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Rugby World Cup Predictions – September 14-17

The Springboks will look to build on their solid start in the Rugby World Cup while Australia & England face tricky tests in the pick of the week’s action.

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The Springboks will look to build on their solid start in the Rugby World Cup while Australia and England face tricky tests in the pick of the week’s action, which kicks off on Thursday, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Hosts France get proceedings underway against Uruguay in the midweek game in Lille, while the three most anticipated matches take place on Sunday, starting with South Africa squaring off against Romania in Bordeaux. 

The Wallabies face Fiji in the game of the week in Saint-Etienne before England tackle Japan in Nice.

France v Uruguay

Thursday, 14 September – 21:00

Having proven their championship mettle in the statement 27-13 win over the All Blacks in the blockbuster tournament opener, France are flying high and set to run rampant in Lille. 

Uruguay are kicking off their campaign and if nothing else, it’ll be an unforgettable experience for them as the competition-starved minnows will probably play in front of their biggest-ever crowd. 

Les Bleus won the only previous meeting between the teams 43-10 back in 2010. Such a scoreline would be a ‘win’ for the Lelos of 2023. Unfortunately for them, it’ll be much worse this time around, even with France fielding a second-string side. 

Prediction: France by 58.

Suggested Bet: France -54.5 at 2.08.

New Zealand v Namibia

Friday, 15 September – 21:00

In contrast to the hosts, New Zealand have had a week to lick their wounds and plot a suitable backlash and Allister Coetzee’s poor Namibia are the ones who’ll experience their wrath. 

It’s the third straight time the Welwitschias will cross paths with the mighty All Blacks at the World Cup, having gone down 58-14 in 2015 and 71-9 in 2019. With the heat that’s on Ian Foster’s side, that number is set to rise again. 

Prediction: New Zealand by 72.

Suggested Bet: New Zealand -69.5 at 1.79.

Samoa v Chile

Saturday, 16 September – 15:00

Chile might not have gotten the win against Japan, but they nevertheless had a magical World Cup debut as they scored a historic try after just six minutes and added another in the second half. 

Test two will be considerably stiffer from a physical point of view and in addition to fronting up in that regard, they’ll want to improve their discipline after two yellow cards proved costly in their 42-12 defeat.

Samoa will seek to get off to a strong start and their brutal style will see them do exactly that.

Prediction: Samoa by 28.

Suggested Bet: Chile +33 at 1.83.

Wales v Portugal

Saturday, 16 September – 17:45

After a very close shave against Fiji in their Pool C cliffhanger, Wales will want to stretch their legs and improve both their conversion rate and points difference in their second hit-out.  

Portugal, meanwhile, are back on the World Cup stage for only the second time. It’s been a long 16-year wait for them and their reintroduction promises to be bittersweet as the fiery Dragons will be far too hot for them to handle.

Prediction: Wales by 42.

Suggested Bet: Wales -30.5 at 1.85.

Ireland v Tonga

Saturday, 16 September – 21:00

Ireland can expect a physical battle from a fresh Tongan side who are starting their campaign. 

There’s no denying the difference in class between these teams, but best believe the Irish will know they’re in for a game, especially if it’s on a heavy pitch following the afternoon showers that are forecast. 

It won’t be another 82-8 scoreline as it was against Romania, but the efficient phase play of Andy Farrell’s charges will not only lead to a steady stream of tries but also a card or two, which should see them cash out on the minus.

Prediction: Ireland by 38.

Suggested Bet: Ireland -35.5 at 1.84.

South Africa v Romania

Sunday, 17 September – 15:00

Spare a thought for Romania. After their baptism of fire against world No 1 Ireland, they go straight into a battle against the second-ranked Springboks. 

The 18-3 win over Scotland was a solid start by the defending champions and a much-changed side will be out for maximum points against the Oaks. I don’t mean just log points as the full five is a given. 

No, with points difference possibly set to play a role in whether the Irish or the Boks top Pool B, the men in green and gold will be ruthless. That said, showers are expected, so it’s unlikely that they’ll cover the spread. 

Prediction: South Africa by 47.

Suggested Bet: Romania +69.5 at 1.85.

Australia v Fiji

Sunday, 17 September – 17:45

Fiji were gallant in their 32-26 defeat to the Dragons and could’ve come out on top of the match of the opening weekend had they taken all their chances. 

A key takeaway was the fact that they were far more than the flair-filled entertainers they’re known as, as they dominated both territory and possession. It was a great showing by the Pacific Islanders and one that will make Eddie Jones nervous.  

After picking up their first win in Jones’ second term as coach as expected against Georgia (35-15), this young group of Wallabies have an opportunity to build momentum for the first time and it’ll be another proper test for them.

Much has been said about the tournament draw and how it’ll result in two of the four title favourites being eliminated in the quarterfinals but what has hardly been mentioned is how it’s also stacked the deck against developing teams like Fiji. 

Instead of having their two most important games spaced out like most of the top nations, they have to face the Pool C heavyweights back-to-back, which significantly lessens their chances of upsetting the Wallabies.

Stylistically, they match up well with the Aussies, but after such a gruelling game against Wales, the Fijians will be a bit flat and will be outgunned in what’s a must-win match for them.   

Prediction: Australia by 12.

Suggested Bet: Australia -7.5 at 1.81.

England v Japan

Sunday, 17 September – 21:00

Tom Curry’s early red card in the virtual Pool D decider against Argentina proved to be the best thing that could’ve happened to England. 

It served as a shock to the system that inspired an embattled team to produce the type of character-building triumph one can build a strong campaign on. 

Japan, who opened their campaign with a 42-12 win over Chile, will be a good second challenge for the Red Rose but they won’t threaten an upset. 

Having lost to Tonga (24-22) and Fiji (35-12) in the Pacific Nations Cup and suffered a 42-21 defeat to Italy in their final warm-up match, there’s a low ceiling on the Brave Blossoms, so I’m backing England the overcome the handicap. 

Prediction: England by 24.

Suggested Bet: England -22.5 at 1.81.

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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