Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup Quick Hits: Ireland to end Scotland's hopes

Caelan Doris carries the ball for Ireland
Ireland earned a statement win over South Africa

Ireland face Scotland in their final pool match and England take on Samoa with Simon Mail previewing the action...

  • Ireland extend winning run

  • Scotland face huge challenge

  • England eye another big win

Ireland v Scotland
Saturday, 20:00
Live on ITV

Ireland to deny Scotland

Ireland face Scotland on Saturday night in the most attractive match at the end of the pool stage with qualification on the line at the Stade de France. Despite toppling the Springboks, Ireland still have work to do although it will take a huge performance from Scotland to deny them a place in the quarter-finals.

Top-ranked Ireland underlined their status with an enthralling 13-8 victory over South Africa in their last match to extend their winning Test run to 16 matches. Andy Farrell has brilliantly honed this winning machine and Ireland have performed like potential champions so far at this World Cup.

Scotland were desperately unlucky to be pitched in this pool and have recovered strongly after an opening defeat to the Springboks. Gregor Townsend's side trounced Romania 84-0 last weekend, with prolific finisher Darcy Graham scoring four tries. The task facing Scotland is still a massive ask with a victory by at least eight points needed to overhaul Ireland and reach the quarter-finals.

Ireland have a stellar record against Scotland, with wins in their last eight clashes between the teams. Scotland will have to produce the performance of their lives but Ireland are relentless and it is extremely difficult to envisage an upset. This should be close but Ireland's superiority will prove decisive and a win by between eight to 14 points offers value at 11/43.75.

Back Ireland to win by 8-14 points @ 11/43.75

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England v Samoa
Saturday, 16:45
Live on ITV

England building momentum

England's place in the quarter-finals is already secure but Steve Borthwick's team will want to move into the knockout stage with the momentum of a convincing win. Owen Farrell returned from suspension for their emphatic 71-0 victory over Chile, with Henry Arundell marking his World Cup debut with five tries.

Samoa will be heading home after this match following back-to-back defeats against Argentina and Japan. Samoa were competitive in both of these losses and showed enough to suggest England will be given a decent workout prior to the quarter-finals.

After a rest weekend, England will want to come out firing and deliver a confident performance in Lille. Likely to be the fresher team, England's direct gameplan should enable them to take control against Samoa. England can keep the scoreboard ticking over and are backed to cover a nine-point first-half handicap on their way to a fourth successive win.

Back England -9 to win the first-half handicap @ 5/61.84

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Wales v Georgia
Saturday, 14:00
Live on ITV

Wales soar after thumping Wallabies

Wales have cruised into the quarter-finals with their stunning record victory over Australia the undoubted highlight. Warren Gatland's return has inspired a dramatic transformation, which was topped by Wales' 40-6 hammering of the Wallabies.

Georgia have been competitive in France but will be frustrated at failing to win, with the team fortunate to claim an 18-18 draw against Portugal. They pushed Fiji close in a 17-12 defeat last weekend but Georgia are set to fall short of a victory at the tournament.

Wales only requre a point to seal top spot but the resurgent team can be expected to finish the pool stage with another win. In their World Cup meeting four years ago, Wales led 29-0 at half-time and defeated Georgia 43-14. It may not be quite as one-sided this time but Wales are fancied to cover a seven-point first-half handicap on their way to victory in Nantes.

Back Wales -7 to win the first-half handicap @ 5/61.84

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Who will win the Rugby World Cup? Latest betting odds

South Africa are joint favourites at 3/14.00 with Ireland to win the World Cup. France and New Zealand are both just behind them at 10/34.33 in the outright betting.

There is a significant gap to the next team, with England available at 11/112.00. Wales have shortened to 19/120.00 in the outright betting following their emphatic win over Australia, with Fiji and Argentina available at 35/136.00.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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