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Rugby World Cup 2023 – Week 3

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Patrick Meyer
Patrick Meyer
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Pool A

New Zealand2101+5415

Win = 4 points, Draw = 2 points, Loss = 0 points, Bonus points = 1 or 2 points*

*1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, 1 bonus point for losing by 7 points or less


Italy 38 – 17 Uruguay, Wednesday, 20 September

Italy's stellar performance at the 2023 Rugby World Cup saw them secure their second win in Pool A against Uruguay, avoiding a potential scare. Despite scoring the opening try, Italy trailed 17-7 at halftime. However, a strong second half turned the tables, and they emerged as 38-17 victors. Uruguay had posed a challenge, having previously troubled France's second string. But they couldn't withstand Italy's experience in crucial moments. Lorenzo Pani's early try set the stage, but a penalty try for Uruguay levelled the score after Italy's Nicolo Cannone was sin-binned. Uruguay briefly took the lead, but Italy fought back.

The game featured contentious moments and tempers flaring, with Angus Gardiner, the referee, maintaining order. Italy's late surge, including tries from Lamaro, Ioane, Cannone, and Brex, left Uruguay struggling. This victory positioned Italy second in Pool A with an unblemished record, establishing them as formidable contenders in the tournament.

France 96 – 0 Namibia, Thursday, 21 September

In an incredibly one-sided encounter at the Rugby World Cup, host nation France showcased their dominance against Namibia, almost reaching a three-figure score. However, the victory was marred by a concerning injury to captain Antoine Dupont. France achieved a record-breaking World Cup victory with a 96-0 thrashing of Namibia, but the match took a worrisome turn when Dupont suffered a head injury in the second half. Struck by Namibia's captain, Johan Deysel, Dupont left the field and was taken to the hospital with a suspected fractured cheekbone.

France made 12 changes from their previous match against Uruguay, bringing back their star players. From the outset at Marseille's Stade Vélodrome, they dominated the game. Damian Penaud scored a hat-trick, and others like Jonathan Danty, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Charles Ollivon, Thibaud Flament, Baptiste Couillard, and Melvyn Jaminet contributed to the scoring. Thomas Ramos added 12 conversions. With three wins in three games, France leads Pool A and has a two-week break before their final match against Italy. Dupont's injury raises concerns about his availability for the rest of the tournament, potentially impacting France's knockout stage performance. France hopes for a swift recovery for their crucial No. 9.


Wednesday, 27 September - Uruguay vs Namibia

Both teams have just come off a loss, so confidence won’t be high in either camp. However, this is Uruguay's best chance of recording a win at RWC23. Namibia, as expected has been the tournament’s whipping boys. Their best performance so far has been the first game they played where they lost 52-8 against Italy. Their next match was against the All Blacks who demolished them 71-3. Their last game was a 96-0 loss to France. It seems as if they fare worse each time they run out onto the field. At this point, if Namibia can stop their South American opponents from scoring less than 50 points or secure a bonus point loss, you can’t help but think they’d be satisfied.

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Friday, 29 September – New Zealand vs Italy

New Zealand swiftly rebounded from their initial Pool A defeat to France with a resounding triumph over Namibia last week, setting the stage for a showdown with the undefeated Italy this upcoming Friday. Their clash with Namibia saw the All Blacks deliver a dominant performance, clinching a 71-3 victory by scoring an impressive 11 tries. This win marked a historic milestone as it represented New Zealand's 50th World Cup triumph. Their superiority was evident as they secured a bonus-point fourth try within the first 25 minutes of the match. By halftime, New Zealand held a commanding 38-3 lead, and their relentless scoring continued in the second half, outscoring Namibia 33-0 to secure their first win of the 2023 World Cup.

Next in their sights is Italy, a team against which the All Blacks have a stellar track record. In their 15 previous Test match encounters, New Zealand emerged victorious every time, with an average winning margin of 51 points. Their most recent meeting in 2021 resulted in a commanding 47-9 victory for the All Blacks, instilling confidence in their prospects for the upcoming match.

New ZealandDrawItaly
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Pool B

South Africa3201+86210

Win = 4 points, Draw = 2 points, Loss = 0 points, Bonus points = 1 or 2 points*

*1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, 1 bonus point for losing by 7 points or less


South Africa 8 – 13 Ireland, Saturday, 23 September

In a thrilling battle at the Stade de France, Ireland solidified their position as the world's number one-ranked rugby team with a narrow victory over defending champions South Africa.

Manie Libbok's early penalty gave South Africa an early lead, exploiting Ireland's lineout struggles, where they lost four throws. However, Bundee Aki's brilliant break sparked Ireland into action. After sustained pressure in the Springboks' 22, James Lowe set up Mack Hansen for a try, and Johnny Sexton's conversion gave Ireland a 7-3 halftime advantage. South Africa swiftly retaliated in the second half, with Libbok's precise pass leading to a try for Cheslin Kolbe. Yet, Sexton's penalty nudged Ireland back in front. Libbok and Faf de Klerk missed scoring opportunities, while Jack Crowley's late penalty secured a historic win for Ireland.

