Some thoughts for this weekend
Samoa v Canada (neutral venue in France)
This one could go either way. Samoa throw games, and there’s no moving out of the 4th seeds for the world cup for them no matter what happens here, so its prime territory for them to do a Samoan special with no motivation. Canada can’t really move up or down in seedings either, but you know they’ll always give it a go.
Wait to see what the Canadian kicker is like then back them in running for points if he’s kicking well. Because they’ll get at least two tries. The draw is well on too, they’ve made one before with Fiji.
Fiji v Japan
Two sides it’s hard to dislike. Alot of people fancying Japan in this but I don’t. I’ve seen enough of Fiji this series to know that they’ve been playing only one half of games.
Japan bravely put it up to an arrogant lazy Wales, but let’s face it, the Welsh were just giving the two fingers to their fans last week who made the trip and paid their money to watch them barely leave the dressing room.
Crucially, Fiji will drop out of the third place seedings here for the world cup if they lose, so I’m expecting a Fiji win – Fiji care about the world cup, and they’re due an 80 minute performance. They’re almost as bad as Samoa for throwing games, but they 100% do not want to be in a group with four big teams in 2019, so they have to win. Motivation is everything.
Fiji win is terrific value at 4/5 in my mind
Italy v Tonga
The Tongan side isn’t bad but Italy are missing Parisse. Italy need the ranking points here as the 6 nations will be tough. If they win, they should have a third seed for the world cup even if they lose all of their 6 nations games. Tonga have no world ranking motivation, they can’t move up a seed or down, so expect an absolute shitfest in my book, with Italy squeaking it. I wouldn’t use them to pad out an accumulator.
Probably unders a winner if you must bet.
England v Argentina
Pity the Argies are so shit, but as SU said they are every November. They’re a third seed team unless they win here, which they won’t probably. England have had an easy ride since the world cup though, they will be complacent, and the Argies could have been targeting this as England are still occupying some of their territory in the Falklands. And let’s face it, everyone wants to beat the English, because they’re c*nts (except for Leg and SC).
Let’s hope the Argies play like they can and pull out the win.
Wales v South Africa
Affirmative action inflicted massive damage on the US college admissions system, and it has buggered up BOK rugby completely.
Two shit teams here – arrogant Wales who hate their fans, and their coach; 5050 shaded Boks who can’t string a move together and can’t play for each other.
I’d say South Africa just want to go home now. Psychologically they want the coach gone, so a win here would be no use to them. Also, they can’t drop out of the top 8 and a second seed at the world cup unless the Argies beat England, so unless that shock happens in Twickenham, then don’t think about backing them.
The Welsh had a defensive workout last week, this will be a shitfest. Unders probably, but a Wales win to pad out an acca the order of the day here at 1/2
Ireland v Australia
Mixed emotions about this. Ireland had a tough time last week and Aus have got to be tired. Ireland will have worked on their attack all week though and Aus don’t have the win at all costs Alamo mentality that the Kiwi’s had last week.
The Irish psyche goes something like this – we might have beat New Zealand but if we don’t get another one people will say it was a fluke. It’s that simple.
The Aussie mentality I’m convinced will be about one thing, revenge on England next week.
Ireland at home and playing well, expect their defence to lock Australia down and win ugly with Aus having one eye on next week.
Ireland to win after nearly beating new Zealand twice but for two dropped balls, at 10/11 again, very good value with no game next week.
France v New Zealand
I had a funny feeling France would win this, until I saw Machenaud at 9. Overrated, poor execution, I’ve never been able to identify one French man who has been so responsible for blowing tries as him, for club or country. He’s a serial try-killer. Someone needs to catch him. Inspector Cleauseau? Poirot? What in Christ’s name is it going to take???
You can’t beat New Zealand with him at 9. But you can go close.
Best team in the world or not, New Zealand will concede scores here because of fatigue, the tackles last week demonstrated they are running on reserve tanks, and because they’re very open at times as Ireland showed. Backing the French in-running as the game goes on should be worth it.
Best of luck!