2018 International Rugby: Scotland v South Africa Preview

A rugby player fends off a tackle

South Africa should prove too physical for Scotland to handle when the two sides meet at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland v South Africa
17 November 19h20
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

To Win (80 mins)
Scotland 16/10
Draw 20/1
South Africa 5/10

Scotland (+4) 9/10
South Africa (-4) 9/10

*Forecast handicaps

While the Scots did claim a convincing 54-17 win over Fiji on the weekend, they are in for a much sterner examination when Rassie Erasmus’ Boks come knocking.

They may not have dominated the French forwards in a manner they would have liked during their 29-26 victory in Paris, but South Africa should still be too physical for Gregor Townsend’s men this Saturday.

The expected return of Eben Etzebeth will add even more firepower to what is already a fiercely abrasive Springbok side. With Warren Whiteley set to be sidelined through injury, Pieter-Steph du Toit will return to the side of the scrum with Duane Vermeulen moving out to eighth-man.

World Rugby Player of the Year nominee Faf de Klerk has returned to the Sale Sharks and will be unavailable for selection. This may well convince Erasmus to give Embrose Papier a first start in the No 9 jersey to allow him more exposure to Test match rugby.

With dry conditions expected, Handre Pollard and his lieutenants may opt for a more expansive approach to play if their forwards gain the upper hand at the collisions. Indeed, it would be an exciting prospect to see the likes of Sbu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyanti given more time and space on the ball, something they haven’t really been afforded so far on tour.

That said, Scotland are not to be underestimated. In Finn Russell and Greig Laidlaw at halfback, they have two players capable of causing any team a headache on their day. Russell in particular is a footballer with immense flair who should not be afforded too much room with ball in hand.

Verdict: South Africa (-4) 9/10 *Forecast handicaps
The Boks should record a comfortable win here by 10 or more.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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