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November Internationals: Round 2 Predictions!

It was a great start for my picks last weekend, with all five correct and three within the Margin Point range that has put me near the top of every leaderboard.

There are eight matches to predict this weekend, and not many of them are easy, so we won’t get too carried away just yet.

Here are my predictions for this weekend’s November Internationals fixtures.

Russia v Namibia

A bit of a shot in the dark to start with, but Russia have won 3 of the 5 previous matches against Namibia, and Krasnodar doesn’t sound like a welcoming place to play Rugby, particularly for those used to the Namibian climate. Russia by 7

Italy v Georgia

The stakes are quite high in this one, with some people calling for Georgia to replace Italy in the Six Nations. A win for the Azzurri would help quash that argument, and they’ll be a different side (literally) to the one that was thrashed by Ireland in Chicago last week. Italy by 6

Scotland v Fiji

Fiji has named a strong-looking side, featuring players such as Leone Nakarawa and Vereniki Goneva, and Scotland were poor against Wales last weekend. I’d say there’s a slim chance of an upset here, but Scotland at home ought to be winning these games relatively comfortably. Scotland by 8

England v New Zealand

This time last year, the Rugby world was desperate to see this showdown, as Eddie Jones’ England were in the ascendancy and talking such a good game about reaching number 1 in the rankings and winning the Rugby World Cup. Now though, after a frankly dismal run of both results and performances in 2018, there is only hope for England fans rather than expectation.

With a quick glance at the team sheets, it’s not easy to see any weaknesses in the New Zealand line up, and with little indication of what England’s gameplan actually is these days, it’s hard to see how they can beat the best team in the world. It seems ridiculous to say, but if you had to name a weakness, it is probably Beauden Barrett. Whilst he can be the best in the world in attack and in kicking from hand, he is prone to an occasional off day with the boot when kicking for goal, and he might just have one of those on Saturday.

But with England so generous in their penalty offerings, there will likely be plenty of opportunities, and it won’t take long before Damian McKenzie takes over (if he doesn’t take the first one), and Richie Mo’unga is waiting on the bench anyway. For England to win, they need to harry New Zealand with a rush defence that gives nothing away, and puts every ball-carrier under pressure, forcing mistakes and turnovers. There must be no easy yards through midfield, because New Zealand won’t be nearly as profligate in attack as the Springboks last weekend. They need to be disciplined throughout with no silly penalties, and they need to be clinical in taking any chance that comes their way.

Unfortunately for the home team, every single one of those seems beyond them, and I think the All Blacks will win.

Of course, they might have picked up food poisoning from a Twickenham curry house this week, or had a rampant norovirus tearing through the camp - you never know, but you can’t predict that sort of thing. New Zealand by 13

Wales v Australia

Wales’ record against the Wallabies is absolutely dreadful, but I think they might finally end the 13-match losing streak this weekend. Australia’s backline is always a threat, and they average over 50 caps each, Will Genia and Bernard Foley at 9 and 10, Kurtley Beale and Samu Kerevi in midfield and Sefa Naivalu, Israel Folau and Sane Haylett-Petty out wide. But it starts up front, and Wales didn’t seem to need more than a couple of gears against the Scots last week, so they’ll be fresh and desperate to win this one. Wales by 4

USA v Samoa

Not too sure about this one in San Sebastian, but the USA seem to be getting worse rather than waking up as the future giant of the rugby world. Samoa by 16

Ireland v Argentina

The Irish continue their preparations for the highly-anticipated clash with the All Blacks next week, and their first team gets a run out against the Pumas. Given their current form, and the fact that Argentina have been very unpredictable, you have to pick Ireland to win at home. Ireland by 16

France v South Africa

My initial instinct was to pick the Springboks, but France have named a strong team, they are usually hard to beat at home, and the Boks were underwhelming against England and I’m leaning towards a French win. It won’t be nearly as easy for the Springbok midfield to make yards through the middle, with Mathieu Bastareaud and Geoffrey Doumayrou in the way, and the French will generally offer more physicality than England did last week. South Africa will be punished again if they are so profligate in attack, and I just have a hunch that France will grind out a victory. France by 2

How do your picks compare? Let me know in the comments!

Click here to make your November Internationals picks
28,598 caps
I don't trust the Aussies, with their firepower somethings going to give. Also no way the Boks are going down to France after the highway robbery at Twickenham. Other than that I'm fairly on the same page!
8 Nov 16:31
17,278 caps
Willie le Roux is in SA's starting line up, so France already has 17 points on the scoreboard.
8 Nov 18:50
1,656 cap
I predict Grand Slams will be kept to a minimum this weekend.....haha
9 Nov 03:10
19,778 caps
SA should have won against England. Eddie Jones is a really good coach. I don't think France is as good as England on home soil. Also Mathieu Bastareaud is tuff, but slow. We shoud find holes in that defence. The Boks are hurt, and they are going to come out of that tunnel motivated for this one.
9 Nov 05:23
2,405 caps
Why is faf de klerk not available on the superstars prediction game??
9 Nov 11:37
16,597 caps
Hutch IF France beat the Bokke I will give up my yellow cap!
9 Nov 18:16
23,309 caps
Random toughts.
Surely Namibia in a World Cup build up year should dispach Russia.
If Italy can't beat a random splattering of Georgians who play in second string french teams they need their heads tested.
Glasgow Warriors v Fiji - Scotland won't win if Fiji really want this one, I will sorta stick with Scotland and pray.
Australia are geneally better at playing percentage rugby than Wales and I do like Foley.
Here is a thought, Crusaders totally walked the Super Rugby gig with Lions a bit behind. So why so few of their players in their national sides. About 33% in NZ and less in SA.
I think the NZ back row will give England some thoughts and a real test but the key to the England v NZ game comes down to whether Beauden Barrett is a star or chokes like Dan Carter did at Twickenham. I would like to have seen Damien McKenzie at 10 and Smith at 15. tbh.
I do hope South Africa win in France, or I fear they can kiss their aspirations for next year goodbye.
Just random thoughts guys.
10 Nov 02:04
28,598 caps
Where are you with the USA Samoa game? 10 Nov 08:55
479 caps
Gwsuperteam i like your comment and totally agree....the boks main problem is consistency....we could lose this match and end up winning the world cup.....Just like we lost to Argentina and won the all blacks.....its just this stupid new trend with the boks.....but i hope they can pull this one trough.....cause this sqaud of the boks are exiting
10 Nov 06:07
47,528 caps
10 Nov 07:48
3,601 caps
Add a comment
10 Nov 13:21
882 caps
We think alike, hard to se England win and Scotland at home with their back line will be a potent force
10 Nov 13:25
40,947 caps
MARIUS JONKER MAN OF THE MATCH. Yes England, justice after all.
10 Nov 17:09
3 caps
Yes men the boks will win the frence
10 Nov 17:28
3 caps
Go bokke!!!!!!!!!
10 Nov 17:29
3 caps
Just remember handre pollard is playing and faf de klerk the boks will win
10 Nov 17:29
5,431 caps
I put USA so happy they won
13 Nov 22:55
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