Rugby World Cup 2015: South Africa v Wales

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Quarter Final 1

South Africa v Wales

Sunday, 18 October 02:00

 

The first of the four quarter-finals has all the ingredients to be an absolute belter as it sees the southern hemisphere’s most physical side in take on the northern hemisphere’s most physical. South Africa looked to have well and truly put the opening round Japan humiliation behind them as they bullied the rest of their pool, aggregating 144 points whilst conceding just 22, to finish top. Meanwhile, Wales have performed incredibly bravely to get to where they are but unfortunately Liam Williams, yet another outside-back, has been ruled out of the tournament. As a result their resources have been severely stretched best evidenced by the five fly-halves in their squad. They came up just short against Australia, losing a non-try thriller 6-15, as they were unable to cross the white line when their opposition were down to 13-men. Although qualification was already secured, they may regret not putting the Aussies away when they had them on the ropes as the pool runner-up spot puts them in the much more challenging half of the draw.

South Africa have dominated the recent head-to-head between these two, winning all-bar-one of the last 16, so 1.37 for the win looks tempting. However, the solitary defeat came in the most recent encounter and it will surely act as a source of inspiration for Warren Gatland’s men. Seven of the last eight matches have been decided by a single-figure margin, including a one-point game in the pool stages four years ago. Despite the Boks losing just once they’ve only led at the break in half of those eight matches.

The Rainbow Nation have won four of their last five against Six Nations opposition at World Cups with their last defeat back in 2003 to England. Only one fixture from that sample was in the knockout stages, the infamous 15-defeat of England in the 2007 final. This will be their 16th meeting with Europe’s elite since the last tournament and they’re aiming for their 14th victory. If you exclude Scotland and Italy from that selection, six of the seven victories were by fewer than 10 points.

Ignoring the 3rd/4th play-off, Rugby Championship sides have won four of the last seven against a Six Nations outfit in the knockout stages since 2003, and they haven’t been separated by more than nine points in any of the last six. Wales’ success over the Springboks last year stopped a barren run of 22 defeats in a row against the southern hemisphere giants dating back to 2008. At World Cups they’ve lost all five this century but only against New Zealand in 2003 was it by more than 12 points.

Five of the last eight quarter-finals have been decided by single figures. South Africa seem rejuvenated while last weekend highlighted where Wales are against the Southern hemisphere top guns; able to put up one hell of a fight but perhaps lacking that cutting edge to triumph. We expect a similar outcome here.

 

Key Stats

  • South Africa have won15 of the last 16 meetings between these two
  • South Africa have won 13 of their last 15 against Six Nations opponents
  • Wales have lost all five matches World Cup against the Southern hemisphere big three since 2003

 

Recommendation: South Africa Winning Margin Under 12.5 points 2.70