Emyr’s Rugby World Cup Final Predictions
With the Rugby World Cup coming to a close, Emyr Lewis looks back at the semi-final matches and also gives his assessment on how the home nations performed in the tournament.
1. What were your thoughts on the New Zealand V South Africa semi final?
It was a brutal and competitive game. South Africa threw everything at New Zealand and probably played to their potential. New Zealand looked nervous in the first half but I felt that they were always in control. We saw some sublime rugby from them against France but this week they showed that they can win ugly as well.
2. Do you think Australia’s quick start against Argentina made the difference?
Most definitely. I have been impressed with the Pumas during this World Cup playing open, expansive rugby, unfortunately for them this was their undoing against a very organised Australian defence. Australia capitalised on their mistakes and scored some wonderful tries.
3. With all home nation teams out, what is your assessment of their performances in the World Cup?
England were unlucky to have been in such a hard group and the game against Wales could have gone either way.
Ireland looked good in the pool stages but were completely outplayed by Argentina in the quarters, no doubt missing Sexton, O’Brien and their talisman O’Connell.
Wales did as well as expected considering the injuries they had to their back division, [10 in all]. Looking at the game against Australia, Wales should have scored when Australia were down to 13 men. Against the Boks there were a few 50:50 decisions that went against them and they should also have insisted on the TMO to be used on the Springbok try as Sam Warburton is clearly held in at the scrum. Both games could have gone either way.
I have left Scotland to last as they were the surprise package in the quarters. 40 seconds and one dubious decision away from beating Australia. I was absolutely gutted for them. It shows that the home nations are nearly there. It’s a shame we have to wait another 4 years to prove it.
4. Do you think New Zealand and Australia have been the strongest teams and deserve to be in the final?
New Zealand have been the most consistent side in the competition. Australia have shown glimpses of sheer brilliance but have also shown weaknesses against Wales and Scotland but still deserve to be there
5. Which players do you think will make the difference in the final?
I think the game will be open with lots of running rugby which means that turnover ball will be key as to who wins the game. The battle between both back rows will be huge and I believe whoever wins this battle will pick up the trophy on Saturday.
6. Who do you think will win the World Cup and what is your score prediction for the final?
New Zealand should win by 6 points. They are so good at using turnover ball and this team has been in the final before so they know what it takes to win.
Midshire will soon be launching a competition for schools across Wales in conjunction with Emyr and Toshiba, one of the official World Cup sponsors, and Midshire’s newest technology partner. Schools will have the chance to win a rugby training session with Emyr and Toshiba sponsored rugby kit. Further details will be released very shortly!
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