Ireland v Tonga Prediction post blog header image – 2023 Rugby World Cup

Ireland v Tonga Prediction, Preview & Odds – Rugby World Cup

We have an Ireland v Tonga prediction along with the betting odds for you ahead of their second Rugby World Cup fixture on Saturday Night.

Ireland v Tonga Match Info

When? 8pm, Saturday, 16th September

Where? Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes

TV Channel? RTÉ 2, ITV 1

Ireland v Tonga Betting Odds

Ireland v Tonga Betting Odds – 2023 Rugby World Cup
Team Odds Chance
Ireland 1/500 99.8%
Tonga 50/1 2%
The Draw 100/1 1%

The odds makers make Ireland massive favourites for victory at 1/500. Tonga are 50/1 underdogs while the draw can be backed at 100/1.

Handicap Betting

The Match Handicap is Ireland -38 @ 10/11.

Both the match betting odds and the handicap betting suggest that Ireland should beat Tonga relatively comfortably in this second pool game.

If you think Ireland will make hard work of this game then you might be interested in the +38 handicap for Tonga at 10/11 odds.

Ireland v Tonga Preview

Ireland’s Form

Irish Rugby is arguably in a better place than it ever has been as Ireland are now the Number 1 ranked team in the world along with being reigning Six Nations Grand Slam champions.

That Grand Slam earlier in the year was the country’s third ever and first under Head Coach Andy Farrell and they finished the job with a 29–16 victory over England in Dublin. Naturally, expectation levels are very high in Irish Rugby right now.

In a broader view of things, Ireland are inarguably in the midst of the most successful period in Irish Rugby history as they continue to tick off first times for the country.

Before their victory against New Zealand in 2016 in Soldier Field they had not beaten The All Blacks. Since then, in their last eight fixtures against New Zealand, they have won five of their matches including a tour down in New Zealand.

In preparation for this tournament, Ireland’s first Rugby World Cup warm-up game was a 33-17 victory over Italy, and this was followed by a 29-10 win over England. However, their final warm-up game was only a slender 17-13 victory over Samoa.

Ireland opened up their World Cup campaign last weekend against Romania and despite falling to a shock deficit early in the game, they responded immediately with a try and would go on to win the game 82-8 to ease any pre-tournament nerves.

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Tonga’s Form

World Number 15 side Tonga are participating in their ninth Rugby World Cup and are looking to get out of the Pool Stage for the first time. The country qualified for the competition through the Asia/Pacific 1 route beating Hong Kong 44-22 on the 23rd of July 2022. However, Tonga’s Head Coach Toutai Kefu despite being in charge since 2016, has yet to guide them to a victory over a Tier 1 Nation.

Tonga’s first Rugby World Cup warm-up game came against Fiji where they were defeated 36-20, This was followed by two further losses 21-16 against Japan and 34-9 against Samoa. However, they did earn a 28-3 victory along with a 36-12 both against Canada before starting up in France.

Due to the uneven group situation, Tonga have yet to play in this tournament and so open their campaign against Ireland before playing Scotland and then South Africa in their first three matches. That’s a real baptism of fire before they face Romania in their final pool game.

Ireland v Tonga Team News

Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell has shown us that he is not taking this Tonga game lightly as he names a strong team for Ireland’s second game of Pool B.

Farrell has made just four changes from last week’s game against Romania. In the back-line Conor Murray comes in at scrum-half while Mack Hansen will start on the wing.

2022 World Rugby Player of the Year Josh van der Flier and Leinster’s Ronan Kelleher get the start in the forwards.

Ireland Starting Lineup

  1. Andrew Porter
  2. Ronan Kelleher
  3. Tadhg Furlong
  4. Tadhg Beirne
  5. James Ryan
  6. Peter O’Mahony
  7. Josh van der Flier
  8. Caelan Doris
  9. Conor Murray
  10. Johnny Sexton (C)
  11. James Lowe
  12. Bundee Aki
  13. Garry Ringrose
  14. Mack Hansen
  15. Hugo Keenan

Tonga Starting Lineup

  1. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi
  2. Paula Ngauamo
  3. Ben Tameifuna (C)
  4. Sam Lousi
  5. Halaleva Fifita
  6. Tanginoa Halaifonua
  7. Sione Talitui
  8. Vaea Fifita
  9. Augustine Pulu
  10. William Havili
  11. Solomone Kata
  12. Pita Ahki
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Afusipa Taumopeau
  15. Salesia Piutau

Key Players To Watch

Johnny Sexton 

Sexton (38) is undoubtedly one of the best rugby talents that Ireland has ever produced. The Leinster man has scored over 1000 points and won everything there is to win for his country except that elusive World Cup.

Ireland’s fly-half was superb in the opening fixture against Romania, hitting seven from eight conversion attempts before being replaced in the 66th minute by Jack Crowley. Expect the same again in this one where Ireland rack up the points with Sexton before he is taken off with 20/30 minutes to go.

But is he Ireland’s greatest ever? Well, this week he can become Ireland’s top points scorer with 10 points against Tonga.

Sonatane Takulua

Sonatane Takulua (32) plays as a scrum-half for Pro D2 club Mont-de-Marsan and captains the Tonga national team. Since making his debut back in 2014 with forty-eight appearances he has scored 234 points.

The pinnacle of his club career even brought him to Toulon in February 2020 he would make twenty-three appearances for the club and hit fifty-one points before leaving after a year. He will be integral to Tonga’s chances at the weekend.

Ireland v Tonga Head-To-Head Results

Tonga 19-40 Ireland | 2003 Ireland Tour of Australia, Samoa & Tonga

Ireland 32-9 Tonga | 1987 Rugby World Cup

Ireland v Tonga Prediction & Best Bet

Prediction: Ireland 51-10 Tonga

I underestimated Ireland in their first Pool Game against Romania, and they will be looking to rack up a big score again in this one, although Tonga should pose a tougher test than Romania. Expect plenty of tries again in this game!

Best Bet: Ireland To Win Both Halves By 19 Points Or More @ 5/2

Click Below For All Our Ireland v Tonga Odds

Ireland v Tonga Betting Odds - 2023 Rugby World Cup (2)

*Prices subject to fluctuation

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