RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Bronze Medal Match
South Africa v Argentina
South Africa and Argentina have more in common with each other than competing in the match that no team wants to play in. They both also lost their opening games of this World Cup and, as they obviously lost their respective semi-finals, it means that the winner of the eighth edition of the World Cup will have gone through the tournament unbeaten just like the previous seven.
Incredibly, the winner of this match will continue the streak of no Northern hemisphere side ever finishing third in the World Cup after:
Australia – 1987
New Zealand – 1991
South Africa – 1995
New Zealand – 1999
New Zealand – 2003
Argentina – 2007
Australia – 2011
Argentina are a similar price here as they were against Australia in the semis and that seems generous given the Wallabies strength throughout the tournament. South Africa’s opening game defeat to Japan will linger long in the memory and, while they bounced back well to top Pool B, it was an extremely easy group on paper. Furthermore, their performance against Wales in the quarter-final was lacklustre and they choked heavily in the opening minutes of the second half against the All Blacks as they surrendered a lead to 14-men.
Argentina, unsurprisingly, finished second behind New Zealand in Group C but they’ve impressed all tournament with their attacking flair. They are no doubt on an upwards curve and are sure to be fancied for more success in Japan 2019. Much of their squad is young and brimming with confidence and they are sure to see this as a game to show what they are capable of once again.
Despite playing in the tougher group, Argentina (26) have scored two more tries than their opponents (24) en route to the Bronze Medal match. South Africa have dominated this head-to-head in the past but the two have met twice this year and each side won once. Interestingly both victories were away from home. South Africa’s two knockout games this tournament have been tight affairs and in 2011 they lost by just two points to Australia in the quarter-finals. With their heavy reliance on forwards it’s unsurprising their key games tend to be tight. As there is little riding on this other than bragging rights we can expect a more open game and that could play into the hands of Argentina.
- A Southern hemisphere team has finished third in every World Cup
- Argentina (26) have scored two more tries in the tournament than South Africa (24)
- South Africa’s last three knockout matches have been decided by fewer than five points
Recommendation: Argentina +5.5 points 2.20