did in 2015.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

How will England do in the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

After a strong showing in this year’s Six Nations tournament, England will be going into the
Rugby World Cup as one of the favourites. They beat Tonga 35-3 in their opening match of
the world cup and they’ll be hoping they can improve on this result in the next few games.
Next up for England are the USA, although they’re not the strongest team in the world, the
Americans will be desperate to scrape a result against the English and will most likely target
this game. England should win this comfortably with a view to resting players before their big
clash against Argentina.

Argentina opened their World Cup campaign with a 23-21 loss to France. They will hope to
play better than they did in this game against Tonga before their match against England.
After the Argentine challenge, England will have to play against the unpredictable France.
France will have to be playing on top form if they are to trouble England, however, anything
can happen in rugby and don’t be surprised if France scrape a result here.

If England qualify for the knockout stages, they will play either Australia, Fiji or bitter rivals
Wales. If England top their group, they will play the runners up of group D which largely
depends on the winner of Australia v Wales on the 29th of September. Fiji could throw a
spanner in the works if they manage to beat Wales, however, after losing to Uruguay they
look a much weaker side than the one who beat the Welsh in the 2007 World Cup. If
England make it to the semi-finals, they’ll have to face a world-class team most likely either
New Zealand or South Africa.

If England are to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup, they’ll have to beat the best teams in the
world such as Wales, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. They’ll have a difficult few
matches in the knockout stages, however, if they play to the best of their abilities, they’ll be a
very difficult team to stop

Thursday, 26 September 2019

How will Ireland do in the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

Ireland finished third in this year’s Six Nations, however, turned things around in the Rugby
World Cup warm-ups by beating Wales twice to claim the number 1 ranking in the World
Rugby rankings. They have an impressive group of players and will be desperate to go
further than the quarter-finals which is their best ever result at a Rugby World Cup.

In their opening game, Ireland beat second seed Scotland 27-3 in a dominant performance.
Because of this result, Ireland should top their group barring any upset in their upcoming
games. Next up, Ireland will play against hosts Japan before going on to play Russia and
finally Samoa before the group stages end. Since these games are so close together, Ireland
will need to rotate the squad and keep players fresh, otherwise, they could be looking at an
upset.

Japan started their campaign off strong with a win against Russia with winger Kotaro
Matsushima helping himself to three tries. Russia are yet to win a match so far in this World
Cup after losing to both Japan and Samoa, therefore, Ireland will fancy their chances against
the Russians and could decide to rest some players.

If Ireland make it to the knockout stages, they will have to play either one of New Zealand or
South Africa in the quarter-finals. If Ireland top Group A, they’ll play the runner up in Group B
and since New Zealand beat South Africa, this will likely be South Africa. Both of these
teams will require a monumental performance to take any result away, but Joe Schmidt will
fancy his chances against the two southern hemisphere sides.

After the quarter-finals, Ireland could face any one of Australia, Wales or England in the
semi-finals depending on results. If they then beat one of those teams, they would make the
world cup final and could play anyone, but it’ll definitely be an incredibly tough match. If
Ireland are to win the world cup however, they must beat the best teams and a tough
quarter-final opponent will be one small step in achieving that goal