"All Blacks Redemption" - Top 5 Rugby World Cup Matches to Watch this Weekend - Ruck

“All Blacks Redemption” – Top 5 Rugby World Cup Matches to Watch this Weekend

After a thrilling opening round of action, the battle lines have been drawn in the pool stages of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. With the dust settled on the opening eight matches, the groups have started to take shape, with an early indication as to who will progress into the quarter-finals come October 8th.

Rugby fans have an extra day of international action to enjoy, with this weekend’s eight fixtures beginning an day early. There are heavy try downfalls predicted over the long weekend, with three of the eight matches presenting real “David vs Goliath” encounters. Hosts France look to press on from their impressive opening round win over the All Blacks, as they take on Uruguay this Thursday 14th September (Lille – Kick Off 8pm GMT).

New Zealand are in action the following evening, with redemption on their minds as they face Namibia.

Where will you be watching next weekend’s 2023 Rugby World Cup action?

Make a Greene King pub your Rugby Rendezvous. Watch the big games on the big screens they deserve. Enjoy having great food and drink on tap. Take your pick of juicy match-ups with all the home nations, global giants, and 15-a-side superstars ready to ruck. 

Click here to check the fixtures and find your nearest Rugby Rendezvous.

Here are the Top 5 Rugby World Cup Matches to watch this weekend.

1. Pool A: New Zealand vs Namibia – Friday September 15th, Toulouse, 20:00 KO GMT

If you like tries, then this one will be unmissable for you. After losing the opening round match against France, the All Blacks will have to put out an emphatic statement of intent against Namibia this weekend. With Les Bleus now looking like favourites to top Pool A, New Zealand will have to record an almighty points tally if they want to overtake Italy for second place in the group.

Italy ran out a resounding 52-8 victory over Namibia in the opening weekend, and currently sit atop the pool with a comfortable points difference of +44. However, Italy now sit this week out, and an expected French win over Uruguay will send Les Bleus to the top of the pool with two wins. The All Blacks need a win of more than 44 points to overtake Italy and push them into second place.

Despite the match being against a lower level of opposition, do not expect to see the All Blacks go easy on Namibia. The two sides have met twice before at the Rugby World Cup pool stages, with this being the third consecutive run-in between the two sides. In 2015, the All Blacks secured a resounding 58-14 win, before inflicting more damage in Japan four years later, with a 71-9 land-slide victory.

The All Blacks enter this match ready to let off steam. The past two matches for Ian Fosters men have ended in record breaking defeats. The 35-7 loss to South Africa at Twickenham was the All Blacks’ heaviest defeat in their history, and the following 27-13 loss to France was New Zealand’s first ever defeat in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup. Namibia have never won a match at the Rugby World Cup, and the Southern African side will want to turn this All Blacks downward spiral into a complete nosedive.

The chances of Namibia beating the All Blacks are incredibly small, but not impossible. Are we about to witness the upset of the century this Friday evening, or will New Zealand kick back into gear with a heavy victory in Toulouse?

RUCK’s Prediction: New Zealand 68 – 10 Namibia