Final

England vs South Africa (8pm AEDT Saturday)
South Africa to Win ($2.63)

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will end in Tokyo on Saturday when England and South Africa square off for the game’s biggest prize.

Typically, England do not back up the enormous hype that surrounds their campaign at any Rugby World Cup, but they have been nothing short of outstanding in Japan and deserve their favouritism after comfortably beating reigning world champions and the game’s benchmark, New Zealand. They are undefeated heading into the decider and a repeat of last week’s performance would see them extremely difficult to beat.

Following their first-up loss to the All Blacks, South Africa have continued to improve with each effort and are themselves more than worthy of a position in the decider. A comfortable win over the host nation provided an ideal warm-up for their semi-final clash with a spirited Welsh side and ultimately, the Springboks were too good. There is no doubt that they’ll need to improve from that effort, but they are a side that typically does not feel the pressure of the situation.

As outlined, I think that England deserve favouritism in this match, but I have only a few points between them and there is no doubt that South Africa are over the odds as outsiders.

Third-Place Playoff
New Zealand vs Wales (8pm AEDT Friday)
New Zealand (-4.5)

Friday night will see the playoff for third between New Zealand and Wales and regardless of semi-final results, there remains a large class difference between these two sides.

There is no denying that the All Blacks were found out and beaten by a better side on the night in last weekend’s semi-final, but their campaign has otherwise been strong, and it is extremely difficult imagining them losing two matches in succession.

Several times I’ve had a go at Wales’ legitimacy at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but facts are they went through Pool D undefeated, fought back into the contest and ultimately beat France, before just missing against the Springboks last week. They have overachieved in my opinion, and they face an enormous task in the All Blacks.

Semi-Finals

Saturday October 26
best bet
England vs New Zealand (7pm AEDT)
New Zealand (-7.5)

New Zealand’s big for a third-consecutive Rugby World Cup goes on the line again in Tokyo on Saturday night and England is the nation that stands in the way of their path into the decider.

Typically, the All Blacks have been in cruise control all the way through to these semi-finals and after comfortably topping Pool B, they were never troubled by Ireland in the quarters. Steve Hansen’s team remains a class above every other nation in world rugby and they should be winning this match, with relative ease.

The hype around England is typically greater than their actual ability, but they’ve clearly been good enough to win through to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals. They were troubled by an undrilled Australian side for around 60 minutes of last weekend’s quarterfinal, and a similar performance would see them absolutely dismantled by New Zealand.

Sunday October 27
Wales vs South Africa (8pm AEDT)
South Africa (-7.5)

The second semi-final will see Wales go up against the Springboks in Yokohama on Sunday night.

The Welsh were probably made to look better than they actually are by what turned out to be a dream Pool at the Rugby World Cup, and there were given a serious scare by Les Bleus last weekend; ultimately lucky to scrape through 20-19. They face an enormous step up in class this weekend and will need to improve tenfold on what they have done so far, if they are any chance of knocking off the Springboks.

Other than a hard-fought loss to the All Blacks, the Springboks have been reasonably faultless. That being said, they have also had a reasonably easy run of matches leading into this. They weathered a tough first half from the Brave Blossoms last week but dominated at the breakdown and lineouts and understandably proved too good.

I think that they’ll record another reasonably easy win here and set-up an all Rugby Championship final with New Zealand.

Quarterfinals

Saturday, October 19
England vs Australia (6:15pm AEDT)
Australia (+8.5)

It appeared as though it would probably be the case even before a match was played at the Rugby World Cup and as anticipated, the Wallabies will meet England in the first quarterfinal on Saturday evening.

The Wallabies have been far from perfect but for the most part, they have done enough in each of their Pool matches. They gave Wales too great a start in what was their only loss so far and there is little doubt that England is their biggest test to date – they simply cannot afford anything less than a complete eighty-minute performance.

England were barely troubled in their bid to top Pool C, but they missed a vital match with France last week, which I think would have given us a real indicator as to what to expect here. They will be full of confidence, but always find Australia a difficult prospect.

I give the Wallabies a real chance in this match and they can cover a line that is currently set at 8.5 points as the outsiders.

New Zealand vs Ireland (9:15pm AEDT)
New Zealand (-12.5)

We’re set for an intriguing contest when reigning World Cup champions New Zealand line up opposite Ireland in Tokyo but ultimately, it’s tough imagining any result other than a comfortable All Blacks victory.

There is no doubt that New Zealand have been in cruise control in each of their Pool B matches, but Steve Hansen will not take any chances from this point onwards and I think we’ll see the real World Champions in action for the first time.

By their standards, Ireland were mediocre at best during the Pool stage – losing to Japan and finishing second in a group that they really should have dominated. They face an enormous task in the form of New Zealand, and this will likely be their final appearance at the 2019 World Cup.

