The second of Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter final's comes from the Tokyo Stadium where New Zealand continue their quest for a third straight title with Ireland providing the opposition.
New Zealand v Ireland, Saturday 19th October, Tokyo Stadium, KO 12:15 (South African time)
Weather Forecast – Tokyo Stadium
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
The All Blacks topped Pool B with a record of 3 wins and 1 draw and that draw was derived from a cancelled game against Italy last weekend. They scored 22 tries and a total of 157 points in the 3 completed pool matches whilst conceding a total of just 22 points.
New Zealand came into the tournament as favourites and with a record of having never lost a game in the pool stage and after they started this campaign with a 23-13 win over the Springboks, that record was never going to troubled by the likes of Canada and Namibia. Following the win over the Boks New Zealand went on to complete a 63-0 (28-0 half time) hammering of Canada and after struggling early doors they overhwlemed Namibia 71-9.
The All Blacks rotated their squad in the pool matches and they have 6 players who have scored 2 tries in the tournament so far.
The winner of this game will face either Australia or England in the semi's and New Zealand are trading at around 5/4 to win the tournament and 4/7 to reach the final.
In RWC 2015 the All Blacks came through their pool matches with a 100% record before going on to thrash France in the quarter finals, edging out the Boks in the semi's and beating the Wallabies in the final.
Pre-tournament Ireland were favourites to top Pool A and they started with an impressive 27-3 win over Scotland. However next time out the pool was blown wide open as Ireland lost 19-12 to hosts Japan, a game they led 12-3 after 20 minutes and 12-9 at half time.
Ireland subsequently beat Russia 35-0 and Samoa 47-5 to finish with a record of 3 wins, 1 defeat and a points difference of +94 but they came up 3 log points adrift of Japan and hence they have to face the defending champions here.
Andrew Conway is the leading Irish try scorer in the tournament with 3 whilst 5 other players have scored 2. Bundee Aki's red card in the first half of the Samoa game has resulted in a 3 match ban meaning he will miss the remainder of the tournament.
Ireland are trading at around 18/1 to win the tournament and 8/1 to reach the final.
In RWC 2015 Ireland once again failed to get beyomd the quarter finals, a round they have fallen at on a total of 6 occasions. They won all 4 of their pool matches to finish ahead of France and Italy before crashing out to Argentina.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Jordie Barrett
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy
Substitutes: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Tadgh Beirne, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Joey Carbery, 22 Chris Farrell, 23 Jordan Larmour
Head to Head
Ireland have won 2 of the last 3 head to heads, the most recent of which came in Dublin in November 2018.
Ireland had to wait until November 2016 for their first ever win over the All Blacks which came in Chicago although New Zealand took revenge with victory in Dublin just 2 weeks later.
The teams drew 10-10 back in 1973 and 28 of the 31 head to heads have seen New Zealand come out on top.
The teams have met just once in the RWC and that came in Johannesburg in 1995 when New Zealand won a pool match 43-19.
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Dublin Ireland 16–9 New Zealand (Tries 1-0 )
2016 Dublin Ireland 9-21 New Zealand (Tries 0-3)
2016 Chicago Ireland 40–29 New Zealand (Tries 5-4 )
2013 Dublin Ireland 22-24 New Zealand (Tries 3-3)
2012 Hamilton New Zealand 60-0 Ireland (Tries 9-0)
2012 Christchurch New Zealand 22-19 Ireland (Tries 1-1)
2012 Auckland New Zealand 42-10 Ireland (Tries 5-1)
Early Betting - Handicap
New Zealand -12.5 points at 9/10
Ireland +12.5 points at 9/10
Quotes are an average of what was on offer from a selection of bookmakers at the time of writing and are subject to change.
This match has me second guessing myself and for that reason I have waited for points lines before posting a bet. On the one hand I have been touting Ireland as World Cup contenders for years and think they can win but despite claiming the All Blacks are not as strong as previous sides I could also see them winning with some room to spare.
I am expecting a low scoring game though and am happy to take u43.5 points as my main play. Conditions look likely to be muggy and with both teams set to focus heavily on defence I can see something similar to their last 2 matches which have seen 25 and 30 points respectively.
Bet: 4 units u43.5 points at 0.84/1 at Betxchange
Then a couple of speculative plays
Bet: 0.5 unit No Try at 66/1 at WSB
It is hard to see New Zealand being kept try less but it happened in the last meeting between the sides and 3 points will be the order of the day. Worth a nibble at the price.
Bet: 0.5 unit O’Mahony Man of the Match at Sportingbet
If Ireland are to win this then it will be on the back of an incredible performance by the pack.
Use It Or Lost It,RWC 1/4 Final Preview
Brent Graham is joined by Couch Critic, Judge Rugby and Brendon Shields to chat about the Rugby World Cup with a focus on the upcoming quarter finals.