Rugby Championship: New Zealand v South Africa Preview

Rugby Championship: Australia v Argentina Preview

Rassie Erasmus will face his sternest test as Springbok coach this Saturday when South Africa meet New Zealand in Wellington.

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New Zealand v South Africa
15 September 09h35
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

To Win
New Zealand 1/20
Draw 25/1
South Africa 8/1

Handicap
New Zealand (-24.5) 9/10
South Africa (+24.5) 9/10

In spite of Kiwi gaffer Steve Hansen’s rather laughable claim that the Boks were favourites heading into Round Four of the Rugby Championship, there is little doubt that the hosts are well placed to record another comfortable win over their “arch rivals”.

With last year’s 57-0 drubbing in Albany still fresh in their memory, and coming into this one off the back of consecutive losses to Argentina and Australia respectively, Siya Kolisi’s chargers may have their work cut out for them when Nigel Owens blows for kick-off.

The return of Ryan Crotty and Rieko Ioane from respective knocks, as well as Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith at halfback, sees the AB’s backline looking as devastating as ever. Their pack, too, is at full strength in anticipation of the once great rivalry between the sides.

Injury to Makazole Mapimpi sees Jesse Kriel move out to the right wing, with Lukhanyo Am set to face the biggest challenge of his fledgling international career when he partners with Damian de Allendes in an attempt to halt Crotty and an in-form Anton Lienert-Brown in the midfield.

Willie le Roux will need to call upon all of his experience if he is to calm things at the back, as youngster Aphiwe Dyanti meets the All Blacks for the first time in his career on the left wing.

South Africa will need to make the most of every chance that comes their way if they are to claim a first win in Kiwi-land since 2009, but it remains to be seen whether they have the pedigree to outplay the world’s pre-eminent side.

Hansen’s men, meanwhile, have the chance to wrap up yet another Rugby Championship title with two rounds still to play.

All Blacks
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Subs: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jack Goodhue, 23 Damian McKenzie.

Springboks
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronj√©, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe.


Verdict: New Zealand (-24.5) 9/10
Certainly, this weekend’s Test match may go a long way to determining just how competitive the Boks will be at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Alas, I see New Zealand being the better side by at least 20-points, leaving Erasmus’ men in the doldrums once more.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets


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