Rugby World Championship 2011: Quarter-finals preview
This weekend New Zealand will explode with excitement and drama with the quarter-finals promising to be an entertaining spectacle. All matches are either North vs North or South vs South meaning familiar foes will face off and results are far from decided.
Ireland vs Wales - October 8th 7:00am (SA Time)
Wales were presented with the first opportunity for an upset in the RWC by facing South Africa and although coming close, could not pull of the all important win. On the contrary Ireland surprised the public by upsetting Australia and finishing top of their pool with a clinical display. This will be a battle of conflicting styles with Ireland bashing it up in front and Wales using their sizeable backs to breach the gainline. Although Wales have made significant strides in improving their game, I do believe Ireland will prove to be too strong for this motivated Wales team. Ireland by 8
England vs France - October 8th 9:30am (SA Time)
England were slow starters in the RWC 2011 and even though making progress later in the tournament, were presented with a scare of note by a motivated Scottish team in their last pool match. Although not being the most convincing of sides, France are marred by controversey with coach Marc Lievremont comparing his side to the 2010 French Football team after their surprise loss to Tonga. England will take this match with an all round display unless France start this game with their infamous passionate physical approach. England by 10
South Africa vs Australia - October 9th 07:00am (SA Time)
This is the most eagerly anticipated match with the two Tri-Nations teams proving to be the toughest of the four matches played. Australia will look to run at the Springboks with every opportunity while the Springboks will want to keep it tight and physical to drain the Wallabies energy. The deciding factor in this match will be ball retention with the Wallabies deadly on the counter attack and relatively impotent without the ball. Both teams have taken injury blows and yet the key figures in this match will be that of David Pocock and Heinrich Brussow. Springboks by 5Continued on the next page