Saturday, July 18, 2015

TEST RUGBY AHEAD: Saturday 18 July

Canada v Japan in San Jose (Pacific Nations Cup)
United States v Samoa in San Jose (Pacific Nations Cup)
Namibia v Russia in Windhoek (2nd test)
Spain v Kenya in Nairobi (Friendly)

I’m not able to review these games in detail.

Pacific Nations Cup

Canada v Japan
I expect Canada to just brush past Japan although a Japanese win would not surprise. The Japanese, under former Australian coach Eddie Jones, has made considerable progress over the last two seasons.
Prediction: Canada by 3 points. Score 21-18

United States v Samoa
Samoa are fresh from their powerful display against New Zealand last week. The travel and that game may well have taken the sting out of this side. A win will depend on how they shape up. For the USA this is their first outing for the season. I’d expect them to be a bit rusty
Prediction: Samoa by 10 points. Score 29-19

African Test Rugby

Namibia v Russia
Namibia won the first test in Windhoek 39-19 last weekend against the visiting Russian side. This series is part of Namibia’s build up to the Rugby World Cup. I expect Russia to perform better this week.
Prediction: Namibia by 8 points. Score 25-17

Kenya v Spain
For me this is one of the matches of this weekend. These cross-continental rugby test matches are what makes the rugby rankings more meaningful and are a fantastic advertisement for this worldly game. Spain will struggle. They have left a large number of test regulars behind this being very much an experimental side. Kenya has defeated Portugal 41-15, Tunisia 46-15 but lost to Zimbabwe 20-28 in their three test matches so far. Spain last played a test match in March.
Prediction: Kenya by 18 points. Score 36-18

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