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Rugby World Cup: Quarter-Final Predictions!

Whilst we only have 8 matches left in the Rugby World Cup, things start getting serious now as each remaining team knows that 3 consecutive wins will see them lift the trophy.

With the stakes so high, the pressure increases and it makes predictions that much harder. Each one of these quarter-finals has a clear favourite, but any or all of them could see an upset.

Here are my predictions for this weekend’s quarter-final matches.



England v Australia

Having been confident of an England win earlier in the week, now that I’ve seen the team selections I’m less sure. Dropping George Ford, one of England’s best players in recent matches, seems like a risky strategy given that Owen Farrell hasn’t quite been at his best. But the Wallabies have sprung a surprise or two of their own though, with young Jordan Petaia selected at outside centre and Will Genia partnering Christian Leali’ifano at halfback.

I think the English pack has the edge, and it looks like they’ll try to play as they did against Ireland in Dublin, with big ball-carriers running direct lines to get England on the front foot. I suspect we’ll see a fair bit of kicking from Farrell and Ben Youngs as they try to pressure the Wallaby set-piece, and they could expose some suspect defending from the likes of Kurtley Beale, Marika Korobeite and Petaia. Having won the last 6 against the Wallabies, I’m backing England but my nerves will be on edge on Saturday morning. England by 7

New Zealand v Ireland

The All Blacks would have been cheering on Scotland against Japan on Sunday, as I suspect they’d much rather face the Scots than Ireland. They know that Ireland will bring great line-speed and a robust defence, looking for turnovers and to hold up the All Black attack in every way. Based on their performances so far, Ireland won’t offer a great deal in attack outside of direct running, picking and going around the fringes with more than a few box kicks thrown in. They’ll test the young All Black back three, but my instinct says the World Champions will come through this and send Ireland home at the quarter-final stages yet again. New Zealand by 9

Wales v France

I know some Welsh friends will be hoping I pick France for this one, such is my poor record in predicting Welsh defeats. I don’t particularly rate them as a team, but there is no questioning their winning mindset and their outstanding record of results over the last 12 months. They have the measure of France and I’d expect them to make it to another semi-final. Wales by 13

Japan v South Africa

I think a repeat of South Africa’s win just before this World Cup is more likely than a repeat of the Brighton Miracle in 2015, despite Japan’s impressive record so far in this tournament. Home advantage will most certainly be a factor, and this will be a fascinating clash of styles, with the Springbok power game looking to counter the Japanese efficiency, their crisp attacking game and the extraordinary precision in everything they do.

The bookies have the Springboks as comfortable winners, offering a 15-point handicap, but I think it will be closer than that, given what’s at stake. South Africa by 9

Best of luck to you all with your own picks!
222 caps
think all blacks and SPRINGBOKS will win by more points.
17 Oct 12:31
7,000 caps
I still believe there is going to be an upset......BUT which game .......France still have one big game in them.....we haven't seen them at their best yet...... could they be the team that does it again ?
17 Oct 13:45
4,171 caps
The upset game will be Japan vs South Africa. 18 Oct 03:39
4,911 caps
I agree with the predictions Hutch...except SA, I said by 15....France, to me, is the dark horse. If they go into emotional mode and start to chuck the ball around, Wales could be in for a hard time.
17 Oct 14:09
418 caps
If the Boks are disciplined then they ought to come out on top. England will win only because they had Hagibis on their side. Dont see France having the necessary passion. Ireland who couldnt beat Japan wont stop NZ.
17 Oct 15:08
15,578 caps
I'll leave it as late as possible. Bad weather = lower margins. But based on Hutch the four favorites all by 9 will get you 8 to 10 points. Last 20 minute gambles could backfire for losing teams and see 14-21 point adverse swings. Its knock-out Rugby after all, "Four more years..." as one Capt once said to another in World Cups past.
17 Oct 21:02
4,171 caps
I think that England , New Zealand, Wales and Japan will win. The Japenese team that the Springboks beat in the warm up game are a completely different team to what it is now. They know how to adapt to the various teams game plan.They upset us at the 2015 RWC and are VERY capable of doing that again. When they get the ball, they run like the wind. Its going to be tough and the Springboks will have be be very disciplined and not give away penalties if they want to win by a lot of points so as not to let Japan any chance of winning. My predictions: England by 13, New Zealand by 22, Wales by 9 and Japan by 8.
18 Oct 03:37
9,054 caps
Have you been smoking your socks Larry ? Ferraris cannot move without any fuel, SA to play ten man rugby both halves, slow poison like Bulls rugby with Pollard kicking into empty space. FAF must be fined 25% match fee for every box kick and hopefully mpimpi sprains an ankle coming out the tunnel for Willie to move to wing and Steyn full back. 18 Oct 05:01
19,569 caps
I cannot see a upset here , unless Irish causing problems for all of us lol 18 Oct 06:45
6,262 caps
Dugardy u have it all twisted.Faf has to play according to the coaches instructions.You want steyn to come on to play fullback you basically want to trade your Ferrari for a mini.Steyn and Britz are their on holiday. 18 Oct 10:21
4,171 caps
Look what Japan did to Ireland in the pool stages a few weeks back, @dugardy, I dont think anyone predicted that outcome.. Did you? 19 Oct 12:49
7,705 caps
Only upset will come in the Ireland game... Ireland to win by 5 points, Australia to win by 9, wales to win by 13 and south Africa to win by 20
18 Oct 04:25
1,259 cap
I think larry.. go learn rugby pls
18 Oct 04:32
1,259 cap
No contest for us
18 Oct 04:34
The upset will definitely be Ireland. They have quite a few tricks up their sleeves and it could catch the all blacks out
18 Oct 06:46
4,907 caps
Aus by 9
Ire by 6
Fra by 3
RSA by 17
2019 is ours!!
18 Oct 08:32
4,110 caps
GIf the results go your way, I think you will be an incredibly wealthy man, I'm sure betting shops in the UK will give you 150 >> 1 win each and 1000 >> 1 or more all to come. One upset I'll accept, two is a major catastrophe, three can never happen in my book i just hope there are 4 great games this weekend
18 Oct 16:22
1,261 cap
JAPAN WILL TAKE THE WIN BY 9 POINTS.
18 Oct 10:35
4,171 caps
Least you and I both see an upset with Japan winning. But if we do win, it wont be by more than 3 points. 19 Oct 12:46
6,262 caps
KAWASAKI
18 Oct 13:13
4,110 caps
I can hardly wait, I reckon we are going to see some great rugby.
18 Oct 16:03
48 caps
Yep I agree
18 Oct 18:49
1,220 cap
England by 16
New Zealand by 23
Wales by 6
South Africa by 20
19 Oct 00:46
England by double figures, Japan by less than a score and Wales by 10. Ireland to loose by double digits I'm afraid
19 Oct 06:37
44,927 caps
Oh dear. A win for Wales eh? Bit sad you don’t rate us as a team... Grand Slam winners and all
19 Oct 07:03