Rugby World Cup 2015
Monday, 12 October 06:00
It seems only fair that the team that gave this World Cup its magic moment are competing in the final Group Stage match. Japan’s fate may be decided before this game kicks off as a win for Scotland over Samoa on Saturday would mean qualification for them is impossible. No one will ever be able to take Japan’s miraculous win against South Africa away from them (they were 250/1 at the start remember!) but Eddie Jones’ side missed a trick against Samoa. The Asian side were big outsiders in that game as well but they led 26-0 at half-time. With the game all but wrapped up after they scored their second try on the 40-minute whistle they played defensive rugby in the second half and failed to get the all-important bonus point.
USA have disappointed so far and they look likely to end the tournament with 0 points from their four matches. They’ve scored just 32 points in their opening three while shipping a huge 128; half of which came in their defeat to the Springboks as they failed to register a single point. The Americans have won their last five against minnows including a 41-23 victory over local rivals Canada this summer. USA also beat Japan 23-18 in July and they come in here with some fresh faces after they rested a few against South Africa.
Japan have certainly impressed in this tournament but their price here looks incredibly short. It’s worth remembering that after their first success they were thrashed in their next game against Scotland and though they’ve had more rest than their opponents coming they’ve not shown enough to be trusted at such skinny prices. They are clearly on an upwards curve but their two wins at this World Cup are their first at this level – for instance they’ve failed to beat Canada in the last two editions of this tournament.
This could, sadly, be a damp squib if Scotland get the job done on Saturday but if they don’t it will be huge. Given the unknowns we prefer USA on the handicap rather than the win.
- The Americans have won their last five against minnows
- Japan have won just two World Cup matches since 2003