New Zealand vs Wales. It sounds more like a should-be final as opposed to a playoff to see who will finish in 3rd and 4th place. But ultimately, that is the reality that these two sides face this Friday night. The All Blacks topped their group, but were outlasted by England, 19-7 in the final four. Wales also topped their group, but were eliminated in the final four when they went down, 19-16 to South Africa. Both sides kept their opposition to one try in their games, whilst also crossing for one each themselves in defensively stoic efforts. Ultimately, PG’s cost both the sides a shot at winning the entire Cup though. New Zealand, you’d expect to win. But if it wasn’t for a PG only a couple of minutes from time, the Welsh would be competing for the Cup as opposed to 3rd place. Wales should be good in this game, but at the end of the day, the All Blacks are the All Blacks.
Friday, November 01, 2019
New Zealand vs Wales
Venue: Tokyo Stadium | Start: 8:00PM (AEST)
Both teams topped their groups. Both teams would’ve had high expectations of reaching the final and possibly winning it all. That being especially so in the case of the ‘supposed world-beater’ All Blacks. But two defeats, crashed both these teams hopes right into the very ground from which they arose. The All Blacks lost by 12 points. And the Welsh lost by three. And now they solemnly gather here, to compete for 3rd place at this years Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand’s 19-7 loss to England, was by far and away the biggest upset we’ve seen in the tournament. The All Blacks only try was of an English error, as their opposition side proved to classy and to good for them to handle. Ardie Savea gave them a slight chance, with a try in the 57th minute of the match. But two George Ford PG’s after that, put those hopes to the grave. New Zealand held just 44% of the ball overall and just 38% in the first half alone. Yikes! They also spent just 38% of the time in the English’s half. And despite both sides crossing for only a try each, Eddie Jones’s men, made their kicks count mightily. The All Blacks still ran for 639m’s and beat 34 defenders. Outside of that they also had 12 clean breaks to England’s six. 20 Turnovers was critical in their defeat, as was the fact that they had to make 164 big tackles. Winning only four turnovers didn’t help their cause either. For comparison, England won 15.
Wales game on the other hand was much more competitive and close as they just failed to beat the Springboks, 19-16. A late Pollard PG was enough for the Springboks, as the Welsh couldn’t hold on for the close victory. Wales absolutely dominated the possession-game as they held 61% of the ball overall. In H1 it was at, 59% and H2 saw it at 63%. They also kept South Africa to just 39% throughout the game. And whilst the tries were at one a piece, just like ENG, RSA made their kicks count. They only made 182m’s, beat 11 defenders and had just the seven clean breaks. They also turned over the ball 15 times. The Springboks did it just the eight. However, they forced RSA into making a hugeee 147 tackles. Going back, the Pollard PG, which went low, is essentially what won the opposition the game. Despite putting in an amazing shift all match long, that one stupid, costly error is what it came and still comes down to for Wales. Credit is due where credit is due, for the Springboks being able to hold on in tight conditions.
Prediction- The All Blacks should be to good in this one. Pick them to score several tries in a fairly commanding victory. They ain’t gonna finish no lower then 3rd in this RWC.
Head to Head: All Blacks | $1.10 – Sportsbet
Win Margin: All Blacks $13+ | $1.46 – Unibet
Handicap: All Blacks -18 | $2.00 – Bet365
Total Points: Over 53.5 | $1.90 – Sportsbet