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Crunch Time in the Rugby World Cup Pools

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There’s an interesting preview of matches immediately ahead at RWC2019 on PlanetRugby.com this week. Predictably, they’re looking at South Africa vs Italy – as we did alongside on this page.

We won’t belabour that too much except to extract one brief excerpt that may be of interest: this encounter will be the 15th Test between South Africa and Italy but the first one at a Rugby World Cup.

The other big crunch match in the analysis is England vs Argentina. It will be epic and this entire newsroom will be shouting – nay, screaming – for the South Americans to inflict a good hiding on the arrogant English. But we digress:

“The Pumas can ill-afford another defeat after suffering a narrow loss in their opener to France. They got their campaign back on track with a hard-fought bonus-point win over Tonga in their second match and know a loss to England would likely mean they miss out on a quarter-final berth.

“Perhaps the surprise of the team selections this week came from the Pumas as long-term fly-half Nicolas Sanchez was left out of the matchday squad with Urdapilleta preferred at 10.”

It could be an inspired selection or it could backfire in spectacular fashion. We’ll know more on Saturday. PlanetRugby picked out Handré Pollard vs Tommaso Allan as it’s “one-v-one battle to watch” and identified a subplot to watch too: Japan’s chance to build, against Samoa. We also found another bunch of match-by-match previews on Rugby Redefined.



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