Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Rugby World Cup: Friday 20th - Monday 23rd Fixtures Preview

Rugby World Cup: Friday 20th - Monday 23rd Fixtures Preview



We look at the eight Rugby World Cup games being played between Friday the 20th and Monday the 23rd of September.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport - Hollywoodbets 

Japan v Russia
Friday 20 September
Tokyo Stadium
12:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Japan 1/100
Draw 30/1
Russia 11/1

Handicap
Japan (-42.5) 9/10
Russia (+42.5) 9/10

*Click here for our full preview

Japan will be looking to claim the full five-point haul when they take on minnows Russia in the opening game of the tournament.

The host nation has enjoyed a solid 2019 international campaign registering wins over Fiji, Tonga and the United States on their way to winning the Pacific Nations Cup. They did endure a heavy defeat at the hands of a rampant South African side two weeks ago, but the Japanese seemed to play with a little less intensity in that match than they did during the Nations Cup.

Russia have had a tough time of it in the lead up to the tournament losing heavily to an understrength Connacht outfit, Italy while going down by a narrow margin to English second division club side, the Jersey Reds.

Verdict: Japan (-42.5) 9/10
This handicap originally opened at around the 18.5 mark some months ago. After dismal displays by the Russians, the line has pushed way out. While it is a big one, I can still see the Japanese clearing it.
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Australia v Fiji
Saturday 21 September
Sapporo Dome
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Australia 1/12
Draw 30/1
Fiji 6/1

Handicap
Australia (-16.5) 9/10
Fiji (+16.5) 9/10

Australia will be looking for a fast start to their World Cup campaign when they take on a star-studded yet inconsistent Fijian outfit.

The 2015 World Cup runners-up have been extremely hit and miss this term with heavy defeats to South African and New Zealand being offset somewhat by a grinding victory over Argentina as well as a win over the All Blacks at the tail end of the Rugby Championship. Their last outing before the World Cup was far more Jeckyl than Hyde as they struggled to a 34-15 victory over a very limited Samoan side.

Fiji have also produced a mixed-bag in 2019 drawing their series with the Maori All Blacks before losing heavily to Japan during the Pacific Nations Cup.

Verdict: Fiji (+16.5) 9/10
I fancy the Fijians to stay within the 'cap here. They have some electrifying backs who will bag a couple tries against an Australia defence that is far from solid. I'll also be having a play on Fiji on the Race to 10 Points market where they are available at a very healthy 5/2.
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France v Argentina
Saturday 21 September
Tokyo Stadium
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)
France 8/10
Draw 20/1
Argentina 1/1

Handicap
France (-1.5) 9/10
Argentina (+1.5) 9/10

*Click here for our full preview

France and Argentina will lock horns in a pivotal round one clash out in Sapporo on Saturday.

This game is vitally important to both sides as the loser would in all likelihood have to beat England if they were to advance to the quarter-finals.

The French have had the better build-up to the World Cup beating Scotland and Italy comfortably at home before losing the return leg by just three-points to the 'Scots out in Glasgow.

Argentina, have failed to register an international win this year losing all three of their Rugby Championship games while going down to the South Africans in a friendly.

Verdict: Argentina (+1.5) 9/10
This is likely to be a very narrow run game with the two sides evenly matched. As such, I'll be having a small crack on the Argentina plus line.
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New Zealand v South Africa
Saturday 21 September
International Stadium Yokohama
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 7/20
Draw 25/1
South Africa 21/10

Handicap
New Zealand (-6.5) 9/10
South Africa (+6.5) 9/10

The game of the pool phase is up next with rugby powerhouses New Zealand and South Africa squaring off.

The All Blacks have endured a rather difficult build-up to the tournament having lost to both South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship. Their last two games have seen them register massive wins, however, as they beat Australia 36-0 in the second Bledisloe Test and Tonga 92-7 in their final warm-up fixture.

It's not only on the field where the All Blacks have had their issues, with a number of injuries occurring in the run-up to the World Cup. Talismanic lock Brodie Retallick will be out for the majority of the pool phase with a shoulder injury, while Richie Mo'unga has also been on the sidelines with a shoulder complaint. Talented young flanker Luke Jacobson has been ruled out of the tournament due to a concussion, and there are rumours going around that Sonny-Bill Williams could also be out of the tournament with a hamstring issue.

