Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: International Friendly: Japan vs South Africa Preview

International Friendly: Japan vs South Africa Preview

South Africa will have a final chance to gel as a unit ahead of the impending World Cup when they face Japan in a final warm-up Test at the Kumagaya Athletic Stadium on Friday.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport - Hollywoodbets 

Japan v South Africa
6 September 12h15
Kumagaya Athletic Stadium

To Win
Japan 7/1
Draw 35/1
South Africa 1/16


Handicap
Japan
South Africa

*Handicaps to be added on release

The only other time the two sides met was in Japan’s infamous 34-32 victory in Brighton four years ago. That result has been lauded as arguably the biggest upset in the World Cup’s history, with this year’s tournament hosts going so far as to make a movie about that groundbreaking day.

In the build-up to Friday’s Test, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus has gone to great lengths to stress just how much his side respects their opponents. Indeed, Erasmus has named a full-strength squad for this week’s clash with this starting XV likely to start their World Cup opener against the All Blacks.

While Japan may not offer the same quality as New Zealand, expect the Boks to execute a similar gameplan to the one they will utilize when they face the world champions in a fortnight’s time. They may well opt to play inside the host’s half with a focus on set-piece and maintaining possession.

Meanwhile, Jamie Joseph has named a powerful XV himself with the likes of former Cheetahs and Bulls man Lappies Labuschagne and talismanic skipper Michael Leitch earning starts.

As always, the Japanese will play with a huge amount of pride and passion – perhaps now more than ever. Having claimed a third Pacific Nations Cup title this season, they will still be riding a wave of confidence. Ahead of their tournament opener with Russia, they will look to put in as complete a performance as possible against the two-time world champions.

Verdict: South Africa by 14-points or more
There shouldn’t be a repeat of what transpired in 2015; the Boks’ preparation has been immense. They should be far too good for Japan and claim a win of at least 14-points or more.

Teams

Japan
15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Koo Ji-won, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Subs: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ataata Moeakiola.

Springboks
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 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 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets 

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