RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Friday, 2 October 5:00am
Pool D has been the most predictable of the four pools so far, with all results heading towards a France v Ireland showdown next weekend. To date, France have overcome both Italy and Romania comfortably but by no means emphatically. After being blown away by the Six Nations champions in their opener, Canada gave a brave and committed performance against Italy and were unlucky to lose. They will have one eye on their match-up against Romania next Tuesday as it’s their most realistic shot of picking up their third World Cup victory in as many tournaments. With Ireland in mind next week, Phillipe Saint-Andre is likely to rotate his squad again for this clash as he aims to notch up five successive wins for the first time in his tenure.
France have an extraordinary record at World Cups. Each of their last 11 victories have been by more than 20 points though just four were by more than 27. A good reference point for this fixture is that three of their last four pool stage wins have come against minnows, including a 46-19 triumph against Canada four years ago, but Les Blues have failed to cover the pre-match handicap here in each match.
Canada have lost their five fixtures against Six Nations opposition since New Zealand 2011 including their two matches so far. Their average loss in those matches is respectable as they’ve succumbed by a mean of 17 points. Canada have lost all six games against pool qualifiers in the last three World Cups but only New Zealand beat them by more than 31 points.
France’s consistent winning margin indicates they are happy to just sit on a lead; therefore backing an improved Canada on the handicap looks great value.
- France’s last 11 victories at the World Cup have been by more than 20 points
- Canada have lost their five matches against Six Nations since the last World Cup
- Canada have lost all six games against pool qualifiers in the last three World Cups