Now that the tournament has reached the final four, Philippine betting sites are predicting who will compete in the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
So far in the tournament, there have been few surprises, with most – if not all – games playing out as expected.
In addition to the host nation, the top-ranked teams in the game heading into these finals were England, Canada, and France.
While the French had to settle for second place in Pool C, they have done well enough to join the rest of the ‘big four’ in the penultimate round.
Despite losing to the English, Les Bleus won against South Africa and Fiji to advance to the quarter-final stage.
Semi-Finalists Boosted by Last-Eight Victories
This put France on a collision course with Italy, but Joanna Grisez’s hat-trick of tries helped Thomas Darracq’s charges to a convincing 39-3 victory.
In other news, England, New Zealand, and Canada cruised to the final four. As best rugby betting sites predicted, each of these teams were convincing quarter-final winners after topping their respective pools.
Marlie Packer, the English openside flanker, was the star of the show in their 41-5 victory over Australia.
In a 55-3 thrashing of Wales, New Zealand had seven try scorers, while Canada triumphed 32-11 over neighbors the United States.
This Saturday, Canada and England will face off
In a rematch of the 2014 final, Canada will face England in the first of two semi-finals on Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland. This was the second meeting between the two teams in the tournament’s pool stages, which ended in a 13-13 tie.
The Red Roses, on the other hand, had that little bit extra in their arsenal when they faced Canada in the final. The Gary Street-coached team won 21-9 thanks to 10 unanswered points from Emily Scarratt.
Since then, these two countries have remained familiar foes, clashing no less than ten times. Canada had the better of their upcoming opponents in a 2016 match, but have otherwise finished second in this fixture.
England is Expected to Secure the Final Spot
England entered this tournament as the tournament’s favorite, and with their winning streak in international rugby now stretching to an incredible 29 games, it’s easy to see why betting apps are so confident they’ll win their latest match against Canada.
England are rated at 1/33 to win the World Cup this year, which is unusual for a World Cup semi-final. Some bookmakers have a 1/100 chance of them doing the job in Auckland this weekend.
The shortest price on a Canada win is 10/1 with William Hill, which is as sure a sign as any that Kévin Rouet’s team will be the underdog in this game. While there was the aforementioned stalemate between the teams at the World Cup eight years ago, this was the only one of 32 previous meetings in this fixture that did not result in a winner.
The odds on this game ending in a draw are 27/1 in the UK, but there is no denying that Canada is up against it this weekend.
The French are still looking for their first final appearance
France has reached the last four in seven of the eight World Cup finals that have taken place to date. They have yet to appear in a showpiece match, and despite finishing third in the tournament six times, this is a source of frustration for them.
New Zealand, on the other hand, has qualified for and won five different finals, the most recent of which took place in Ireland just over five years ago. The Black Ferns don’t lose many games at international level, but if they want to keep their title, Wayne Smith’s team will have to beat the two teams that have had the most success against them.
Whereas England has inflicted 10 of the 16 defeats they have suffered since their first international in 1990, France can also boast four victories from only nine meetings with New Zealand.
All of these victories have occurred within the last four years and in quick succession. However, the French are only third favourites to win the tournament, with BetVictor giving them a 10/1 chance.
A New Zealand Victory is Expected
Is it helpful to make the French favorites for this weekend’s action? According to betting companies, no. The Black Ferns are also 4/11 with 888sport to reach the final on November 12.
These odds are not as generous as those available for England, but they leave no doubt as to who is expected to win. France is 9/4 to advance to the last four and avoid yet another third/fourth place play-off.
As a test nation, New Zealand has only drawn one game, an 8-8 tie with England on December 3, 2011. France has shared the spoils with five different teams in women’s rugby, and they have odds of 19/1 to do so again.
Woodman Is An Important Part Of The New Zealand Challenge
Although Grisez is a French player to watch, the elusive Portia Woodman has once again proven to be crucial to New Zealand’s chances.
The Black Ferns ace crossed the whitewash an incredible 13 times in the 2017 World Cup and has added seven tries to her ever-expanding international tally in this year’s edition of the global tournament.
England remains the favorite for the overall prize, with each of their four performances this season proving to be of the highest caliber.
New Zealand will believe they can do the same, and the outstanding Woodman will be central to their plans over the next two weekends when all four teams are guaranteed to compete.
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