THE CRUNCH GAME

NZ Rugby World Tournament Guide - - POOL B -

SCOT­LAND V SAMOA

South Africa have prob­a­bly got the pool sewn up and sec­ond place should likely be de­cided when Scot­land play Samoa at St James Park.

These two are evenly matched – the for­mer is ranked 10 and the lat­ter nine – and this game could go down to the wire. The Scots are des­per­ately try­ing to be more ac­cu­rate and co­he­sive un­der Kiwi coach Vern Cotter whole Samoa want to add set piece so­lid­ity and an el­e­ment of struc­ture to their nat­u­ral flair and raw ath­leti­cism. A fas­ci­nat­ing con­test looms.

POOL DARK HORSE

Ja­pan have been bomb­ing along nicely in the last two years and have played con­sis­tent and en­gag­ing rugby. What they lack in size and power, they make up for in speed and in­no­va­tion and their world rank­ing of 11th means they will have Scot­land and Samoa a lit­tle ner­vous. Have the po­ten­tial to cause an up­set.

NZRW PRE­DIC­TION HOW POOL WILL FIN­ISH

We are go­ing to back the Boks to clean sweep. They will be too good for ev­ery­one else. Scot­land and Samoa will have to play well to see off Ja­pan and to a lesser ex­tent the USA.

That leaves ev­ery­thing hang­ing on the out­come of the clash in New­cas­tle. Scot­land might end up bet­ter fan­cied by the book­mak­ers and will also be­lieve they should be favourites...but we are go­ing to back Samoa.

Partly be­cause of our re­spect for our Pa­cific broth­ers and partly be­cause we be­lieve Samoa are go­ing to en­joy a good tour­na­ment and make a state­ment. We be­lieve the pool will fin­ish like this:

1. SOUTH AFRICA 2. SAMOA 3. SCOT­LAND 4. JA­PAN 5. USA

crunch game: The game be­tween Scot­land and Samoa should set­tle sec­ond place.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.