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World Cup Day Two: Predictions

After predicting six out of six correctly on the opening day, Ali Donnelly gives her thoughts on how round two of the World Cup could go on Tuesday.

 

Wales V South Africa

Both sides will have marked this fixture out when the pool were named as a definite target for victory. After day one, these two will feel they have something to prove after both failed to live up to their high standards. Wales will definitely feel that they let themselves down in their first half against Australia, coming back into the match too late, while South Africa were guilty of showing New Zealand too much respect early on - neither team will make the same mistake again, and this could be a really tight battle.

Verdict: Wales to call on their greater experience to see this one out.

France V Scotland.

France did what only France do best and totally underachieved on the opening day, barely beating the much lower ranked Sweden and failing to secure a bonus point. But France being France, you would expect them to be a different outfit this Tuesday when a big win is needed. The Scots won the last outing between these two sides and they know that they can't afford a slow start like their first match where Canada were out of sight at half-time.

Verdict. France to show their true colours with a solid win.

Canada V Sweden

The Canadians will be high in confidence after an impressive first outing but they will be in no doubt surprised by how hard Sweden pushed France and may get a tougher game than they bargained for. Sweden are playing their underdog card well so far, coming to the World Cup and almost causing a huge upset on day one, so they will fear nobody.

Verdict: Canada to continue their fine start with a victory.

New Zealand V Australia

The highlight of the day for the crowds you suspect, this could be a classic encounter between the two southern hemisphere big names. New Zealand started very well with a fine display of finishing against South Africa while Australia too took their chances against Wales and know they have more in the tank. They will have to improve their discipline though.

Verdict: New Zealand will have too much in the tank over 80 minutes.

USA V Ireland

The match of the day for me personally as I believe there will be little to choose between these two sides in the ongoing battle for a fourth semi-final spot. Sky have billed England V USa as the defining game of this pool but I disagree - England will certainly win that match - and this battle for me will be far more telling. These are two similar sides, with excellent rearguards and good finishers so this will be tight. Ireland have got their hardest match out of the way, and the USA are on a high after a huge win on Friday.

Verdict: A really tight call this, but I believe Ireland will prevail.

England V Kazakhstan

England will go all out in this match for a maximum bonus point return and they should do that with something to spare against the underdogs of this pool. Kazakhatan fell to a big defeat to the USA and were shown a spate of yellow-cards - which they will be punished for even more against a strong running England side. England will hope to let the shackles loose after a nervy first outing and this could be a perfect chance for their attacking skills to shine.

Verdict: England will be far too strong.