Four Autumn International rugby union test matches take place tomorrow, on Saturday 13th November 2010, as the teams from the Southern Hemisphere take on England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
England v Australia – Kick Off 14:30
England take on Australia at Twickenham in what is sure to be a tight and bruising encounter. England played very well despite coming up marginally second-best against the world number one side, the All Blacks last week, while Australia proved they were back to form by beating the very same side a couple of weeks before. There is always a little mettle in this match, so things will likely get testy.
England v Australia Prediction
The result will likely be a small margin of fewer than seven points, and England, with home advantage, may just edge this one: Martin Johnson seems to have gradually developed a side which interchanges between forward and back play far better than that which he inherited a couple of years ago. This will be an excellent, tight match.
Ireland v Samoa – Kick Off 14:30
Ireland came out very narrowly second-best against the strong South Africa outfit last week, and will have too many weapons for Samoa in this, their second match at the newly revamped Aviva Lansdowne Road. Expect to see a fresh face or two as Ireland will look to mix up their squad which still has tough fixtures against New zealand and Argentina to come.
Ireland v Samoa Predictions
Ireland should take this match by a margin of more than ten points, with their pacey back line proving too strong with ball in hand.
Scotland v New Zealand – Kick Off 17:15
Last year, in the evening kick-off at Murrayfield, Scotland pulled off an incredible victory against Australia in a cauldron-like match that I had the pleasure of attending. The lights were dimmed, and the atmosphere and result signalled a new era of professionalism that Andy Robinson and his entourage had brought to the Scottish international rugby union.
Unfortunately, great defensive work and steady set up play is rarely finished by Scotland’s so-so back line, and so it would prove, time and again, in this year’s Six Nations tournament, where Scotland let themselves down with poor finishing in matches against Wales and Italy which they could easily have clinched.
New Zealand are anything but so-so.
Scotland v New Zealand Prediction
Scotland will lose this match, but will probably be within 10 points come the final whistle. If there is hope for the Scots, it is that they are currently one of the best defences in World Rugby. If there is a fear, it is that they will have to be, for they play probably the best 15 man attacking side.
Wales v South Africa Kick-Off 14:30
Wales host South Africa at the Millennium Stadium following last week’s 9 point humbling against Australia, and appear to have it all to do once more in what will likely be a good display of running rugby. Wales have not fully recaptured their excellent form of a couple of years ago, but posses real pace and flair in their backs which, if firing on all cylinders, can do damage even to South Africa’s rigid defence.
Wales v South Africa Prediction
Though Wales stayed in contention against the Aussies, and should be able to test South Africa, the form line running through Ireland shows that South Africa have it within them to win this by 5-10 points.
Rugby Union Autumn International Fixtures – Saturday 13th November 2010
- England v Australia – Kick-Off (GMT) 14:30
- Ireland v Samoa – Kick-Off (GMT) 14:30
- Scotland v New Zealand – Kick-Off (GMT) 17:15
- Wales v South Africa – Kick-Off (GMT) 14:30