The 'Boks have also had their off-field dramas to contend with in the lead up to the tournament with Aphiwe Dyanti testing positive for a banned substance. Rassie Erasmus' men have been brilliant on the field, however, and head into this one having won all five of the fixtures they have played this year.

Verdict: South Africa (+6.5) 9/10
Like the Argentina versus France game, this one is likely to be as tight as a duck's backside. As such, I'll be having a firm strike on the 'Bok plus.
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Italy v Namibia
Sunday 22 September
Hanazono Rugby Stadium
07:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Italy 1/100
Draw 30/1
Namibia 11/1

Handicap
Italy (-31.5) 9/10
Namibia (+31.5) 9/10

Italy will be looking to put a big score over African minnows Namibia when the two sides lock horns in Sunday's opener.

The Italians have responded well from a tough old Six Nations campaign beating Russia 85-15 while giving both France and Ireland decent runs.

Namibia have endured a far more suspect run into the global showpiece losing 0-43 to a Natal Sharks invitational XV and while pipping the Southern Kings by six and four points in the double-header played between the sides.

Verdict: Italy (-31.5) 9/10
I'm not too confident on this one which is why I will keep my play on the Italian minus very small.
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Ireland v Scotland
Sunday 22 September
International Stadium Yokohama
09:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Ireland 2/7
Draw 25/1
Scotland 5/2

Handicap
Ireland (-9.5) 9/10
Scotland (+9.5) 9/10

Six Nations rivals Ireland and Scotland will square off in the pick of Sunday's action.

The Irish, who head into the tournament as the World's number one ranked side, suffered a major blow this week with centre Robbie Henshaw picking up a hamstring strain that may well end his World Cup involvement.

Scotland also suffered a blow on the injury front this past week with flanker Jamie Ritchie ruled out of Sunday's clash.

Ireland holds the psychological edge headed into this one with the 'Emerald Isle' having beaten the 'Scots in four out of the five clashes between the sides since the close of the last World Cup.

Verdict: Scotland (+9.5) 9/10
Ireland have only won one of the last five matches between the sides by more than nine points. With a stat like that staring me in the face I cannot help but back the 'Scots on the plus.
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England v Tonga
Sunday 22 September
City of Toyota Stadium
12:15

To Win (80 Mins)
England 1/100
Draw 30/1
Tonga 11/1

Handicap
England (-42.5) 9/10
Tonga (+42.5) 9/10

England will be looking to put the woes of 2015 behind them when they get their 2019 World Cup campaign underway with a clash a physical Tongan side.

Eddie Jones' men have enjoyed a great build-up to the tournament smashing Ireland 57-15 while drawing their Quilter Cup series with the Welsh.

Tonga have had a far tougher time of it in 2019 and head into this one off the back of a mammoth 92-7 defeat to the All Blacks.

Verdict: England (-42.5) 9/10
This English side has evolved into a World-Class attacking outfit and I can see them putting at least a half-century over a Tongan side that is as creative with ball-in-hand as a straight-laced accountant.
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Wales v Georgia
Monday 23 September
City of Toyota Stadium
12:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Wales 1/50
Draw 30/1
Georgia 10/1

Handicap
Wales (-28.5) 9/10
Georgia (+28.5) 9/10

Wales will get their Rugby World Cup campaign underway with a clash against the Georgians.

The Dragons have enjoyed a highly successful year thus are claiming the Six Nations title along with a Grand Slam. They have been slightly patchy in recent months, however, losing to both Ireland and England.

Georgia's build-up to the World Cup hasn't had many high points with the Eastern Europeans losing to suffering two big defeats at the hand of Scotland and narrowly beating the Southern Kings.

Verdict: Wales (-28.5) 9/10
It would be advisable to check the weather forecast later on in the week before having a strike on this tip as if there's a lot of rain around then the Georgians will be far more competitive. If there are sunny skies in Toyota on Sunday then I would recommend having a proper crack on the Welsh clearing the 'cap.



Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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