It’s impossible to create two more fascinating World Cup quarter-finals than those this weekend between the top four teams in the world. The shame is they meet in quarter-finals because both the All Blacks v world No.1 Ireland and hosts France v South Africa are titanic match-ups worthy of the final. Lying in wait at semi-final time will be the winners of the Wales v Argentina and Fiji v England quarters.
What’s in store because there is definite value around?
2023 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Finals Betting Tips
Wales v Argentina
Sunday, Oct 15 Stade de Marseille, Marseille 2am (AEDT)
The Argentinians are an experienced, tough side with two wins over the All Blacks to their confidence in recent seasons. Aussie Michael Cheika’s team are great value at $2.85 (Sportsbet) to win outright or $3.75 to win by 1-10 (Ladbrokes). The Welsh have lost key No.8 Taulupe Faletau to a broken arm but they do get back top flyhalf Dan Biggar from injury.
Argentina win by 1-10 points
New Zealand v Ireland
Sunday, Oct 15 Stade de France, Paris 6am (AEDT)
This is a clash of World Cup final volume. Any time you can get $2.35 (Sportsbet) about the All Blacks winning a Test, take it.
At that price, you take all partisan feelings out of it and just cheer for the best value you’ll ever get in a two-horse race involving the Kiwis.
The form line gives the Irish every chance. They have won five of the past eight Tests against the Kiwis with their smothering defence, composure, limited mistakes and well-taken tries to the fore. The Irish wins over South Africa and Scotland at this tournament have been two of the best victories by any nation.
Johnny Sexton may run on 38-year-old legs but he thinks like a grand master.
The All Blacks have firepower and class too. It’s a toss of the coin which makes the value around the Kiwis too good to ignore. Top winger Mark Telea has been left out of the side because of a curfew breach. That’s just the high standards of this team. Leicester Fainga’anuku is a big, strong-running replacement.
Fiji v England
Monday, Oct 16 Stade de Marseille, Marseille 2am (AEDT)
The Fijians upset England 30-22 at Twickenham in August which was a good pointer to their World Cup heroics in dumping the Wallabies 22-15 in the pool stages.
The Fijians lacked their usual sparkle when losing to Portugal in their last pool game. Long months away from family does become fatiguing. They have some battered bodies as well.
That said, the flying Fijians have lit up the tournament when they snap into their running and offloading game. They finally have a pack capable of resisting England at scrum time and a reasonable lineout.
You can will a momentous Fijian victory but the English may just be too clinical in this one.
England win by 1-12 points
France v South Africa
Monday, Oct 16, Stade de France, Paris 6am (AEDT)
All the talk in France has been around star halfback Antoine Dupont returning from a facial fracture. He’s that important. He changes the whole dynamic.
These teams do not play each other often...this is only their third meeting in six years and first since a 30-26 win to the French in Marseille in 2022.
The South Africans will be fierce and powerful in the forwards but so too will the French. You just sense the French script of winning the tournament on home soil has to stay alive until the final.