Following South Africa’s strong 66 – 7 victory over Canada, South Africa has confirmed their place in the quarter finals and increased their ranking score to once again move them up into 4th place in the rankings, ahead of Wales.
As the teams finish their final Pool games, group winners and quarter final places are still up for grabs. This Wednesday has 3 games to whet the whistle before the final weekend of the Pool stage, and we’re previewing their promise and ranking implication here.
Image source: RugbyWorld.com (see link below to full article)
Argentina (ranked 9th) vs USA (ranked 13th)
Argentina has dominated this bout every time they have met, winning all 8 games. This time there is not only pride at stake, as automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup is on the line with both teams eliminated from the competition. The USA will be keen to demonstrate their skills and try to get a win over the Pumas who themselves are recovering from not making the quarter finals for the first time since 2003.
Our rankings make Argentina the favourites, but we are looking forward to seeing if the USA can cause an upset to put them in pole position for 3rd place in Pool C.
(Rank based victory predictions: Argentina 78%, USA 22%)
Scotland (ranked 7th) vs Russia (ranked 19th)
Building on their performance in the game against Samoa, where they kept the opposition to a nil score, Scotland will be looking for a bonus point from this game to boost their chance of making it out of the Pool.
Russia on the other hand are going into their final game. With no chance for them to make it to the quarter final, they will be throwing everything into this and hoping to disrupt the Scots. The teams have not met before, but Scotland will not underestimate their opponents who have put in some strong challenges in previous Pool games.
Given Scotland is such a strong favourite for this game, a Scotland win is very likely, but will they manage to get the four tries needed to give them a vital bonus point? We’ll find out soon enough.
(Rank based victory predictions: Scotland 97%, Russia 3%)
Wales (ranked 5th) vs Fiji (ranked 10th)
With our rankings putting Wales back above South Africa after the weekend, they fell back to 5th this afternoon following South Africa’s dismantling of Canada. Wales are favourites to win this match and Warren Gatland has named a strong side to take this game directly to Fiji.
Fiji themselves have toppled Wales before and off the back of a strong win against Georgia will be hoping to repeat that 2007 upset.
(Rank based victory predictions: Wales 73%, Fiji 27%)
Image source: walesonline (see link below for full article)