Mastercard Player of the Match, Bundee Aki, marvelled at the incredible Irish fan support, expecting it to grow even stronger. Ireland's captain, Johnny Sexton, lauded the devoted Irish crowd and the team's determination not to disappoint them. The match was a gritty battle against a formidable South African team, and Sexton recognized the significance of the victory. Andy Farrell, Ireland's head coach, acknowledged the match's intensity and credited his team's defence for making the difference, highlighting their attitude and resilience.

South Africa's captain, Siya Kolisi, acknowledged the intense and closely contested nature of the game and lamented missed opportunities on both sides. The match served as a challenging test for the Springboks in the group. Springboks' head coach, Jacques Nienaber, described it as a true test match and a valuable learning experience for both teams. He emphasized the pressure to perform well against Tonga to advance from their pool.

The clash between Ireland and South Africa showcased the relentless spirit and skill of both teams, creating a memorable spectacle on the rugby world stage.

Scotland 45 – 17 Tonga, Sunday, 24 September

Scotland revived its quarterfinal hopes at the Rugby World Cup with a dominant 45-17 win over Tonga. This victory reinvigorated Scotland's prospects in a pool overshadowed by the looming Ireland-South Africa clash. In their encounter with Tonga, Scotland achieved the first of three crucial tasks needed to advance to the knockout stage, securing a bonus-point win with seven tries. To stay in contention, Scotland must now secure another bonus-point win against Romania, setting the stage for a decisive showdown with Ireland.

Coach Gregor Townsend stressed the need for improvement as Scotland prepares for the Romania match, recognizing the potential significance of a showdown with Ireland. Scotland's attacking prowess, orchestrated by Finn Russell, shone against Tonga, with Duhan van der Merwe and George Horne among the try-scorers. Although Tonga initially posed a challenge, leading 10-7 and closing the gap to 24-17, Scotland's depth and skill prevailed. The match saw a fifth red card of the tournament, reflecting growing disciplinary concerns. Nevertheless, Scotland remains determined to pursue a quarterfinal spot, with Russell's form providing optimism for future battles.


Saturday, 30 September – Scotland vs Romania

In their upcoming Rugby World Cup clash, Scotland is poised to face Romania, a team experiencing its first-ever World Cup appearance and still in search of its maiden victory on this grand stage. Romania's journey has been a challenging one, marked by struggles to secure wins or even come close to doing so. For Scotland, their recent dominant performance against Tonga, a resounding 45-17 victory, breathed new life into their quarterfinal aspirations. This crucial win not only boosted their confidence but also rekindled hopes of advancing from a pool overshadowed by tournament favourites Ireland and South Africa.

Scotland's task now is to build on this momentum by securing another bonus-point win against Romania, a team that they are widely expected to overpower. Coach Gregor Townsend emphasizes the need for improvement, fully aware of the potential significance of a decisive showdown with Ireland on the horizon. Scotland's attacking prowess, spearheaded by the playmaking skills of Finn Russell and the try-scoring ability of Duhan van der Merwe and George Horne, will likely be on full display once again. Romania, on the other hand, will strive to make their World Cup debut memorable by giving Scotland a worthy challenge.

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Sunday, 1 October – South Africa vs Tonga

A thrilling Rugby World Cup encounter is on the horizon as Springboks prepare to face Tonga at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. This highly anticipated match promises to showcase an exciting blend of physicality, skill, and unwavering determination. As the reigning champions and tournament favourites, the Springboks are known for their robust style, tactical brilliance, and unyielding spirit. Led by their inspirational captain, they possess a squad featuring experienced veterans and emerging talents, eager to make their mark on the global stage.

On the opposing side, Tonga stands as a formidable opponent, renowned for their physicality and tenacity. Embracing their role as underdogs, they aim to test their mettle against rugby's giants. With a powerful forward pack and explosive backs, they seek to leave a lasting impact and potentially upset the tournament's balance. Following a significant loss to Ireland, the Springboks are determined to secure a resounding bonus-point victory to strengthen their campaign as they enter the next phase of the competition.

South AfricaDrawTonga
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Pool C


Win = 4 points, Draw = 2 points, Loss = 0 points, Bonus points = 1 or 2 points*

*1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, 1 bonus point for losing by 7 points or less


Georgia 18 – 18 Portugal, Saturday, 17 September

In a thrilling Rugby World Cup 2023 encounter, Georgia and Portugal earned their first tournament points, settling for an 18-18 draw in Pool C at Stadium de Toulouse. The match showcased a gripping display of rugby as both teams fought relentlessly. Portugal's Raffaele Storti appeared to secure their maiden Rugby World Cup victory with two crucial tries. However, Georgia's Tengizi Zamtaradze levelled the scores with a late try two minutes from the final whistle. Luka Matkava missed the conversion, and Portugal missed a last-gasp penalty kick, preventing either side from claiming the win.

