Wales vs South Africa 26 November 2016, Kickoff 7:30pm (SA Time)
The disgraced South African national rugby team will take to the field on Saturday, at the Millennium staduim, in Cardiff, to try and salvage some pride from what has been, without a doubt, the darkest year in South African rugby. So can South Africa manage to snap a 3-game losing streak and win their first test match since 1-October 2016, or will it be more disappointment for Springbok supporters? Here follows our complete South Africa vs Wales preview & analysis
South Africa vs Wales Prediction & Betting Preview
Before we start we would like to make something very clear, when it comes to betting & match predictions, ensure you take emotions completely out of it! (Pretty basic stuff)
Wales despite showing signs of real promise heading into the 2015 World Cup, has flattered to deceive and largely failed to live up to expectations. Currently this Wales team reminds us a lot of the French rugby team from the early to mid 2000’s who were renowned for their inconsistency. Wales on their day can play ball and win against any team in World Rugby, with the exception perhaps being The All Blacks. In the same breath they (Wales) can just as easily lose against any team within World Rugby’s top 15 rankings. Wales last fixture against Japan serving as proof, while South Africa was busy embarrassing Springbok supporters against 14th ranked Italy last weekend, Wales had to dig deep to avoid a loss against 11th ranked Japan and avoid embarrassment of their own. Wales eventually went on to win the Japanese match with 3-points. Needless to say, having home field advantage and being ranked well above Japan this was a less than inspiring victory for the Welsh team and they have some major question marks of their own heading into the South African fixture.
Wales vs South Africa – Keys To Victory For Wales.
As most know, Wales has only won 2 out of 31 matches played against South Africa and has a golden opportunity to record their 3rd ever victory against South Africa, here is what they need to do.
Early Scoreboard Pressure
Here is an interesting statistic regarding the current South African team, South Africa has never won an away fixture under Allister Coetzee when they (South Africa) were trailing at halftime. The significance of this should not be underestimated. Wales for all their flaws are a relatively good attacking team, and have proofed to be more than capable with ball in hand, however capitalising on opportunities has been their acilisheel. Considering South Africa, has the worst defense out of World Rugby’s top 10 nations, bar Fiji, there will be plenty of opportunities for the Red Dragons. Providing Wales can capitalize on those opportunities, and apply early scoreboard pressure to a South African team which is under immense pressure for obvious reasons heading into the Wales vs South Africa fixture, things can quickly spiral out of control for the Springboks, should they fall behind early on.
All Springbok opponents throughout 2016 has largely adopted the same gameplan against South Africa, a simple game plan which relies on deep kicking and pressing the defensive line, forcing South Africa to play from deep. The fact is, South Africa has dreadful strategical kickers, a bad situation made worse by the selection of halfback pairing, Faf DeKlerk & Elton Jantjies. Furthermore SA has absolutely no counter attacking ability, often driving themselve back while on attack. Because of the latter South Africa is yet to come up with a counter plan for this simple strategy opponents have used against them so successfully in 2016.
In Leigh Halfpenny Wales has a world class fullback and great strategical kicker. If Wales can bring even an average kicking game into their match against South Africa, we are likely to see the same trend which has plagued South Africa throughout 2016. A simple trend which has seen the South Africans making basic, unforced errors, both on returning kicks or when trying to set up a counter attack.
When South Africa does try to setup a counter attack, it comes with disastrous results, presenting opportunities aplenty for the opposition. That’s why gaining an early lead as mentioned in point 1, is of vital importance for Wales since it will force South Africa to play with ball in hand, and when they do that, it is nothing short of cringe worthy for Springbok supporters! Point 2 slots in nicely with point 1, and that is – if Wales does a good job at pinning South Africa back in their own half with deep kicks, which we reckon they will, the mistakes will happen and the scoreboard pressure will come, leading to a domino effect for the Springboks.
South Africa vs Wales – Can The Springboks Pull Of an upset.
Above we have touched on some of the key aspects to what Wales need to do in order to pull of a victory against the Springboks. With that being said, what can the embattled South African team do to finally break their winning drought?
Let it be said straight off the bat- we believe the chances of a South African victory is extremely slim, however upsets do happen, what are the chances we will see an upset in the Wales vs South Africa fixture, can South Africa manage to pull off a victory against the odds? We believe the only chance South Africa has to win this match is if Allister Coetzee and his coaching staff keep their hands completely out of the South African game plan, and give the Springboks freerange.
South Africa arguably better on paper
We do believe man for man, South Africa is ever so slightly better than Wales, at least on paper that is. However the achilles heel in all of South Africa’s fixtures has been Allister Coetzee & Mzwandile Stick causing clear confusion amongst the players who has absolutely no idea what to do when presented with different situation on the field. Coetzee expects his team to play like programmed robots, so we don’t believe it will be a case of Coetzee giving an overhauled Springbok team the freedom to “go and play.“
We believe what will be a new look South African team will cause more problems, with Allister Coetzee likely to try and enforce his gameplan on a new team who hasn’t had much game time under the Coetzee “game plan” which is likely to add only more confusion within the South African team.
Stats & Facts
- This is the first time ever that South Africa are opening as underdogs against Wales
- If South Africa loses against Wales on Saturday they will drop to 6th on the World Rugby rankings.
- South Africa has managed to win only 4 of their previous 12 matches this year (that’s including the Barbarians match) currently leaving Coetzee and his team with a 33.33% winning percentage for 2016.
- South Africa has never won an away fixture under the Coetzee coaching regime!
- In the past 5 matches South Africa has played they gave up a combined total of 155-points, giving up, on average 31 points per match, which greatly emphasis the poor Springbok defence.
- In their past 5 matches South Africa has scored a combined total of 101-points, averaging 20.1 points per game, thus, opponents are currently out scoring South Africa by an average of 10-points!
South Africa vs Wales Betting Prediction – What The Bookies Are Saying
The bookmakers seem to agree with our call that a new look South African team (in terms of players that is) will make little to no difference, since the bookies were uncharacteristically quick to release their odds for the South Africa vs Wales match, and the line or odds has not moved throughout the week.
Wales vs South Africa Outright Win Odds
- Odds for a South African outright win is set at @2.50 (meaning every R1 will return R2.50 including initial stake)
- Odds for a Wales outright win are set at @1.53 (meaning every R1 will return R1.53 including initial stake)
Wales vs South Africa Handicap
The Handicap has been set at 4-points, giving South Africa a +4 point start at odds of @1.91 (meaning South Africa must either win or lose by less than 4-points for the handicap wager to be successful)
Conclusion & Prediction
Things are extremely tense within the South African camp, despite Coetzee downplaying this. It is clear that this is one demoralised team, aching after what was a long season filled with a long list humiliating results. We wont read to much into the Wales vs Japan match from the previous weekend, and will consider it largely a “loosener” and if anything only help to renew Wales’s focus in terms of preparation for the Springbok match.
We are expecting Wales not only to win, but also to cover the spread with relative ease, meaning we are expecting Wales to win with more than 4-points.
Take Wales -4 points at odds of @1.91 (confidence: 80%)
Wales 27 – South Africa 16
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