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Rugby World Cup Predictions – Round 3

Rugby World Cup Predictions - Round 3

30 September 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld

Rugby World Cup Predictions – Round 3

There will be no room for error when the Springboks face Italy in a key Rugby World Cup Pool B fixture in Fukuroi on Friday, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

After the 23-13 loss to the All Blacks in their tournament opener, the encounter against the Azzurri is vital for Rassie Erasmus’ charges to ensure their place in the play-offs.

The other key contest of the third round will see England collide with Argentina in Tokyo on Saturday. The crunch Pool C clash will be followed by another can’t-miss meeting as hosts Japan take on Samoa.

As the official betting partner of, we look at the 10 games that make up Round Three of the 2019 global showpiece.

These two teams should put on an entertaining, free-flowing spectacle to kick-off the third round on an exciting note – if Tropical Storm Mitag allows it.

Gary Gold’s Eagles will have their moments, but a USA upset – like the famous 17-3 win in the gold medal match of the 1924 Olympics in Colombes – is highly improbable given how they were swept aside (45-7) by England.

The focus will, therefore, shift to the margin of France’s victory, which will come down to which Les Bleus side shows up to the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.

Prediction: France by 26.


Even with the All Blacks set to field a ‘B’ team, Canada – unfortunately – are on a hiding to nothing. Keeping the mighty two-time defending champions from putting up a half-century, or crossing the All Blacks’ whitewash, would be a feather in Canada’s cap. Rain was forecast at the time of writing (Sunday), so the weather is likely to minimise the damage.

Prediction: New Zealand by 45.


Heading into the tournament, Georgia would’ve fancied their chances against Fiji and even more so now after the Pacific Islanders’ shock loss to Uruguay. It wasn’t a fluke either.

In Georgia, Fiji have a tougher opponent and a second successive upset would be catastrophic. They’ll have to avoid a slow start and kick their goals this time around. Driven by desperation, Fiji should edge it.

Prediction: Fiji by five.


Ireland’s shock loss to Japan was the worst possible result for struggling Russia. Having already suffered heavy defeats to Japan (30-10) and Samoa (34-9), things are set to go from bad to worse for the Russians.

In their only other World Cup clash in 2011, Ireland predictably pummelled the minnows (62-12) and history is bound to repeat itself. The expected rain should at least help the leaky Russian defence.

Prediction: Ireland by 38.


The Springboks will be fully focused on the task at hand – to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals – and that spells trouble for Italy. The Azzurri had anticipated that this would be a do-or-die affair and although they’ll be fully aware of the enormity of the challenge, they’ll regard it as the lesser of two evils, having never beaten the mighty All Blacks.

They famously recorded a first-ever win (20-18) over the Springboks in 2016 and will use that as fuel in their bid to shock the world again. At the same time, though, that stinging loss will serve as a reminder for the Springboks not to underestimate the Italians.

Aside from that historic fixture in Florence, South Africa dominated the 13 other meetings between the sides, with the lowest winning margin being 16. Given the importance of the clash, Erasmus will unleash his strongest possible side and they should steamroll Italy.

Prediction: South Africa by 28.


Uruguay were full value for their 30-27 win over Fiji and looked surprisingly well-drilled. Unfortunately for them, they crashed back down to earth against Georgia, going down 33-7, and the Wallabies are set to compound their woes. For Australia, this is an opportunity to get back in the win column after the 29-25 loss to Wales and iron out the kinks.

Prediction: Australia by 48.


The Pumas will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat if they are to pull off an unlikely upset over classy England in this Pool C clash. They’ve had one foot on the plane home since the heart-breaking 23-21 loss to France during the opening weekend, so they’ll throw everything at the English, but they match up poorly against Eddie Jones’ charges. They’re set to be mauled at scrum time and without front foot ball, it’ll be a frustrating 80 minutes that seal their fate as the victims of the Pool of Death.

Prediction: England by 16.


After their sensational 19-12 win over Ireland, Japan have all the momentum in the world and a real shot at making the quarterfinals. It’ll be the speed and fitness of the Brave Blossoms against the power and physicality of the Pacific Islanders.

Japan scored a convincing 26-5 win in the last pool encounter between the two at the 2015 World Cup and they have everything in their favour. Samoa could play ‘spoilers’, but I’m backing the tournament darlings.

Prediction: Japan by six.


Like the midweek match against Canada, no analysis is needed here, unfortunately. This will be one-way traffic. Nevertheless, it’ll be a special occasion for the African minnows to share the game’s grandest stage with the record three-time World Cup winners and they’ll do everything in their power to at least breach the All Blacks’ tryline. Rain is expected and should save Namibia from enduring the biggest hiding of the tournament.

Prediction: New Zealand by 42.


Effort will be key for favourites France to ensure they don’t become victims of a World Cup upset like Ireland and Fiji. They have superior set-pieces, shape and discipline. If they man up against the physical Pacific Islanders and win the gainline battle like they should, Les Bleus will cruise home.

Prediction: France by 29.



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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