Rugby World Cup 2015: Italy v Canada

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RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Pool D

Italy v Canada

Saturday September 26,11.30pm

This fixture pairs up two nations both gravely out of form. Italy have just three wins from their last 20 while Canada have just two from their last 15. Both sides will be desperate to win after suffering defeats in their opening pool matches. Italy were pretty uninspiring against an average French performance yet still lost by 22 points, while Canada proved no match for Ireland going down 50-7. The Italians have a W5-L2 record over Canada but six of those meetings were over nine years ago. Their most recent clash was in June 2012 where Italy prevailed 25-16 in a close encounter.

The Azzurri consistently come third in their pool at World Cups due to their ability to overcome the minnows and inability to beat any of the big boys. In the last two tournaments they have beaten the likes of Russia, USA, Portugal and Romania but lost to Ireland, Australia, Wales and New Zealand. Significantly, the only times they were able to beat the current handicap line here of 18 points was against Russia and Portugal, both of whom have made just one World Cup appearance. Injuries continue to be a concern for Italy with the loss of Andrea Masi adding to their woes. Captain Sergio Parisse misses out again.

Canada have lost all five World Cup games against Six Nations sides since 2003 with an average losing margin of 27 points. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that four of those games were against much stronger opposition than Italy who they met in 2003 and went down by just five points. What is more relevant is their record against other teams that didn’t qualify from their pool. In the same time frame Canada have a W2-D2-L2 record against this type of opposition with the two defeats coming against Italy and to Fiji in 2007 by 13 points.

Since the start of 2012 Italy have not beaten a side by more than 11 points and given the recent run of form of both sides and the lack of confidence in both camps we expect it to be a tight and tense affair.

 

Key Stats

  • Italy have won just three of their last 20 matches
  • Italy have W5-L2 against Canada. Italy won the most recent head-to-head 25-16 in 2012.
  • Canada have lost 13 of their last 15 matches.
  • Canada’s record against other teams that didn’t qualify from their pool since 2003 is W2-D2-L2.
  • Since 2003 Canada have P5-L5 record against 6 Nations side in the last three World Cups.

Recommendation: Canada +17.5 points 1.84