June Internationals: South Africa v France (3rd Test)

2017-June-Incoming-Series-Preview-South-Africa-v-France

The Springboks will be looking to seal a series whitewash over the French when the two sides meet at Emirates Airline Park this Saturday afternoon. 


With the series wrapped up, and the pressure on Allister Coetzee’s Springboks significantly alleviated ahead of the weekend; they will now turn their attention to recording a potential 3-0 whitewash of their European opposition. The hosts will be confident of getting another win over their fatigued French foes and take some momentum into what promises to be a particularly interesting Rugby Championship campaign.


South Africa v France | Saturday 24 June | Emirates Airlines Park | 17:05 

To Win (80 Mins)
South Africa 1/6 | Draw 25/1 | France 4/1
Handicap
South Africa (-14.5) | France (+14.5) 9/10


South Africa
I have to hand it to South Africa; these past two performances have been sound (albeit against very mediocre opposition). The ever-loquacious Mr Jake White has attributed the turnaround in Bok fortunes to the impacts of both defence-coach Brenden Venter, and skipper Warren Whiteley – and he certainly isn’t wrong. The effort and organisation on defence has been a noticeable improvement in the Springboks’ game (they’ve shipped just 29-points across the two Tests), as has the sense of brotherhood and cohesion within the side. Both of these are down to the exploits of the aforementioned duo, and this should not go unnoticed.

This weekend they will be expected to complete a series whitewash, and make even bigger strides towards redemption. Coetzee is set to name a slightly different combination this week in light of the concussed duo of flank Teboho Mohoje and scrumhalf Ross Cronje. Jean-Luc du Preez and Francois Hougaard are expected to take their respective places, while Jesse Kriel will take the place of Lionel Mapoe in the midfield after recovering from the knock he took in the first Test. Mapoe has subsequently been drafted back into the SA 'A' squad.

The changes should bear zero impact on this Bok team’s performance, and they should record another comfortable victory over France at Ellis Park.

 

France
It doesn’t look as though Guy Noves will be coaching his national side for much longer, if reports from Europe are anything to go by. His team have looked completely disinterested on this tour, with some big-name players (read Louis Picamoles) failing to fire. The fact that these Tests mark the end of an admittedly very long French season should not be used as an excuse – these players have been picked to represent their country, and should be doing so with substantially more enthusiasm than what has been on display. Their proposed offloading game has left a lot to be desired, while their forwards have been completely outmuscled by Eben Etzebeth and his band of Bok bullies.

I do, however, expect them to improve this weekend and salvage some sort of pride in their performance. They won’t win, but perhaps their forwards will front up to the Bok challenge like we know they can, and give their impressive backline something to work with. Wingers Yoann Huget and Virimi Vakatwa have been particularly eye-catching so far, and it would make for enthralling viewing watching them play behind a dominant pack – let’s hope they can put on a better display this Saturday.

Verdict: South Africa (-14.5) 9/10
This Test is sure to be much closer for the majority (with the French [hopefully] fired-up), but the Springboks will run away with it in the end. France have looked fatigued on this trip, and the last twenty-or-so minutes of action at Gauteng’s altitude won’t help their cause.

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Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net!

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