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.

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