Rugby World Cup 2015: Italy v Romania

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RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Pool D

Italy v Romania

Monday, 12 October 00:30

 

Neither side can qualify but there is still all to play for in this clash as Italy aim to continue their unbeaten run against minnows at World Cups while Romania will target two wins at the pool stages for the first time ever. Italy gave the best account of themselves so far this campaign as they narrowly lost out to Ireland 9-16 last weekend and it was no fluke that it coincided with the return of their sensational captain, Sergio Parisse. Opponents Romania produced a record-breaking performance versus Canada mid-week as their comeback from 0-15 at half-time was the biggest in Rugby World Cup History.

Until Italy joined to make it the Six Nations these two would go head-to-head regularly but since 2000 they have met just four times and the latest of those was in in France 2007 when Italy prevailed 24-18. While the 1.14 on Italy to win this game looks short it’s tempting. They’ve faced minnows six times at World Cups since 2003 and led at HT and won every match convincingly.

We picked Romania to beat Canada in the week but couldn’t have predicted the manner of the victory. It certainly felt like Romania’s final – they’ll finish at worst fourth in a group they were destined to finish fourth or fifth in. Romania have lost their last eight matches against Six Nations opponents and they’ve been behind at HT in all of the games.

It’s extremely unlikely Parisse will extend his International career until Japan 2019, though stranger things have happened, and we feel the Italians will go all out to impress in their leader’s final big match. Romania were slow starters in their win over Canada but if they’re behind at HT here we wouldn’t expect the much stronger Italians to let off. We’ve had great results backing around evens so far this tournament but this short looking price is too big to miss out on.

 

Key Stats

  • Italy have won 6/6 World Cup matches against minnows since 2003 and led at HT each time
  • Romania have L/L double results in their last eight against Six Nations opposition

 

Recommendation: Italy HT/FT W/W 1.36