UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
This is what we’ve all been waiting for. After four years of hype and anticipation and 40 games of pool play, we finally have knockout rugby and a winner-takes-all war between two of the world’s most prestigious and talented teams and neither will lie down and accept anything less than the Webb-Ellis trophy.
What better arena to host this famous battle, obviously destined for the history books, than the stunning French rugby institution, the Stade de France, the host of the final in just two weeks time which will surely feature one of these teams, but definitely not both.
Ireland vs New Zealand match predictions
The last time these two proud nations met, Ireland were winning a series on Kiwi soil, something no New Zealand supporter, player or coach will have taken lightly and a result that requires amendment and vengeance in the eyes of every New Zealander.
New Zealand to win @6/5 (2.20)
You heard it here first. Ireland look unbeatable, they’ve been the best team at the tournament so far and only France come anywhere near close but a couple of things don’t add up about this Ireland team.
Number one, they’ve barely rested their star players who have played nearly 100 minutes more than the stars of other teams, every Rugby World Cup winning team rests its star players in the group stage and surely fatigue and maybe injury will catch up to the likes of Sexton, Keenan, Ringrose and Doris. They’ve already lost James Ryan and Robbie Henshaw and James Lowe and Mack Hansen went off injured versus Scotland but start again this weekend, are they 100%?
Number two, they look like they just might have played their best rugby already. They beat South Africa in a stunning performance and obliterated a very good Scotland team. Many teams lose a group game and go on to win the Rugby World Cup as it is customary in a tournament like this to hold something back for the latter stages, do Ireland have anything left?
For these reasons and in homage to Ireland’s fabled quarter final curse (they are 0/7 in Rugby World Cup quarter finals) New Zealand will win this Saturday.
Neither team to score 25 points @ 7/5 (2.40)
In the knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup we enter the realms of test match rugby. These are historically tense, cagey and nervous affairs where the better defence wins the arm wrestle, not to mention that Ireland’s defence is the best defence in the world and they never concede more than 20 points.
Expect the majority of the points to be scored from the kicking tee and for one or two tries to win the game either way.
Ireland vs New Zealand preview – Judgement day for both teams after four year wait
One team is a two-time World champion and not accustomed with losing knockout rugby matches while the other has never played in a Rugby World Cup semi final and is haunted by an age-old knockout rugby curse. However, the latter is also on top of the world, ranked number one, on a remarkable winning streak and conquerors of every team on the globe in their last meeting. Who prevails?
Andy Farrell’s men have the world at their feet, despite the competitiveness of this World Cup, it is hard to recall a tournament with such a clear favourite if you go by the form guide. It is only history and the quarter final curse which stops everyone from simply calling off the tournament and giving Ireland the trophy right now. It has been a nervous wait, Ireland have been winning games constantly for the last four years with the same reminder hanging over their heads when a possible world title was mentioned and now is finally the time to prove themselves and finally break the curse.
They will never have a better chance and be sure of this, if they win this game then the odds that they go on to win the whole tournament will be stacked heavily in their favour.
The fabled All Blacks are in a completely different situation to Ireland. Ian Foster’s men have spent the last four years in a state of inconsistency, fluctuating between mediocrity and fleeting glimpses of life. However, no matter how bad it got, everyone knew that come Rugby World Cup time, New Zealand will still be a contender. Not because people predicted that they will regain their form, which in the end they did, simply because that is what the All Blacks do. Behind all the talent and history, one thing is true about the All Blacks, when the pressure is on and the chips are down, the All Blacks win.
Tomorrow is when we find out if everyone was right after all, if the All Blacks can go through a period of struggle for four years and, come World Cup time, remember how to win.
Ireland vs New Zealand match details
- Date and Time: Saturday 14th October, 20:00 GMT
- Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
- How to Watch: See Here
Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!