After suffering three defeats on the bounce, the Springboks will be desperate to bring the curtain down on the Rugby Championship with a win over the All Blacks this weekend.
To Win Match
South Africa 3/1
New Zealand 1/4
South Africa (+9.5) 9/10
New Zealand (-9.5) 9/10
The Boks will be hurting following the heartbreak of this past Saturday’s last-gasp defeat at the hands of the All Blacks. In truth, it was an error-strewn affair that Ian Foster was relieved to have won.
Looking ahead, the Boks haven’t made any major changes to their side. Ox Nche comes in for Frans Malherbe who has a neck niggle, while Jasper Wiese replaces Marco van Staden on the bench. Nche’s addition to the side sees Trevor Nyakane shift to tighthead.
New Zealand’s pack remains unchanged, but there are a couple of changes to the backs. George Bridge and Will Jordan – who both struggled beneath the aerial bombardment last week – are replaced by Sevu Reece while Rieko Ioane moves from midfield to the right wing to make room for the returning Anton Lienert-Brown. Bred Weber replaces TJ Perenara at 9.
Looking ahead, don’t expect the Springboks to change their game plan at all. Expect Faf de Klerk to pepper the Abs two new wingers with high bombs once again. He’ll need to avoid Jordie Barrett who looked secure under the high ball last weekend and actually initiated a number of counterattacks.
Truthfully, the All Blacks weren’t at their best last time out, coughing up possession through a string of uncharacteristic handling errors. If they are able to stamp these niggles out of their game, they should get a bit more joy against a Springbok defensive system that hasn’t looked so flash lately.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 George Bower, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Damian McKenzie
Verdict: South Africa (+9.5) 9/10
The Boks looked good in patches last week against the All Blacks but were ultimately undone in the end. Expect another tightly-contested affair that’ll likely see the Springboks remain within the 9.5-point handicap.