The End Of Year Tours kicked off last week with three matches when the All Blacks thumped the Brave Blossoms, the Maori All Blacks thumped Canada and the ref thumped the Aussies.
This weekend the EOYTs start in earnest ranging from some big match ups between the Boks vs Wales and the All Blacks vs Les Bleus, some lesser match ups between England and the Pumas, Ireland vs Manu Samoa and Italy vs the Aussies, down to a number of “who cares” match ups.
Sat 9 Nov
GEORGIA v CANADA: Dinamo Arena – TBILISI, GEORGIA SAST 12:00
Canada, the game against the Maoris didn’t affect their 14th ranking, takes on the 16th ranked Georgia. My thumb suck goes to Canada.
Canada by 9
ITALY v AUSTRALIA: Stadio Olimpico – ROME, ITALY SAST 15:00
Surely the Wobblies game haven’t regressed so far that they are in danger on losing to the Azzuri? But then Italy’s forward pack isn’t half bad while the Oz pack is. Anyway, I’d still go with the Wobblies to record one of their rare wins this year.
Australia by 18
ENGLAND v ARGENTINA: Twickenham Stadium – LONDON, ENGLAND SAST 16:30
Last week England got by with a little help from some friends but they should be able to scrape another win this weekend considering that, as bad as they are this year, the Wobblies still beat the Pumas twice during the Rugby Championship.
England by 7
SCOTLAND v JAPAN: Murrayfield – EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND: SAST 16:30
The Blossoms versus the Thistles, the game you probably won’t watch as the England Pumas game is on at the same time.
Scotland by 18
PORTUGAL v FIJI: Estádio Universitário de Lisboa – LISBON, PORTUGAL SAST 17:00
I’d love for Portugal to do the impossible but it’s not going to happen.
Fiji by 15
WALES v SOUTH AFRICA: Millennium Stadium – CARDIFF, WALES SAST 19:30
The Boks should play their best side against a B&I Lions loaded Welsh team in a game that could be affected by whether the Welsh leave the roof open or close it – wet field or dry field. The Welsh will hope to record one of their rare victories over the Boks but that won’t happen unless the Boks completely fail to gel. Should still be a tight game though.
South Africa by 5
ROMANIA v TONGA: Arcul de Triumf – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA SAST 19:30
Another thumb suck prediction on a game that I wouldn’t have thought about if it wasn’t part of the Superbru game.
Tonga by 9
IRELAND v SAMOA: Aviva Stadium – DUBLIN, IRELAND SAST 19:45
Last year Samoa surprised Wales at home but I’m sure the Irish will not be caught offsides this year. A tough physical game but the Irish should get enough penalties to make sure they win.
Ireland by 9
FRANCE v NEW ZEALAND: Stade de France – PARIS, FRANCE SAST 21:00
Les Bleus tend to surprise the All Blacks during the World Cups but seldom outside that. We all know that the French can be great the one week and dire the next and from a Bok perspective one would hope they are great this weekend and beat the Kiwis but I won’t bet on it.
New Zealand by 8
Sun 10 Nov
USA v NEW ZEALAND MAORI: L Park – CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA SAST 03:30
The Maoris beat Canada, Canada is a better side than the Eagles. Ergo, the Maoris to win comfortably.
New Zealand Maori by 30