The 2019 Rugby World Cup will get underway on Friday the 20th of September with host nation Japan and minnows Russia clashing in the tournament’s opener.
Japan get their home World Cup underway out in Tokyo this Friday evening. The Japanese capital is likely to be a sea of white and cherry blossom shirts as the locals start to embrace the first-ever global showpiece event to hit Asian shores.
Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport – Hollywoodbets
Japan v Russia
Friday 20 September
To Win (80 Mins)
Japan (-42.5) 9/10
Russia (+42.5) 9/10
Jamie Joseph’s men will be looking to make a big statement when they open their account against a woeful Russian side in Japan’s capital.
The host nation have been playing some great rugby this term registering impressive wins over Fiji and Tonga on their way to claiming the recently concluded Pacific Nations Cup. And while they do head into this one off the back of a heavy defeat to South Africa, Japan are a quality side and will undoubtedly illustrate this on Friday.
What will be key here for Joseph’s men is racking up a big score as they know how important bonus points are as they missed out on the quarter-final stage of the 2015 event due to them failing to pick up any bonus points during the pool phase.
The minnow Eastern European Nation has had a tough old time in the lead up to the tournament losing heavily to an under strength Connacht side. If they can’t even be competitive against a PRO14 second string, how on earth are they going to keep up with a Japanese side that is so well-coached?
While it’s a major achievement for the Russian to actually get to a global showpiece, they are unlikely to win any games. Instead, their focus will be on avoiding huge losses.
Verdict: Japan (-42.5) 9/10
It’s a big handicap but Japan should clear it. Russia just don’t have the fitness levels to keep up with this extremely well-prepared Japanese outfit.