Autumn Internationals Previews and Predictions

27 11 2010

England vs South Africa

An intriguing contest in prospect. England are coming off one of their most promising Autumns for sometime, whereas, in contrast to Johnson’s men, South Africa have had a very tough tour. Despite playing fairly poorly they have still managed a close, albeit somewhat lucky win, over a ring rusty Ireland followed by a fighting win over the Welsh before finally unraveling in spectacular fashion against a decent but still eminently beatable Scot’s side.

England will feel that this is their match to lose although it would be a rash man who writes off a wounded Springbok side. Returning to England’s ranks are the captain Lewis Moody, Tom Croft, Dan Cole up front with Mike Tindall rejoining Hape in the  centres. The Boks have picked arguably their strongest side although this particular pundit has reservations about Kirchner’s worth at 15.

Prediction: England 32-18 South Africa

Look out for: England to continue their good work and wrap up a 75% win record this Autumn. Cheap shots from frustrated South Africans and yellow cards late in the game as a result. England to attempt to continue to play with width although to not attain the same heights as against Australia. Croft to be man of the match.

Wales vs New Zealand

Sadly no chance for the Welsh in what will have been an exceptionally poor Autumn campaign. The All Blacks have been about the most impressive team that the Compulsive Hooker has ever seen and no amount of Welsh pluck can mask their own failings. There are similarities in the way that the two sides play but there they end as in the efficiency of play and the way the AB’s seize opportunities – the Welsh are several leagues below. Wales are unfortunately a side mired in mediocrity despite the undoubted quality that resides at points within their ranks and have yet failed to make the necessary steps forward to enable them to compete at the top table.

Prediction: Wales 13 – New Zealand 45

Look out for: New Zealand to blow the Welsh away after an initial tough 20 minute showing from the men in red. Not a great deal of respect to be shown for the Haka from the crowd – perhaps Bread of Heaven to be sung over the top. AB’s back row to rule the day. Welsh backs to make little impression.

In Brief:

France vs Australia: France by a score in a close game in Paris.

Scotland vs Samoa: Scotland to win but only by a score. Samoa to push them all the way.

Italy vs Fiji: Another tight match but Fiji to win by two scores.





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