Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup Quick Hits: Ireland to push South Africa while England will blow Chile away

Far de Klerk
South Africa face Ireland in a huge showdown

Simon Mail previews a huge day of World Cup action with South Africa facing top-ranked Ireland and England playing Chile...

  • Springboks to front up in huge clash

  • Ireland impress ahead of showdown

  • England to canter past Chile

South Africa v Ireland
Saturday, 20:00
Live on ITV

Ireland could edge Springboks

A mouthwatering showdown takes place on Saturday night in Paris with the defending champions South Africa facing the world's top ranked side Ireland. It has the potential to be the match of the tournament, with top spot in the pool at stake.

Ireland extended their winning run to 15 matches after easing to a 59-16 victory over Tonga last weekend. Johnny Sexton became Ireland's leading scorer, with his try helping him surpass Ronan O'Gara to reach 1,090 points during his illustrious career. Jamison Gibson-Park replaces scrum-half Conor Murray in their only change to face the Springboks.

South Africa have also won their opening two matches in France, with an 18-3 victory over Scotland followed by a 76-0 mauling of Romania. The Springboks have picked a powerful squad to take on Ireland, with lock Eben Etzebeth fit to play and a bold 7-1 split in favour of forwards on the bench which served them so well in the warm-up win over New Zealand.

Ireland have had the edge in recent clashes between the sides, with Andy Farrell's team edging to a 19-16 win in the last meeting back in November. It was their fourth victory in the last six matches against the Springboks but everything points to a tight tussle.

Four of the last five games between them have been settled by no more than six points. South Africa are marginal 1.865/6 favourites for the match but Ireland's current form is hard to fault. The Six Nations grand slam champions are relentless and will not be intimidated by the Springboks. This will surely be settled by fine margins and a bet on Ireland with a 1.5 point handicap advantage at 5/61.84 looks the play for this heavyweight showdown.

Back Ireland +1.5 to win @ 5/61.84

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England v Chile
Saturday, 16:45
Live on ITV

England to race to victory

England may have won their opening two matches at the World Cup but their direct gameplan has not won over the purists. George Ford kicked all the points in the win over Argentina, while England's kick-heavy game led to jeers during their 34-12 victory against Japan last weekend.

Steve Borthwick will not be worried about their lack of entertainment, with qualification within sight but England will need to improve significantly if they want to go deep in the tournament. Borthwick will utilise his squad for this match against a Chile team well beaten by Japan and Samoa.

This will be England's first match against Chile but it will be a mismatch and the favourites have a 50-point handicap to cover. England's attack has yet to fire in France and this is enough to swerve siding with them in this market. England will look to exploit Chile's fatigue as the match progresses and the use of their bench should lead to a higher scoring second half at 4/51.80 in a one-sided win.

Back second half to be highest scoring @ 4/51.80

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Georgia v Portugal
Saturday, 13:00
Live on ITV

Portugal to entertain again

Portugal were crowd pleasers with their attacking performance in defeat against Wales. Nicolas Martins scored the try for Portugal in the 28-8 loss with the team earning plenty of plaudits for their entertaining approach. Portugal will look to build on this against Georgia in Toulouse.

Georgia also lost their World Cup opener after a 35-15 defeat against Australia. Forwards Luka Ivanishvili and Beka Gigashvili crossed the line for Georgia but they were unable to overcome the Wallabies, with the focus turning to this match.

Portugal will be eyeing an upset against Georgia and the underdogs could be worth siding with in the handicap market. With a 14-point head start, Portugal can hold their own, even if they fall short of the first World Cup victory they crave.

Back Portugal +14 to win @ 10/111.91

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Who will win the Rugby World Cup? Latest betting odds

France are 13/53.60 favourites to win the Rugby World Cup after their promising start to the tournament.

Defending champions South Africa are 11/43.75 with their next opponents Ireland 7/24.50 in the betting. New Zealand are 4/15.00 to win the World Cup and there is a big gap to the next team, with England available at 11/112.00.

Australia face a battle to qualify for the knockout stage with the Wallabies 25/1 and their next opponents Wales are 30/131.00 in the outright betting.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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