The first half witnessed tries from Georgia's Akaki Tabutsadze and Portugal's Storti. Despite Portugal's Francisco Fernandes receiving a yellow card before halftime, Georgia held a 13-5 lead. Portugal displayed resilience in the second half, with scrum-half Samuel Marques converting two penalties and Storti securing another try. Yet, Zamtaradze's late try and Portugal's missed opportunity resulted in a hard-fought draw. Portugal's fly-half, Jerónimo Portela, expressed his regret over the missed kick but acknowledged the historic significance of the draw, marking Portugal's first-ever Rugby World Cup draw.


Sunday, 24 September – Australia vs Wales

In the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the Wallabies are facing a critical juncture just two matches in. A loss in Lyon could potentially dash their tournament dreams. Both the team and Rugby Australia are under immense pressure, particularly due to the controversial decision to replace Dave Rennie as head coach just as the squad was showing signs of improvement. Close losses to Ireland and France hinted at their potential, and a thrilling comeback victory over Wales in 2022 further fuelled hopes.

Ironically, it's now Eddie Jones leading Australia into a crucial match against Wales, hoping to replicate last year's success and secure his position. Although this victory may not guarantee his job, it's vital to keep Australia in the tournament. Wales, under Warren Gatland, made changes after a 39-34 loss to Australia and has shown slight improvement. With crucial wins against Fiji and Portugal, they lead Pool C with a perfect 10 points.

At the time of writing, the half-time score stands at Wales 16 – 6 Australia.

Saturday, 30 September - Fiji vs Georgia

At the time of writing, with 3rd-placed Australia down by 10 points against Wales, Fiji are on the brink of qualifying for the next round along with Wales. After upsetting the Aussies in an impressive win, and with their next game against minnow Georgia, you can’t blame them for fancying their chances. However, fresh off scoring their first points at RWC after a nail-biting draw with Portugal, Georgia will be looking to go one better and grab the win, throwing the group wide open again and possibly allowing Australia to sneak into the next stage through the back door.

Pool D


Win = 4 points, Draw = 2 points, Loss = 0 points, Bonus points = 1 or 2 points*

*1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, 1 bonus point for losing by 7 points or less


Argentina 19 - 10 Samoa, Friday, 22 September -

Argentina regained their World Cup momentum with a gritty 19-10 victory over a determined Samoa, led by fullback Emiliano Boffelli's outstanding 16-point performance. Boffelli, cheered on by passionate Argentine support, scored an early try and converted four of five kicks to propel the Pumas back to winning ways after their 27-10 loss to England in the Pool D opener. Pumas coach Michael Cheika acknowledged room for improvement but praised their mental strength in a pressure-filled match. Samoa, guided by former Wallabies flyhalf Christian Leali'ifano, managed only one penalty until replacement hooker Sama Malolo crossed for a late try. However, Nicolas Sanchez's decisive penalty secured the victory for Argentina and denied Samoa a losing bonus point. Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua highlighted the challenge of winning against Argentina and their missed opportunities in a closely contested game.

England 71 - 0 Chile, Saturday, 23 September

England secured a dominant 71-0 victory over Chile in their Pool D match at Rugby World Cup 2023, marking their third consecutive win. Henry Arundell starred with five tries, breaking the deadlock after 20 minutes. Theo Dan and Bevan Rodd scored close-range tries for England, while Marcus Smith showcased superb skills. In the second half, Dan scored his second try from a lineout, and Arundell added three more, one of which was a brilliant chip and chase. Smith and Jack Willis also contributed to England's impressive performance. Chile's captain, Martin Sigren, acknowledged the tough lesson learned, comparing their progress over the years. Owen Farrell's return to lead England further boosted their morale, and he expressed his enjoyment of the match and the team's collective effort. Despite the result, Chile's head coach, Pablo Lemoine, emphasized the reality of the gap between rugby nations and expressed hope for change in the future.


Thursday, 28 September - Japan vs Samoa

In this crucial first-round clash of the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, Samoa and Japan find themselves in the thick of a tight competition. Both teams, currently sitting in 2nd and 3rd place with 5 points each after two games, have a golden opportunity to secure a spot in the quarter-finals. With only one point behind, Argentina is breathing down their necks after also completing two matches. The stakes couldn't be higher as Samoa and Japan battle it out, knowing that a victory here could be the decisive factor in determining their fate in the tournament. The tension is palpable, and the outcome of this showdown will have a profound impact on the race for the quarter-finals.

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Saturday, 30 September - Argentina vs Chile

In the first round of the Rugby World Cup, Argentina faces off against Chile in a high-stakes encounter. Argentina is on the cusp of securing a spot in the quarter-finals, trailing just one point behind Samoa and Japan, who currently hold the 2nd and 3rd positions in the group standings. Known for their quality and ability to challenge formidable opponents, Argentina is a force to be reckoned with in the tournament. On the other hand, Chile has struggled to secure a single point so far. This clash carries immense significance for Argentina's quarter-final aspirations, while Chile seeks to defy the odds and make an impact on the World Cup stage.

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South Africa4.004.003.502.95
New Zealand5.
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Patrick Meyer

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Patrick is the face of Onlinegamblingsa.co.za - he joined us years ago as a freelance writer and came up through the ranks to become an indispensable part of ...continue reading

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