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Get BettingPro’s Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final Predictions & Best Bets

Ben Darvill 18 Oct 2019
Beauden Barrett (C) of New Zealand (credit:RICHARD WAINWRIGHT/AAP/PA Images)

Can England oust Australia, will Japan trip up South Africa again, and can Ireland vanquish New Zealand? Get our best bets for the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

Well here we are, after all the group games with the thrills and spills and the serious rain and wind, we are left with just eight teams battling for supremacy of the rugby world, with a few surprises thrown up and resulting in clashes that seem to have an added spice behind them on top of being huge World Cup games. For England and Australia, this is the classic rivalry between two sides that have traded blows in one of the great contests across rugby, with the 2003 Rugby World Cup final a particular highlight for England, while Australia will draw on their humiliation of their opponents in the 2015 World Cup as they knocked the English out of their own tournament. For New Zealand, this is likely one of the very few games they will go into one some serious doubt in their minds. Ireland have beaten the All Blacks in two of their last three matches and they have become the bogey team for the double-reigning world champions. If any team is likely to knock the favourites out, we think it is Ireland. 

For Wales and France, this is a match which is genuinely well-balanced despite the bookies making Wales massive favourites. In the 2019 Six Nations, France played Wales off the park for the first 40 minutes in the opener to the tournament before they imploded in typical French rugby style. Wales went on to clinch the Grand Slam to set themselves up for the World Cup perfectly, but there will be lingering doubts in their minds that if France can put in a similar pace and precision for 40 minutes and then have a solid second-half, Wales could struggle, while France’s record in World Cups is an impressive one, meaning they should not ever be taken lightly. Finally, it is the fairytale story that could once again set up a second win for David over Goliath in as many World Cups. Japan famously beat South Africa in Brighton in 2015 which set the foundations for their nation to go rugby mad, and they have built on their success and are currently playing some of the most open and exciting rugby, with this showcased in their superb performance against Scotland to put the side out of the competition. South Africa have played very well so far and look like genuine contenders for the trophy, but like New Zealand and Wales, there will be lingering doubts in their minds, although they can dispel these demons for good with a win to secure a semi-final spot and end the hopes of the host nation. 

Saturday, October 19th 
England vs Australia - 08:15 BST 

A classic rivalry in rugby that seems to always throw up incredible encounters. England have looked the better of the two and come into this one unbeaten, deprived the chance to secure a 100% record in the pool stage by only the weather. Australia meanwhile fell to a single loss in their pool as Wales defeated them in a pulsating encounter. Now the Aussies come into this match as the underdogs after having lost to England in their last six encounters in a row, with their last win coming in that 33-13 win at the 2015 World Cup. Eddie Jones’ men will be confident of going all the way in the tournament and Australia seem to be the perfect team to take on before what would likely be a date with the All Blacks in the next round. England will have to find a way to deal with the hulking threat of Marika Koroibete on the wing, but we think that Jones may then look to employ Joe Cokanasiga on that wing as a sizeable deterrent with the speedster a talent that would likely relish the chance to attempt to emerge as the alpha on the flank. While the teams are yet to be announced, we feel that speedster Jonny May, who is very likely to play, will get over the line in the game and we think that will constitute the first try of the game as England will look to get at Australia early and if their kicking game through George Ford is on point, then the space in behind will be something May looks to exploit with his vision and pace. 

New Zealand vs Ireland - 11:15 BST 

New Zealand have been as you would expect at the current World Cup, with the side boasting an unbeaten record without ever really looking like they have gotten out of second gear. Their 23-13 win over South Africa in their opening games was as close as they have come to being under real pressure, while scorelines of 63-0 and 71-9 show that the All Blacks are still a long, long way ahead of the second tier nations. Their 0-0 draw with Italy due to the weather will likely be something they view as a blot on their copybook despite it not being anything to do with them, and so they will be looking to get back to winning ways immediately. Ireland meanwhile will relish this opportunity to be the side to dump the All Blacks out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage. Ireland have won two of the last three between the sides with a 16-9 win following their 40-29 triumph back in 2016. The Irish may not have really hit anywhere near top gear yet and they will need to do this soon, but coach Joe Schmidt will cite this as a plus, with plenty of room to improve available to the side. In this one, we feel there is genuine value backing the underdogs, with Ireland available at 4/1 with BetVictor. Questions will be asked over whether the Irish have peaked too early, but if they can summon that same Irish spirit that helped them to beat New Zealand only last year, then we can see this one going their way, especially if the half-back partnership of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton fires, with the pair instrumental in this one. 

Sunday, October 20th 
Wales vs France - 08:15 BST 

In a mouthwatering all Six Nations clash on Sunday, Wales take on France in a match that hey are widely expected to win. Wales have won all four of their Rugby World Cup games so far with their 29-25 victory over Australia a particular highlight so far. For France, wins over Argentina, USA and Tonga came in very tight encounters that displayed that the French have really struggled to get going this year, with free-flowing French rugby something that is yet to really show itself. Recent matches between the pair has seen Wales win two on the bounce, but it should be noted that France utterly dominated Wales in the opening game of the Six Nations as they went into halftime 16-0 up. However, a capitulation of French rugby proportions saw them throw their advantage away as they lost the second-half 24-3 with a number of rookie mistakes gifting Wales opportunities to score, ones they gleefully took. While Wales are clearly the favourites and look to be amongst the favourites to win the whole competition, France are not a team that should be ignored. A quarter-final finish in 2015 was their joint-worst ever, with two fourth-placed finishes, a bronze medal and three runners-up finishes showing that they tend to excel at the World Cup. With this in mind, we are going with the underdogs in this one as we feel that this encounter will be a tight one that could go either way, with the tag of favourites something that could weigh very heavily on this Welsh side, especially when considering their best-ever finish was third-place back in 1987, with their most consistent elimination coming in the quarter-finals and the pool stage, with three exits coming at both of these points. 

Japan vs South Africa - 11:15 BST 

While people will have gone into the Rugby World Cup desperate to see their own nation do well at the tournament, most will have had a special place for the hosts, with Japan a side full of heart and character, but unlikely to get out of their group. However, a stellar performance against the Irish saw them win 19-12 before an incredible victory over Scotland knocked the Six Nations side out of the competition and secured Japan's place at the top of their group. The hope for Japan was that they would make a real go of getting out of their group but, as has been the way with this Japanese side this tournament, they have excelled beyond belief. Now, they come up against a South Africa side that will have a genuine fear of playing against the hosts. The Springboks have looked good at the 2019 World Cup and, bar their loss to New Zealand in their opening game, they have maintained a 100% record. Their impressive array of power in the forwards and pace and trickery in the backs means they are a side that cannot be given any time to breath, and this is exactly what Japan will likely do as they succeed against Scotland by suffocating them when their opponents had the ball, while their tireless running and offloading game was something to behold as they did their best impression of New Zealand in front of their screaming fans. This match will be a far more stern test for Japan than their game against a poor Scotland, but it could be a superbly entertaining one if the two decide to play open rugby and go at one-another. Japan do offer some tasty value, but we are not confident in them turning over a South African team that has the pace and power to beat Japan, unlike Scotland before them. Instead, we are backing one of South Africa's star men in Cheslin Kolbe to go over the line at some point in the match, with the winger one of the best finishers in the game and likely to feature prominently on the flank. 

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