Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Rugby Word Cup Final: South Africa vs England Preview

Rugby Word Cup Final: South Africa vs England Preview

Springboks Line up for anthem at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Siya Kolisi, Beast, Bongi Mbonambi, and Frans Malherbe

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will reach its zenith with South Africa and England fighting it out for the William Webb Ellis Cup on Saturday the 2nd of November.

Image Copyright - Steve Haap Sport - Hollywoodbets

The Springboks will be looking to equal New Zealand's Rugby World Cup record of three wins when they take on an English side who are gunning for their second trophy.

The two sides head into this one off the back of impressive semi-final victories, and this game is sure to be an absolute cracker.

South Africa v England
Saturday 2 November
Yokohoma International Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
South Africa 29/20
Draw 25/1
England 11/20

South Africa (+4.5) 9/10
England (-4.5) 9/10

South Africa
I mentioned this earlier in the tournament but it's worth noting again how good a job Rassie Erasmus has done since coming into the Springbok setup. He's taken a floundering whale and turned it back into a roaring giant in less than two years.

That giant has roared rather hard over the past fortnight with the Springboks putting in clinical if not spectacular performances against the Japanese and then the Welsh.

While the South Africans lacked a bit of flow on attack during last weekend's 16-19 victory over the Dragons, their defensive game was solid as a rock. And we all know that strong defensive systems win you World Cups rather than flashy attacking ones.

A number of Springboks had solid games last weekend but one man who really stood out was Damien de Allende. The Stormers' centre may not be my favourite player but he's had a great World Cup and his strong ball carrying and assured defence will be key against a very talented English midfield.

Like his counterpart, England coach Eddie Jones deserves a lot of credit for England's resurgence. The finalists were knocked out of their home tournament at the pool stage back in 2015 and were in absolute turmoil until Jones stepped in.

Jones' influence was on display for all the world to see last Saturday as he instructed his charges to form a V-formation during New Zealand's haka. The ploy rattled the Kiwis who looked intent on running up a big total rather than playing the basics during England's 19-7 victory.

It will be interesting to see if England make a few changes for this one. While the 12/13 axis of Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilangi worked a treat against the All Blacks it may not be as effective against the South Africans who will look to exploit Farrell and fly-half George Ford's defensive frailties. I suspect Jones will move Farrell to fly-half and demote George to the bench.

The Stats That Matter
  • Two of the eight World Cup finals have ended in draws with South Africa involved in the first one back in 1995 and England in the second in 2003
  • South Africa and England have only ever squared off in one World Cup final with the Springboks winning the 2007 affair 15-6
  • The two sides also played out a 12-12 draw in an international back in 2012.
  • Over the past two years, the two sides have squared off four times with each side winning two games apiece. 
  • England have won the past two Tests between the sides beating South Africa 10-25 at Newlands and 12-11 at Twickenham. 
Verdict: South Africa (+4.5) 9/10
This will be as tight as they come. I can't see it being won by more than a penalty which is why I think South Africa on the plus represents great value. 

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