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Fiji – Canada

Fiji Canada Pacific Nations Cup prediction

Fiji will host Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup second round on Saturday morning (European time).

Four time Pacific Nations Cup reigning champions, Fiji, did not start well in this year`s expanded competition. Fiji lost 21-34 to Japan last week, which was a bit surprising – even if Japan, the host of the coming Rugby World Cup, has a really strong side this year and is in excellent form. After that loss Fiji now has no choice but to win the remaining two games, and try to do it as convincing as possible. They remain a World Class side which has recorded fantastic results over the past year, including notable wins over the Maori All Blacks or even France.

Canada has been in a prolonged crisis since the 2015 World Cup, with results getting worse and worse. Over the last couple of years there have been some shameful outcomes for the Canadians, which not just lost, but were blown out by Nations like Russia, Uruguay, Georgia or the USA. They have not looked any better here in the Pacific Nations Cup, losing their opening match 19-47 to rivals USA. Something is just not clicking for this team, and prospects are not optimistic.

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Team news & lineups:

Fiji will make a few changes in the lineup and this might not be their first choice starting XV, but it`s not far from it and it definitely looks extremely strong. Surprisingly, Canada will also make a few changes and the visitors have chosen to rest key guys Ardron, Mack and Van Der Merwe, who are without a doubt three of their best players.

Fiji: 1 Campese Ma’afu, 2 Veremalua Vugakoto, 3 Peni Ravai, 4 Leone Nakarawa (c), 5 Tevita Ratuva, 6 Peceli Yato, 7 Semi Kunatani, 8 Viliame Mata, 9 Henry Seniloli, 10 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eroni Sau, 12 Jale Vatubua, 13 Semi Radradra, 14 Josua Tuisova, 15 Kini Murimurivalu

Canada: 1 Rob Brouwer, 2 Eric Howard, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 4 Conor Keys, 5 Kyle Baillie (c), 6 Justin Blanchet, 7 Lucas Rumball, 8 Luke Campbell, 9 Gordon McRorie, 10 Shane O’Leary, 11 Kainoa Lloyd, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 13 Nick Blevins, 14 Jeff Hassler, 15 Peter Nelson

The last time these two teams met, in 2017, Fiji won by 40 points.

There is a massive quality gap between these two teams, which is accentuated by the fact that Canada will rest its best player, van Der Merwe, along with a few other key guys. A team like Canada, which is already in disarray, does not have the depth to compete without their best players. Their losses are insurmountable.

Fiji will be pumped up to recover after the first round loss against Japan, and poor Canada will be on the receiving end of Fiji’s fury. The fact that this is the last home game for the Flying Fijians will not help Canada – the hosts will definitely look to put on a show in front of their fans.

Canada has been dirt poor for a few years now, they show no signs of improvement, and after USA demolished them by 28 points last week, it`s pretty hard to rate their chances against an even stronger team.

Fiji has all the reasons in the World to push for a big win here, and a poor Canada side without its best players should not be able to stop them. Fiji plays fast paced, expansive rugby and they can score tries at crazy rates when they find their groove – so a massive point differential could well be on the cards if they impose their superiority as expected. Look for them to run circles around the out of form Canadians and make a statement after their loss against Japan.

My tip will be Fiji to cover the -31,5 handicap. High stakes of 9-10 units seem justified to me on this one. Prediction: Fiji – Canada 50 – 10.

Pick: Fiji -31,5
Odds: 1.91 @ Jetbull
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 9.10
Event date: 3 August

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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