November Autumn Internationals Round 4 Preview

New Zealand
Can the All Blacks go through 2013 with a perfect record? Only Ireland stand in their way...
Australia take on Scotland looking to put recent off-field events behind them

The November Autumn Rugby Internationals Round 4 features ten mouth-watering matches including the All Blacks vs Ireland match which is sure to see history made.

Rugby news will be generated all weekend and, if the All Blacks win they will become the first team in the professional era to win every test match in a calendar year, the first All Blacks team to achieve this feat since 1989 and the first All Blacks team to go undefeated in tests since 1997. 

While if Ireland win, it will be the first time they have beaten the All Blacks in a test match. The atmosphere in the hotels and bars of Dublin was building from Tuesday.

Ireland will have to overcome injuries to key players like Jonny Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll, which will add an even greater challenge to their cause. While the All Blacks are missing Dan Carter, it is also likely to be the last test for veteran hooker Andrew Hore before he returns to his farm and recreational games for the Maniototo Maggots.

Given the way that Ireland struggled against the big drinking Wallabies last week, they will be put to the sword by the All Blacks. Ireland will play with a lot of heart and while I hope both Sexton and O'Driscoll can somehow play, I still think the All Blacks will be too strong. 

The only team which will beat the All Blacks, will be the All Blacks. The loss in the last game of 2012 to England has probably done Ireland no favours as the All Blacks look to make even more history.

There are plenty of other exciting games this week. 

Wales should win by the biggest margin this weekend against the physical Tongans. Assuming Wales can avoid getting injured against the hard hitting Tongans, they should win easily.

Italy host a disappointing Argentina. There is a strong link between these two countries with players from one country playing for the other team. These two teams are considered the bottom teams in their respective competitions, but on their day they can be hard to beat. 

Australia will field a depleted team against Scotland after all of their suspensions for late night drinking against Scotland who didn't score any points against the Springboks last week.

The Springboks have been impressive and should be too strong for France. France only just lost to the All Blacks earlier this month and will have to find that inspired performance if they are to beat the Springboks. 

Samoa will be a step too far for Georgia who had a win and a loss against North American teams. Samoa are traditionally stronger than USA and Canada and should be too strong despite going down to a French Barbarians team last week.

Canada have been disappointing recently, but if Fiji can give Portugal a hiding earlier this month then surely Canada should record their first win of the November Internationals.

The old foes Russia and USA play. USA have improved and given how easily Japan beat Russia by, I am thinking that Russia will struggle in this one. USA showed by beating Georgia that they are probably the better North American team.

Japan should beat Spain, it is hard to get a gauge on the margin. Spain are at home, but given that they have just returned from losing to Uruguay in South America, they will struggle against Japan who have looked good this month.

Romania did beat Canada, but only just and I think that Fiji despite playing miles away from home should be able to beat Romania.

Who are you picking to win the November Autumn Internationals Round 4?

Scott’s thoughts on  November Internationals Round 4

Wales v Tonga, 22 Nov 19:30 (local): Wales by 28

Italy v Argentina, 23 Nov 14:00 (local): Argentina by 7

Scotland v Australia, 23 Nov 18:00 (local): Australia by 14

France v South Africa, 23 Nov 20:00 (local): South Africa by 7

Ireland v New Zealand, 24 Nov 14:00 (local): New Zealand by 21

Georgia v Samoa, 23 Nov 14:00 (local): Samoa by 21

Portugal v Canada, 23 Nov 15:00 (local): Canada by 18

Russia v USA, 23 Nov 14:30 (local): USA by 7

Spain v Japan, 23 Nov 16:00 (local): Japan by 14

Romania v Fiji, 23 Nov 18:30 (local): Fiji by 14


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