19th Sep - RWC 2015 Best Bets

Steve Richardson
Sat, 19 Sep, 09:48

I missed the first fifteen minutes of the England game because of traffic and wasn't particularly impressed with what I did see.

Both sides let the occasion get to them. England never found fluency and Fiji failed to use the possession gained by their good breakdown work. The late Red Rose tries glorified the result.

However, England's rolling maul did work and I expect plenty of this type of forward play in all four games today. Not that I will catch much of it unless it rains because of the final league game of my Cricket season.

Tonga and Georgia both rely on their heavyweight forwards when not taking on the top tier teams.

Ireland and South Africa know that a strong pack platform will be the key to piling on the points against Canada and Japan and preparing themselves for tougher tests ahead.

France and Italy will be wary that defeat would mean they have to beat Ireland to qualify.

None of the handicaps appeal for a bet.

Tonga will be nervous because they will feel they can get out of their pool by beating Argentina in a couple of weeks if the Pumas are off their game. And the forecast is bad for Kingsholm this lunchtime.

Ireland and the Springboks have hefty points tasks to give up. And while Canada should be just worthy opponents for all three top tier teams in their pool, I can see Japan stretching Samoa and Scotland as well as the USA after this hammering.

France can't be backed to give up points until there is concrete proof they are in the mood to go far in the tournament. Italy can't be supported while skipper Sergio Parisse is sidelined.

Anytime tryscorer bets are the order of the day.

Giant yet mobile number eights Viliami Ma'afu and Mamuka Gorgodze are the selections in the Tonga game. Lineout drives could be key if conditions are poor.

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell can repeat the trick of his try and visibly destructive effort in the loose from the defeat against England in the warm-ups.

South Africa hooker Bismarck du Plessis is an extra backrower and the Brave Blossoms may not be able to stop him whether close to the line or in support of breaks.

France have gone for all bulk in their centres with Wesley Fofana injured so quick Italy midfield man Michele Campagnaro could do well.

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