Japan vs Argentina Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 8 October 2023 - 12:00 GMT +1
⏰ 8 October 2023 - 21:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Stade de la Beaujoire (Nantes)
As expected before the tournament, the final Pool D clash between Japan and Argentina has become a winner-takes-all all battle for a quarterfinal spot. The 2023 Rugby World Cup campaigns of both sides have been almost identical - fruitless losses to group leaders England, gritty wins without bonus points over Samoa, and dominant bonus point victories against minnows Chile. As a result, Japan and Argentina are tied on 9 points, giving fans an early taste of knockout rugby!
It would be a monumental achievement if Japan coach Jamie Joseph guides his team to the knockout stage for the second straight World Cup, after their famous run on home soil in 2019. That would silence many critics of Japan's slide as a rising power since 2019. Those views weren't unfounded though, with Japan winless against Tier 1 sides since then (L12 excluding British & Irish Lions). Beating Argentina for just the second time ever (L5) would be the perfect statement.
Joseph makes just one change, Siosaia Fifita in for Jone Naikabula on the wing. Unlike most coaches, Joseph has kept a steady hand, with eight players starting every match - Fakatava, Inagaki, Gu, Cornelsen, Leitch, Matsuda, Matsushima and Nakamura.
Argentina come into this do-or-die match confident after a 59-5 win over Chile in the first all-South American World Cup clash ever. So far we've seen Argentina's best and worst this tournament - free-flowing expansive rugby in the Chile win, an abysmal loss to 14-man England, and grit to grind out a win over Samoa. The world number 9 team wants to show they deserve a higher ranking, and reaching the knockouts would do just that. They missed the quarters in Japan, the first time in four tournaments. They'll channel the 2007 and 2015 teams that reached the semis.
Coach Michael Cheika makes 11 changes from the Chile win, with only Petti, Kremer, González and Cinti keeping their spots. Locks Petti and Lavanini pair up for the 32nd time, while flanker Kremer and number 8 González are Argentina's only players to start every match.
📋 Players to watch:
- Japan captain Michael Leitch has led by example, scoring tries in two games.
- He's up against Argentine loose forward Juan Martín González, who matched that try count against Chile.
⚡ Match Facts:
- Japan 2nd on 9 points. Must win to progress to quarterfinals.
- Argentina also on 9 points. Winner goes through as pool runner up.
- Last met at RWC 2015, Argentina won 26-18 in pool stage.
- Argentina won 28-12 when they last played in November 2018.
- Japan make just one change, Fifita in for Naikabula on wing.
- Argentina switch up team with 11 changes from previous match.
💡 Match Prediction:
This should be an epic encounter between two very evenly matched teams. Both play an exciting brand of running rugby, so it could come down to who makes the least mistakes. Argentina's pack may just give them the edge.
Argentina's forwards were dominant against England. Japan still vulnerable up front. Japan's pace out wide can punish any loose kicks. Argentina likewise have strong finishers. Crowd support will be behind Japan at home, a big help in 2019. Argentina beat Japan 28-12 in November 2018, their only previous World Cup meeting.
This is too close to call conclusively but Argentina can clinch it by dominating possession up front. A thriller in store, so takes over 44.5 for a high-scoring affair.
- Argentina to win by 3-7 points
- Argentina to win
- Over 44.5 total match points
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