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International Rugby Predictions – A Tip For Every Test This Weekend

Wales and France will look to claim the scalps of the Wallabies and All Blacks respectively when the Autumn Nations Series comes to a close this weekend

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Wales and France will look to claim the scalps of the Wallabies and All Blacks respectively when the Autumn Nations Series comes to a close this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The clashes in Cardiff and Paris form part of one last super Saturday of international rugby for the year, which includes an epic encounter between South Africa and England at Twickenham (catch our preview below) and a showdown between Scotland and Japan at Murrayfield.

Wrapping up the Test calendar is a duel between Ireland and Argentina on Sunday. Here’s how we see things playing out:

Scotland v Japan

Saturday, 20 November – 15:00

Scotland will have the crushing defeat the last time these two nations met in the back of their mind. It came at the 2019 World Cup where Japan prevailed 28-21 to book their place in the playoffs for the first time in history while sending the Scots home early.

Revenge will be had, however, instead of it being sweet, it’ll probably be a bit bland given Japan are a far cry from the ground-breakers they were on home soil two years ago. Many of those heroes have retired, while others are injured. Moreover, they’ve only played five Tests since their World Cup quarterfinal exit, leaving them so far behind the curve that they were crushed 60-5 by Ireland recently.

Scotland hung tough against the Springboks until the world champions’ slow poison kicked in and they’ll be far too strong for this Japanese out.

Prediction: Scotland by at least 24.

Suggested Bet: Scotland -16.5 at 1.77.

Wales v Australia

Saturday, 20 November – 19:30

Injuries overshadow and will water down the quality of this contest. Betting-wise, the raft of injuring in the Welsh camp throw a serious spanner in the works. Josh Adams and Tomas Francis had to withdraw from last weekend’s match against Fiji while WillGriff John and Will Rowlands suffered head knocks in the unimpressive 38-23 victory over the 13-man Islanders that have ruled them out of Saturday’s showdown.

The Dragons already had a casualty list that included captain Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Ross Moriarty and Taulupe Faletau along with the quartet of Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric, who couldn’t even make it onto the place.

That – along with Wales’ six-day turnaround – gives the woeful Wallabies a shot, even though they’ll be without their heart and soul in skipper Michael Hooper, who picked up a foot injury at Twickenham last weekend. Winless on tour, Australia were shocking in the 32-15 loss to England, among their atrocities being an amateurish 18 penalties.

Prediction: If Wales are able to field a side close to the one that gave the Springboks a run for their money, they’ll be good for the win by about 3-7 points against a leaderless and clueless Australian outfit.

Suggested Bet: Wales -1.5 at 1.86.

France v New Zealand

Saturday, 20 November – 22:00

Beware the wounded All Blacks. After suffering their third loss to Ireland in the last five years last weekend, New Zealand would’ve taken a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror this week. Some experts put the 29-20 defeat down to fatigue but it was more worrying than that.

Ireland simply wanted it more, which is a way bitterer pill to swallow for the proud Kiwis than a loss. Ironing out errors will be on their agenda but more than anything, it’ll be a case of reigniting the fire within. Best believe France will be fired up.

Les Bleus are a talented but still developing team. They were on course to claim the Six Nations silverware but missed out with a heartbreaking last-gasp loss to Scotland. They also came up short against England and twice against Australia, taking their 2021 record to 6-4.

There’s a perception that they’re a bogey side for the All Blacks, but that’s limited to World Cups. The Kiwis have won all 14 fixtures since they were famously knocked out of the 2007 World Cup by the French. France have the flair to cause problems on attack, but they don’t have the bruisers to match the physicality of the Irish last week.

Wins over Argentina (29-20) and Georgia (41-15) over the past fortnight leave France rather undercooked for elite-level competition and the defeat in Dublin is all the motivation the All Blacks need to bounce back. With their uncanny ability to score in a flash, I’m backing them on the slender minuses.

Prediction: New Zealand by 7.

Suggested bets: New Zealand -2.5 at half-time at 1.81 and -4.5 at 1.74.

Ireland v Argentina

Sunday, 21 November – 16:15

Complacency or mass changes on Ireland’s part would be the only reason why Argentina would have a remote chance of springing an upset in the final Test of 2021. The inspired Irish played out of their skins to stun the All Blacks last weekend and Andy Farrell would consider it a travesty if his charges fail to push on from that phenomenally passionate and physical triumph.

The Pumas finally registered a positive result last weekend, beating their Northern Hemisphere equivalents in many ways Italy 37-16. The win saw them snap a seven-match losing skid in what’s been a nightmare year for the Argentine. It’ll give a team who’ve been toothless for most of the season a much-needed boost of energy and hope, however, both are bound to have evaporated by the time the final whistle blows on Sunday.

They simply haven’t been competitive against top tier teams and much better sides than the current class fell well short of overthrowing Ireland on their last two visits to the Aviva Stadium in 2017 and 2018 when they went down 28-19 and 28-17 respectively. Even if Ireland do rest a few stars, they should be good for the minus.

Prediction: Ireland by 15.

Suggested Bet: Ireland -13.5 at 1.82.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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