Sunday, October 20
Wales vs France (6:15pm AEDT)
France to Win ($3)

Arguably the match of the quarterfinals will play out between Wales and France on Sunday evening. Both nations are undefeated, and each have legitimate claims on progressing to the final four.

This young French outfit has done extremely well at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Their biggest task came in the form of 2015 semi-finalists Argentina, with whom they were widely expected to duel with for second place in Pool C, and whom they snuck past first-up. Their two subsequent performances were fair, but they will need to take another step further to beat Wales.

Wales comfortably beat Georgia and Uruguay, but they were lucky to get away with the win over the Wallabies, while Fiji also poked several holes in their make-up. They do probably deserve slight favouritism ahead of this fixture, but they are under the odds to win.

I don’t understand the huge disparity in the head-to-head prices of these two countries and I am happy to take the value on offer for France.

best bet
Japan vs South Africa (9:15pm AEDT)
South Africa (-14.5)

The host nation has won through to the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals for the first time and will face heavyweights South Africa for a place in the final four.

Japan have been exciting to watch and there is no doubt that they have been buoyed by outstanding home crowd support. Their win over Ireland was a thing of beauty, while they just proved too good for every other nation in Pool A. Interestingly, the Springboks remain their biggest scalp at a Rugby World Cup (2015), but this is a completely different kettle of fish and they will need to go to another new level.

South Africa have been beaten only by New Zealand at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and they are the second-best team remaining at the competition. They are a class above Japan, even in current form, and will take a power of beating.

I don’t think that the Springboks will leave anything to chance, and I think that the Brave Blossoms’ fairy-tale campaign will comfortably come to an end.

Sunday, October 13

USA vs Tonga (4:45pm AEDT)
Tonga (-4.5)

An interesting match looms between the USA and Tonga on Sunday afternoon. There’s nothing more than bragging rights on offer for either, but there looks to be terrific value around Tonga particularly, who pushed Pool heavyweights France all the way last weekend.

It was always going to be a big task for Tonga to progress from the Pool stage and while it did take them a little way to find form, their most recent effort was outstanding and a repeat of that would see them flogging the United States.

The US are outclassed virtually every time they step out at a Rugby World Cup and that is the case once again. The line is incredible only 4.5 points and I am more than happy to be with Tonga.

Wales vs Uruguay (7:15pm AEDT)
Uruguay (+44.5)

Wales will sew-up top spot in Pool D with a win over Uruguay and it is important to note that they are suspended in head-to-head betting, so is the class difference between these two nations. You can have $67 about Uruguay at publish.

Wales continued their undefeated streak past Fiji most recently, albeit a reasonably tight affair, while Uruguay have been unable to replicate their opening game heroics and will head home after this.

I think that Wales will be in cruise control and given Uruguay has actually played some competitive rugby, I’ll be happy to follow them as outsiders at the line again.

Japan vs Scotland (9:45pm AEDT)
Scotland (-3.5)

The match of the weekend looks like materialising when the host nation lock horns with Scotland, potentially with a finals berth on the line.

The Brave Blossoms have been nothing short of outstanding at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. They were too good for both Russia and Samoa, while their shock win over world number two Ireland was a thing of legend.

Scotland weathered a tough loss to Ireland first-up but have since come on in a big way and enter this off the back of a huge win over Russia. I think they are fitting favourites and I actually think they’ll win this comfortably.

Saturday, October 12

New Zealand vs Italy

Match Cancelled 

England vs France

Match Cancelled. 

Ireland vs Samoa (9:45pm AEDT)
Ireland (-28.5)

With the first two blockbusters cancelled, it’s all up to Ireland vs Samoa to salvage the Saturday action at the Rugby World Cup. Realistically this was going to be the worst game on the slate and Ireland should be winning comfortably.

The loss to Japan was obviously an enormous shock, but they’ve resaddled effectively in the wake and enter this contest full of running. Samoa have been extremely disappointing at the Rugby World Cup and the end of this match and their campaign simply cannot arrive quickly enough.

Nothing les than a comfortable win will do for Ireland, and I think they’ll get it.

Friday, October 11

Australia vs Georgia (9:15pm AEDT)
Australia (-24.5)

The Wallabies final Pool D game at the 2019 World Cup is slated for Friday and they will be eager to record an easy win over minnows Georgia, to tune up for what will be a tough run through the knockout stages of the tournament.

While producing an appalling first half against Fiji, signs looked good for the Wallabies after they managed to change tac and comfortably win that match. They also performed well in the second half of their match with Wales, but it was all too little, too late. A full eighty-minute performances is clearly what is required of Michael Cheika’s men if they are any chance of making the final four, and this looms as the ideal opportunity to try and produce that.

Georgia are clearly outclassed in this fixture and simply put, will not win. I think that they’ll struggle to contain the Wallabies from the opening moment.

