IRB Rugby World Cup 2015: South Africa v USA Preview

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

South Africa v United States | Wednesday 7 October | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London | 17:45



























As they did in 2007, South Africa will close out the group phase of their World Cup campaign with a match against the United States of America.

It hasn’t been the smoothest of journeys for Heynecke Meyer’s side but despite the setbacks, the ‘Boks have managed to get within three points of a quarter-finals berth. They now have an ideal opportunity to claim top spot in pool B, and secure a quarter-final against pool A’s runner-up. Their opponents for Wednesday's clash have struggled to put in an 80-minute performance at this year’s tournament, and that is unlikely to change when they take on the men in green and gold.

With the pool stage fast approaching its close and some fantastic odds on offer, don’t miss out on the final round of midweek action.

To Win (80 Mins)
South Africa  1/100
Draw  66/1
USA  28/1                       

Handicaps
South Africa -37.5 (9/10)
USA  +37.5 (9/10) 
                   
       
South Africa
They say in order to win a World Cup you need to peak at the right time, while the South Africans are still nowhere near their best, they are improving. Victories over Samoa and Scotland have seen the ‘Boks move into top spot on the pool B log with a game still to play.

While the defeat to Japan is a constant reminder to never underestimate your opposition, Meyer may be willing to take a risk or two with his team selection for this match. Fourie du Preez is likely to make way for either Ruan Pienaar or Rudy Paige while a few of the tight five ever-presents could also be rested. The ‘Bok mentor may want to give Jan Serfontein a bit of game time as well, so as to get the Blue Bulls centre reacquainted with the physical demands of international rugby.

The South Africans won the only World Cup game played between the two sides by 49 points. This current bunch of ‘Boks may well have surpassed that margin, come the final whistle at the Olympic Stadium.



USA
The last time these two sides met in World Cup action was at the 2007 event in France. The game saw the ‘Boks run out convincing winners, and ensured the Americans would finish the tournament with only a solitary point to their name. Fast forward eight years, and the Americans once again find themselves sitting at the bottom of their group. With only two games remaining they’re going to have to drastically improve if they are to better their 2007 finish.

The Americans have been 'hit and miss' in their first two matches at this year’s tournament.Their opening encounter saw them give the Samoans a real run for their money. They then put in a contrasting display against the Scots. A fantastic first half effort was to count for naught as the Eagles fell to pieces in the second stanza, with the Scot’s eventually going on to win the game by 23 points.

Eagles' coach Mike Tolkin now has a bit of a catch twenty-two on his hands. Does he play his strongest possible team against the South Africans in the hope that his team can pull a Japan, or does he rest some of his key players for their encounter against the ‘Brave Blossoms’ on Saturday. I would not be surprised if he opts for the latter and rests the likes of Chris Wyles and Blaine Scully.

The Americans have a dismal record against the South Africans. In the three games they’ve played against the ‘Boks, the Eagles have conceded 145 points, at an average of 48.3 points per game

Verdict: South Africa (-37.5) 9/10
I can see the ‘Boks ending their group stage campaign with a huge victory over an out of sort’s American side. 

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