As the world braces for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, online sports books are preparing for the influx of sporting enthusiasts. The action gets underway on September 18 when England faces off against Fiji in a key match up from the powerful Pool A group. All three of the September 19 games feature teams with something to prove if they have any designs on getting out of their perspective pools.
Ireland Vs Canada Preview
This figures to be an interesting matchup between two teams that come into the World Cup with markedly different recent form.
Canada: – For Canada, it has been a long time between drinks of water. The last time the Canucks were able to make it into the knockout rounds was back in 1991. Since then, it has been a combination of bad form and even worse luck that has kept the Canucks at Bay. Coming into this year’s competition, Canada’s form has been horrible with seven straight test losses dating back to November 2014. If they are going to right the ship against a tough Irish team, they are going to have to depend on a trio of dynamic players who will need to play at the highest level of their careers. Those three players are Tyler Ardron (team Captain), Jamie Cudmore and Brett Beukeboom. At 24-years-old, Ardon is the most interesting of the lot. In three years since he joined the national squad, he has established himself as one of the country’s best back-row forwards in recent memory. As a superior athlete with deceptive skills, he has the versatility to play several positions. That said, it is his knowledge of the game and leadership skills that has made him the youngest captain coming into this year’s cup. The Canucks are expected to keep their game plan simple, hoping strong wing play will lead to a few scores while the veteran back row players protect the in-goal areas.
Ireland – While the Canucks enter the game in poor form, Ireland enters playing at their best form in years. The team’s most recent success came at the 2015 Six Nations tournament where they walked off with the title for the second consecutive year. They ended the tournament with a 4-1 record, out-pointing England and Wales. Back in November, they showed they were coming into form after exciting test victories over International powerhouses Australia and South Africa. New national team coach Joe Schmidt will be looking for a strong showing in this, his first world cup. Key players include Cian Healy, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Jonathan Sexton, one of the best tactical kickers in the game. Considering the team’s recent play, it is clear the team has not been adversely affected by the retirement of key national players like Ronan O’Gara and Brian O’Driscoll. The one man Ireland can ill-afford to lose is Captain Paul O’Connell. As a 13 year national team veteran, O’Connell has a stellar reputation throughout the world for his intensity in the second row and his overall leadership qualities.
Prediction: Ireland will be looking to make a statement in this game and that spells trouble for the Canucks. It shouldn’t be close with the favourites winning by at least two tries.