Rugby World Cup 2015 Preview
Colin Brown ’16
With 2015 just around the corner and the completion of Autumn Internationals it’s a good time to make Rugby World Cup predictions.
- Australia- I think Australia is going to fix their recent problems under their new head coach and take the pool. England and Wales have too much stress and off the field problems to keep the Southern Hemisphere team from taking the pool.
- England- I think England will do well, but are going to struggle against Australia. Although they beat them this year I don’t think they can do it at home during the RWC.
- Wales- Wales is just too predictable and unable to stay fit enough to be a RWC threat. The match between Wales and England will be a huge decider, but I could easily see even Fiji or Uruguay to take them down.
- Fiji- Fiji played very well this autumn and I could easily see them beating one of the top 3 in this pool.
- Uruguay- Of all the places for this repechage qualifier to be, it had to be here for some reason in the pool of death. I think Uruguay may give Wales or England a scare (if they are really lucky), but the rest won’t be close. Uruguay just doesn’t have the players to take on the open, loose games of the others.
- South Africa- South Africa has been quite a disappointment this Autumn, but I think they will narrowly take the pool over Scotland because South Africa has a habit of playing very well in World Cups no matter what. But they better be wary, Scotland or Samoa could take the pool if South Africa doesn’t bring their ‘A’ game.
- Scotland- Vern Cotter has turned this team upside down, in the best way possible! I think Scotland’s free style of play will be enough to take down Samoa giving them the second spot. It wouldn’t even surprise me at all if they ended up beating South Africa.
- Samoa- Samoa has a good number of talented players, but so are do the other teams in this pool. I think they will narrowly miss out on the top 2 spots.
- Japan- Japan has been improving a lot since the last World Cup and I think they will finally beat the USA for the first time in a World Cup, by a lot!
- USA- I wish I could say the USA is going win more games than ever thanks to rugby’s increasing popularity in the states, but it just isn’t likely. They have never lost to Japan before, so expect a close match. I don’t think they will get a win in this pool, however. USA just doesn’t have the talent to be a threat in this pool.
- New Zealand- New Zealand will continue their dominance and easily take the pool.
- Argentina- Argentina is good, but not kiwi good or even close. Maybe they can make it a good game against the mighty All Blacks, but don’t expect anything more. They’ll be just fine however, since they take the second spot, advancing on.
- Tonga- Tonga has looked good recently but will still have to work hard to beat Georgia and Namibia.
- Georgia- Georgia is going to make every one of their matches rough, but it takes more than that to advance. They’ll beat Namibia and maybe even Tonga, but that’s it.
- Namibia- Since Namibia can’t beat the likes of Zimbabwe and Kenya with ease, they have no shot at making much of an impact in the World Cup.
- Ireland- Ireland is very, very good right now. They can beat just about anyone and know how to keep consistent. Unfortunately, they haven’t been good at World Cups in years past, but I think this year they will change that.
- France- France will definitely give us a scare against one of the lesser teams because they are so inconsistent, but will eventually come on top only losing to Ireland.
- Italy- Italy won’t be able to beat Ireland or France, but can easily take down the lesser teams of the pool.
- Canada- I think Canada will beat Romania in a good match to take fourth in this pool.
- Romania- They have a shot at beating Canada, but no one else.
Australia v Scotland
This will be a very exciting and free, fast paced match, resembling rugby sevens. I think Australia will be just a bit better at it, however, and has better Southern Hemisphere experience to take the victory.
South Africa v England
South Africa is very physical and very good during World Cup years. England is going to have way too much pressure on them. South Africa will beat them soundly.
New Zealand v France
Be ready for New Zealand to go down any time after their pool games. It may take some time to adjust to much harder teams. But a smaller team like France, although exciting and quick, just doesn’t have the power to take down New Zealand.
Argentina v Ireland
Ireland will beat Argentina by a good margin. When Ireland played Argentina this summer they played worse than they are now and still looked good enough to beat Los Pumas. This is going to be an easy win for Ireland.
Australia v New Zealand
Australia’s scrum problems are going to be the deal breaker here as well as New Zealand’s flawless defense. This match is going to get New Zealand ready for the final and giving them great confidence as they beat the Wallabies by at least 2 scores.
South Africa v Ireland
A rematch of this Autumn’s first match of their respective tours. I think the same result will occur, but with a much closer score, perhaps a Sexton penalty as the clock expires.
New Zealand v Ireland
This game is up for grabs. If a big physical team was here up against New Zealand such as South Africa they would have a really good shot at the title, but this is a great matchup none-the-less. Ireland lost in the dying seconds at their last encounter after a long campaign for New Zealand and has continued to improve. New Zealand will be at the end of another long campaign, but will bring experience from the 2011 World Cup where they won it all. The All Blacks do have a weakness however, in their goal kicking. This will be their downfall as they miss crucial conversions and penalty goals. Ireland will have won their first Rugby World Cup.