421. MrsDavy’s Guide to RWC2015 #11

Now MrsDavy, I know that I cannot reasonably expect (on past performance and stated intentions) that you will watch all 40 pool matches with me on the couch. So I thought I would reduce the expectation by highlighting the ten matches that you’ll really want to pay attention to over the next month.

The selection was done by one of those expert panels springing up all over the media telling you who the 50 greatest players are, and who’s going to win, and so on and so on.

My expert panel consisted of me and my four other selfs: Nervous, Stupid, Distracted and I’d Procrastinate But Maybe Later. Here’s our Top 10 Must Watch Pool Matches (all dates and times given for New Zealand):

Match 1, England vs Fiji, Twickenham

Pool A, Saturday 19 September, 7.00 am

Let’s get ready to rumble! The opening match, and an early chance to see what England has got in the tank. Fiji will throw everything from the bure at them. Could be a cracker.

  • Ned’s Wish: Fiji
  • Ned’s Pick: England

Match 5, France vs Italy, Twickenham

Pool D, Sunday 20 September, 7.00am

Which France has come to town? Italy have to target this game if they’re going to progress, but they’ve been pretty woeful for way too long.

  • Ned’s Wish: France
  • Ned’s Pick: France

Match 8, New Zealand vs Argentina, Wembley

Pool C, Monday 21 September, 3.45am

We can’t treat this as just a nerves settler. The Bargies have never beaten the All Blacks. Couldn’t be a better time and place to start from their perspective. Beware.

  • Ned’s Wish: New Zealand
  • Ned’s Pick: New Zealand

Match 15, South Africa vs Samoa, Villa Park

Pool B, Sunday 27 September, 4.45am

Samoa cannot rely on beating Scotland later, so they have to go after this one.  South Africa have looked wobbly this year, and this is a chance for them to gain some self-belief. Or not.

  • Ned’s Wish: Samoa
  • Ned’s Pick: South Africa

Match 16, England vs Wales, Twickenham

Pool A, Sunday 27 September, 8.00am

A battle of the coaches, because neither squad has all the players it would want. Wales’ Gatland by a whisker because he’s as cunning as only an ex-Mooloo hooker can be.

  • Ned’s Wish: Wales
  • Ned’s Pick: Wales

Match 25, South Africa vs Scotland, St James’ Park

Pool B, Sunday 4 October, 4.45am

Newcastle-upon-Tyne is very nearly Scotland, and would be if a few earlier matches had gone their way. Same story from the earlier Samoa match: Scotland have to go hard for this one, and in kiwi coach Vern Cotter they have someone who has restored ambition.

  • Ned’s Wish: Scotland
  • Ned’s Pick: South Africa

Match 26, England vs Australia, Twickenham

Pool A, Sunday 4 October, 8.00am

So much riding on this one: England at home could be the ones to stand up to Chubby Cheika’s bully boy tactics by playing their traditional 10-man game. Or there could be a bit of biffo and referee Romain Poite will decide the matter by reaching for his pocket.

  • Ned’s Wish: England
  • Ned’s Pick: England

Match 34, Samoa vs Scotland, St James’ Park

Pool B, Sunday 11 October, 2.30am

Probably the decider of who goes through as runner-up from this pool. Everything to play for.

  • Ned’s Wish: Samoa
  • Ned’s Pick: Samoa

Match 35, Australia vs Wales, Twickenham

Pool A, Sunday 11 October, 4.45am

Progress from the Pool of Death hinges on this match, quite possibly coming down to bonus points, or points for and against. If Australia are a cornered beast by this stage, they might even get the ball to their talented backs without worrying about crash and bash upfront.

  • Ned’s Wish: Wales
  • Ned’s Pick: Australia

Match 39, France vs Ireland, Millennium

Pool D, Monday 12 October, 4.45am

This will be a great test of whether the Irish are serious about getting to the Final. Win  here, and win well, and the Six Nations champs will give all the other quarter-finalists the heebie-jeebies.

  • Ned’s Wish: France
  • Ned’s Pick: Ireland

Here’s the sweetener MrsDavy: I’ll make you tea and toast every time you join me. Can’t say better than that.


About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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2 Responses to 421. MrsDavy’s Guide to RWC2015 #11

  1. Cpt. Tinarse says:

    Go Fiji! If England are tempted to pick a B side in order to preserve the better morris dancers for the ‘tough’ games later on, Fiji could surprise. The resulting call to the bench and the big lads playing it tight up front in the English comfort zone could result in some nasty injuries and some cards. Can’t wait.

  2. Erin says:

    Mrs Davy, you need to watch all the games now given Japan’s performance. That’s lots of tea and toast, Ned.

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