After the fantastic events of day eight in Japan, we have two extremely tight matches in prospect greet us for day nine of the Rugby World Cup, even if at opposite ends of the scale. Georgia taking on shock victors Uruguay from pool D will opening up the day and be followed by the huge clash of Australia and Wales to decide pool D. Both games will be tough to pick and fantastic rugby is definitely the order of day nine! After Japan’s victory against Ireland, I can’t wait, let’s get into it!
Georgia vs Uruguay – Pool D
Two teams with contrasting early tournament form. Georgia were quite easily contained by a very solid Welsh side which they threw all their chips in for. Now in their second match they need the win but just six days later they have chosen to mix the pot. The side will be captained by Sunwolves hooker Jaba Bregvadze in a new look front row with only one player retained in the whole new forward pack. Impressive young fly-half Tedo Abzhandadze will stay in the ten jersey as one of only two players holding their place in the backline. Giorgi Kveseladze shifting from the left wing to outside centre. These two sides have only met five times before, so a fitting time to keep things new for the Uruguayans, but it seems that doesn’t matter to much to them….
Of course, no mention of the Uruguayan rugby side will even go ahead without talking about the famous victory against Fiji. Its their moment, its their history and it will never be forgotten. The question is, can they back it up? Unlike their opponents, they have kept things almost exactly the same as that opening victory, and why not too? Only a couple of changes in the pack will see Juan Pedro Rombys join the front row at tighthead in the place of Diego Arbelo and Alejandro Nieto taking his place at the back of the pack at number eight for Manuel Diana. Otherwise unchanged and we know who we need to keep an eye out for. Never forget the emotional post match interview from captain Juan Manuel Gaminara, a leader in any language and you can quickly see why. The real key to this team is that combination at nine and ten. Santiago Arata and Felipe Berchesi has Uruguay purring like a well fed cat. Speaking of Cat, Juan Manuel Cat will again return at outside centre where he was a menace to the Fijian defence. German Kessler is another I mentioned prior to Fiji and well justified as he was superb. As much as I would love for the fairytale to continue for Uruguay, I just cant see them backing it up.
RESULT = Georgia by 16
Australia vs Wales – Pool D
This is it. The huge clash of pool D! So many repercations will come from this result and the benefits for the victor, with both sides wanting to top the pool and take on the runner up of pool C instead of the winner. But to be honest, the way this tournament is going is there really a clear path anymore? The Wallabies have had to make changes, with the Reece Hodge suspension it will require a shift on the wing. Adam Ashley-Cooper takes the place and Dane Haylett-Petty will take over at fullback for Kurtley Beale. A first start at the World Cup for the halves partnership with Will Genia and Bernard Foley moving in for Nic White and Christian Lealiifano. Goalkicking is a big issue right now for Australia, neither Foley or Lealiifano have looked convincing. Its not surprise that David Pocock and Michael Hooper stay together, although they still resist putting Pocock at eight with the strong Isi Naisarani keeping his place.
Wales skipped past their opening challenge against Georgia untouched and put up a comfortable victory at the same time. It will be seen as a massive luxury to be able to throw out the same starting lineup as the Georgian game six days ago. They looked sharp too, some really good performances from key players – aside from Dan Biggars first conversion – Jonathan Davies looked elusive, and the back three got good reward from their effort and fleet footedness. The backrow battle is going to be immense and just how Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi can look after Wales own ball with be crucial. This Welsh side is very nicely settled and look in good shape early on but how quickly it could all come crumbling down on day nine of the Rugby World Cup. It’s the first stage of the North vs South battle everyone has wanted to see. Advantage Wales…?
RESULTS = Wales by 3
I will have predictions DAILY for the Rugby World Cup! So make sure to subscribe to the page for updates when a new predictions goes live or check back each day for the next days matches. Who is your pick? Lets me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts!