England vs Australia
This is an old time Rugby World Cup rivalry, but lots of history. Australia won it’s first title against England in 1991 as did England in 2003. There’s also some political ramifications behind it, but nonetheless, it’s still a big matchup. The talk about whether the Southern Hemisphere nations and Northern are that much different in competition. England is a very strong side and Australia has been struggling. This could be an interesting matchup.
James Rowe: England. Honestly, the English are really freaking strong and are a strong candidate to win the whole tournament. Australia knows how to play in big tournaments, but it won’t help them here.
New Zealand vs Ireland
Here we are, the expected Finals matchup happening in the Quarterfinals. Ireland has had experience beating New Zealand, especially the last time in a thrilling match in Dublin. People have hyped up Ireland as they had a strong 2018 and were ranked number one coming into this competition. The All Blacks are the favorites to win this one, but this could be an epic clash. Ireland was shocked by Japan and didn’t impress against Russia which should have been a much bigger victory. New Zealand looked great, but will the layoff from having not played their last match hurt?
James: Ireland. The Irish seem to know how to beat the all mighty All Blacks lately and New Zealand hasn’t been all that much convincing in their play the last few years. This should be a fun one.
Wales vs France
The battle of two Northern Hemisphere teams. This really shouldn’t be a match to talk about too much as France was in a surprisingly easier group than expected and Wales exceeded expectations. The Welsh have had a lot of success in 2019 and a lot of failures, but France is so unpredictable.
James: Wales. This shouldn’t be close
Japan vs South Africa
Well this makes for an interesting matchup. Japan has shocked everyone in not only beating Ireland, but also for making it into the quarterfinals. This is a cinderella story for them, but it also reunites South Africa with Japan in a rematch of sorts as Japan upset South Africa in the 2015 World Cup. It will be interesting as to what happens here between the two sides.
James: South Africa. The Springboks are a really strong side, I think Japan hit a really lucky stride in their competition. But it’s exciting to see them become as good as they are now.