Springboks Legend Victor Matfield Thinks Only Three Teams Can Win The World Cup
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Former Springboks lock Victor Matfield reckons we’re in for a hugely competitive World Cup in Japan this year – but feels there are only three teams that can realistically go on to win it.
Matfield, who won the World Cup with South Africa in 2007, reckons while any of the so-called ‘top teams’ can beat each other on any given day – only three teams in the tournament can go on to win consecutive knock-out games.
The obvious first two he has gone with are holders New Zealand and the Springboks, who have enjoyed a huge resurgence under Rassie Erasmus. But his third choice might come as a surprise. Forget about the likes of England and Wales, Matfield thinks Ireland have it in them to go all the way.
“There’s always something to fear. If you look at how the World Cup is set up, there are seven teams that could beat each other on any given day,” he said at the Sandton offices of Investec on Wednesday, via RugbyPass
“Any of those teams can beat New Zealand and South Africa.
“However‚ I think there are only three big teams that can win three consecutive knock-out games. All of them are dangerous‚ especially Ireland.”
But why Ireland? Yes, they are the current number one ranked team in the world, but they’ve struggled for form this year. Matfield though, reckons they could very well peak a the right time and calls head coach Joe Schmidt “a clever guy.”
“We’ve seen what Ireland have done in the past two years. They are the No.1 team, even though they haven’t shown the same form in the past year.” Matfield added
“You never know though, as they could peak at the right time. Their coach Joe Schmidt is a clever guy. He’s got an experienced squad that can beat any team. They’re going to be a dangerous side.
“He’s got an experienced one that can beat any team. They’ve also beaten everyone recently so they’re going to be a dangerous side,”