The line is only 24.5 points and that looks extremely manageable for the men in gold.

Wednesday, October 9

best bet
Argentina vs USA (3:45pm AEDT)
Argentina (-20.5)

Argentina’s World Cup campaign will draw to a close when they line up opposite the USA on Wednesday.

A tight loss to France first-up all appeared to decide Argentina’s fate, and they were unable to go with England in the second half of their most-recent match on Saturday night. This looms as a great opportunity for the proud Rugby Championship nation to score a big consolation win over a lowly opponent.

I have no doubt that Argentina will win this match and that the USA are massively under the odds at $8. The 20.5-point line looks very manageable for Los Pumas.

Scotland vs Russia (6:15pm AEDT)
Scotland (-32.5)

Scotland will attempt to keep alive their chances of survival when they play Pool A minnows Russia in the evening game.

A hefty loss to Ireland first-up was responded to with a classy performance and win over Samoa last week. They still have this match and one with the tournament hosts ahead, and a win in both would carry them a long way towards progression.

Russia’s tournament was essentially over before it started, and it is tough imagining them taking much from this final hit-out. Scotland have everything to play for and should be winning comfortably.

Wales vs Fiji (8:45pm AEDT)
Highest Scoring Half '2nd' ($1.73)

The Wednesday night action will draw to a close in Oita when Wales look to take another big step towards topping Pool D, at the expense of the extremely disappointing Fiji.

The Welsh probably haven’t been at their best at the Rugby World Cup, but they’ve still recorded two wins from as many starts and should only improve into this contest.

A loss to the Wallabies first-up was understandable, but Fiji’s inability to overcome tournament minnows Uruguay has summed up their campaign. They did comfortably beat Georgia at their most-recent appearance, but that form simply cannot be trusted leading into this.

I think Fiji can compete for around 40 or 50 minutes, but with then struggle.

Tuesday, October 8

South Africa vs Canada (8:15pm)
South Africa (49.5)

The Springboks can all but confirm passage into the knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup by beating Canada tonight and realistically, they will do it easily.

South Africa’s only loss in the Pool Stage so far has understandably come at the hands of New Zealand, with whom they remained in the contest for nearly the entire 80 minutes.

Canada are yet to record a win at the Rugby World Cup and simply put, they will not be breaking the duck egg here. The line is set at 49.5 points and I think that South Africa will comfortably cover.

Sunday, October 6

New Zealand vs Namibia (2:45pm)
New Zealand (-69.5)

The biggest mismatch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup looks like playing out between the All Blacks and Namibia on Sunday afternoon.

There is obviously an enormous class difference here; New Zealand remain tournament favourites, while Namibia have never won at game at the tournament.

The line is set at 69.5 points and I think that the All Blacks will cover it easily.

France vs Tonga (5:45pm)
Tonga (+25.5)

Another class difference, but not nearly as big a disparity. France have returned two pleasing efforts at the Rugby World Cup so far and will all but confirm passage to the next round by beating Tonga.

Tonga are 0-2 following losses to England and Argentina, the latter by a margin of only sixteen points.

Given how close the France vs Argentina game was, I think that a similar margin with be produced in this match and I’m happy to be with Tonga as the outsiders, at the line.

Saturday, October 5

Australia vs Uruguay (3:15pm)
Uruguay (+51.5)

The Wallabies are back in action on Saturday afternoon and the next side in the crosshairs is Pool D minnows Uruguay.

Though tough in the second half and nearly pulling off the comeback, the Wallabies ultimately lost to Wales on Sunday and will probably now find themselves on the tough side of the draw, come the knockouts.

There is no doubt that Uruguay will be hugely outclassed, but the 51.5-point line seems way over the top given their performances so far, and I think they can finish within it.

England vs Argentina (6pm)
Argentina (+13.5)

An intriguing fixture looks set to play out in Tokyo on Saturday evening, when Six Nations heavyweights England lock horns with the Rugby Championship’s Argentina.

Los Pumas will still be disappointed by their close first-up loss to France and will be eager to pull off the upset. It is an enormous task, but they won through to the preliminary finals at the 2015 World Cup and there is no denying that they are up to it.

England have been in cruise control against Tonga and the USA and this is easily their biggest test to date. I think they’ll win, but I think it will be a nail-biter.

Japan vs Samoa (8:30pm)
Samoa (+18.5)

The host nation steps out in Saturday night’s primetime game, and they can all but secure qualification to the knockout stage of the tournament by beating Samoa.

Few people would have expected the Brave Blossoms to replicate their 2015 heroics this time around, but an incredible win over Ireland last week and set them on course for a berth in the final eight for the first time.

Samoa flogged Russia first-up but were subsequently flogged by Scotland at their second appearance at the Rugby World Cup. They struggle for consistency, but I think that the line is skewed in favour of Japan far too much.