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Rugby World Cup tipping Week 3: Mega-block

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Expert
2nd October, 2019
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When we launched the Rugby World Cup tipping panel a fortnight ago, working in one-week blocks of games meant that one thing was always bound to happen. And this is the week for it.

Welcome to mega-block!

Yep, twelve games in this massive block of fixtures, and with the last four of them to be played after we* have to throw up tips for next week’s games.

But will we see much difference in tipping in this block of games? Let’s find out…

LAST WEEK: Harry and The Crowd 9; Digger, Geoff and Nobes 8; Brett 7

OVERALL: The Crowd 18; Geoff 17; Digger and Harry 16; Brett and Nobes 15.

(* We. Probably the ‘royal we’. I try to hold out as long as I can, personally speaking.)

Harry
TIPS: FIJI, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ARGENTINA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA, SCOTLAND, WALES.

So, Australia was one bad Genia telegraph away from seizing control of the group.

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Will Genia after a crucial Rugby World Cup loss

Will Genia after a crucial Rugby World Cup loss. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Lying in wait for the loser is England. Or is it?

Just as New Zealand’s five-minute 31-kick jiujitsu against South Africa has been negated by Japan, potentially pitting Joe Schmidt against Steve Hansen in a delicious fratricidal stoush, look for Argentina to Malvina the English, and give Wales the Poms!

Scotland will improve, but pay a price. They and the other overheated Celts may enter the final rounds of pool matches without a healthy bench.

Samoa will surrender to the hosts; setting up a wild finish to Pool A. South Africa will batter Italy. New Zealand will score 100.

Geoff
TIPS: FIJI, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA, SCOTLAND, WALES.

My hunch that Australia would play well against Wales came true – for 25 glorious minutes. But with Wales less prone to error over 80 minutes, and more clinical when points were on offer, they not only took control of Pool D but consigned my tip to the bin, in a vital phase of this tipping World Cup where 50/50 matches are few.

It’s the turn of both New Zealand and South Africa for their short turnaround. Which won’t matter a jot to either of them. Somebody is about to suffer a cricket score, Namibia, Canada or maybe both.

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I’ll be there to cheer on Argentina against England, but realistically, the chariot is – this time – roadworthy enough to make it out of the pool phase (and who knows how far further?)

And while Fiji may have had pre-tournament hopes of upsetting Wales, they were just that; hopes.

Alun Wyn Jones

Wales’ lock Alun Wyn Jones celebrates (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Digger
TIPS: FIJI, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA, SCOTLAND, WALES

Well, there doesn’t look like much chance for further upsets in this coming round though I do wonder whether Tonga can repeat their heroics of 2011 against France? I am sure the Samoans will be better against Japan, but I cannot see a win.

The major attention will be on England and their first real test of this tournament, up against what I imagine will be a desperate Argentinian side. A loss here for the Pumas and it seems likely they will not progress from their pool, a major setback for semi-finalists from the 2015 edition.

Nicolas Sanchez of Argentina makes a pass

Sanchez makes the Pumas tick. (AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE)

I am also looking forward to Wales and Fiji; not so much because I think there will be an upset but if the Fijians are on form, they will give the Welsh defence a thorough testing as I suspect it’s not as tight as some would believe.

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Nobes
TIPS: FIJI, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ARGENTINA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA, SCOTLAND, WALES.

Already with some surprising results Rugby World Cup 2019 became one of the most unpredictable in terms of results. Japan already has us accustomed and in this World Cup they repeated with a resounding triumph against a true candidate.

This last round we also had excellent games such as the one played by Wales and Australia beyond the arbitral counter-fears that were going to happen from before the World Cup began. Hopefully they will terminate and clarify things for the good of the players, spectators, and tippers.

In this third round there are also games that are not easy to predict. Starting with Georgia versus Fiji. The latter falling against Uruguay in its last presentation and Georgia having won against Uruguay, make this game can become a real battle considering the protagonists.

Argentina has not shown its best form and will have to face a title candidate having the pressure to win to qualify. Normally this match England should win it, but as an Argentine, I must bet on a surprise or miracle.

Eddie Jones head coach of England

Eddie Jones, head coach of England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Brett
TIPS: FIJI, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA, SCOTLAND, WALES.

This is not the week to tune into the Rugby World Cup if you’ve been yearning for upsets, because I just can’t see any coming through.

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There will tight games, for sure; England-Argentina will be entertaining, and Japan-Samoa could well be high-scoring on both sides. But it’s difficult to see the favourites in either game – or in any game for that matter – getting run down.

So that really only leaves questions for this large chunk of games.

Can Georgia scrum their way to victory against Fiji? Could Italy pull off another miracle result at South African expense? Could Argentina throw a South American cat among English pigeons?

Georgia rugby player Mirian Modebadze

How good are Georgia? (Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images)

What do Tonga have in store for the French? Could the USA claim bragging rights for North America over Argentina?

And perhaps the biggest question of the pool stage. Can Fiji do the Wallabies the mother of all favours by beating Wales?

(And just on these questions, imagine how good a week of rugby we have ahead of us if the answer to all six questions is ‘yes’!)

Week 3 Digger Harry Geoff Brett Nobes Crowd
GEO vs FIJ FIJ FIJ FIJ FIJ FIJ FIJ
IRE vs RUS IRE IRE IRE IRE IRE IRE
RSA vs ITA RSA RSA RSA RSA RSA RSA
AUS vs URU AUS AUS AUS AUS AUS AUS
ENG vs ARG ENG ARG ENG ENG ARG ENG
JPN vs SAM JPN JPN JPN JPN JPN JPN
NZL vs NAM NZL NZL NZL NZL NZL NZL
FRA vs TGA FRA FRA FRA FRA FRA FRA
RSA vs CAN RSA RSA RSA RSA RSA RSA
ARG vs USA ARG ARG ARG ARG ARG ARG
SCO vs RUS SCO SCO SCO SCO SCO SCO
WAL vs FIJ WAL WAL WAL WAL WAL WAL
Last week 8 9 8 7 8 9
Total score 16 16 17 15 15 18
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