Saturday, September 17, 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Ireland v Australia Pool C


Venue: Eden Park, Auckland

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

The crunch game in this pool. Who wins this is virtually guaranteed a place in the quarter finals. If you lose you have your backs to the wall.

Australia did what they needed to do against Italy last weekend. Italy held well until halftime and then Australia unleashed all their skills and grunt to run away with the second half. It was that second half effort that reminded me why I'm picking this Australian team to one of the finalists.

Ireland is an interesting side. They got pushed and rushed all over the park by the USA last week in their opening game. The eventually held on to the win but this was one of those initial games whereby the minnows took on the big guns and fired well. This side today looks a more balanced side and without any injury worries Ireland will be placing its strongest side on the park.

One thing is for sure. Most of the Kiwi support will be for Ireland. Sorry Australia but when it comes to cousins in this case, Australia is one team the Kiwis love to hate. If Ireland even look like sneaking in for a try or if they actually take the lead, be sure for sure, Eden Park will erupt.

It'll be a cracker!

Previous Encounters
26.06.2010 Australia 22-15 in Brisbane
15.11.2009 Drawn 20-20 in Dublin
14.06.2008 Australia 18-12 in Melbourne
19.11.2006 Ireland 21-6 in Dublin
24.06.2006 Australia 37-15 in Perth

Previous World Cups
01.11.2003 Australia 17-16 in Melbourne
10.10.1999 Australia 22-3 in Dublin
20.20.1991 Australia 19-18 in Dublin
07.06.1987 Australia 33-15 in Sydney

Ireland is yet to defeat Australia at a World Cup tournament. There have been some close ones, and amazing games, as in 2003 and 1991.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 2nd, Ireland 7th

IRB Ranking Points
Australia 88.84, Ireland 78.50

Prediction: Australia by 7



15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Patrick McCabe, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 William Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill, Capt. 4 Daniel Vickerman, 3 Benjamin Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Robert Simmons, 19 Benjamin McCalman, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Andrew Mitchell
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

15 Robert Kearney, 14 Thomas Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, Capt. 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls,
10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 James Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 5 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Michael Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements16 Sean Cronin, 17 Thomas Court, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Conor Murray, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Andrew Trimble
Head Coach: Declan Kidney

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