The Springboks travel to the Northern hemisphere on their end of year tour where they are set to take on Ireland, France, Italy and Wales.
Their first match is against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on the 11th of November. Below we preview South Africa versus Ireland.
The Springboks finished 3rd in this year’s Rugby Championship winning two games against a very poor Argentina, drawing twice to the Wallabies and logged a record 57-0 loss against New Zealand before salvaging some pride with a one point loss to the All Blacks in Cape Town. Despite the mixed bag of results the Springboks are in a better place than this time last year. Heading into the end of year tour last year, the Springboks had only won 4 games and had recorded losses against Ireland and Argentina. This year they have cleaned up France at home and have only lost 2 games to the number one ranked All Blacks.
The Springboks’ key to success will be going back to their traditional strength of solid set pieces and forward domination, this will allow their backline and exciting running players like Skosan to have some space to showcase their speed and footwork. The forward battle will be led by the rising superstar Marx and captain Etzebeth who have both been colossal in recent Test matches. The decision making of the halfback combination of Jantjies and Cronje will be critical to succeed against an experienced Irish team.
Ireland toured South Africa in 2016 and managed to secure a famous victory in Cape Town before losing the last two Tests of the series. In the mid-year internationals Ireland beat Japan twice and the USA.
Ireland are currently ranked 4th in the world just one above the Springboks and have a formidable squad. Ireland are similar to the Springboks in many ways, they rely on solid set pieces and have a powerful forward pack. One area where the Irish do have the upper hand is in the halfback combination. Arguably the worlds best scrum half, Conor Murrray, and experienced flyhalf, Jonny Sexton, will control the game and get the big South African forwards retreating with well placed tactical kicking. In the forwards South African born CJ Stander will be aiming to pilfer turnovers at every ruck, while Devin Toner will be physical and looking to match Etzebeth.
“The Springboks almost atoned for the 57-0 defeat to New Zealand in Cape Town last month with a return to their most cherished value. Physicality. It wasn’t enough to beat the world champions. It was a highly emotive performance that seems unlikely to be replicated on a cold November evening in Dublin. Ireland, and our flood of returning Lions, should beat South Africa,” Legendary former Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy
Ireland’s game against the Springboks has been sold out for several weeks and showcases two evenly matched sides. The Springboks have shown some positive improvements over the past few months but have been inconsistent with their performances. Ireland have not been tested this year with comfortable wins over low ranking USA and Japan and will be looking at this Test to see if their number 4 world ranking is justified.
Saturday’s match will be the Springbok’s 14th test against Ireland at this venue. South Africa’s record on this ground is: P 13; W 8; L 4; D 1; PF: 221; PA: 170; TF: 33; TA: 15; Average score: 17-13. Win%: 62%.
South Africa’s record in Ireland is: P 15; W 9; L 5; D 1; PF: 246; PA: 197; TF: 38; TA: 18; Average score: 16-13. Win%: 60%.
With two evenly matched sides it promises to be a close game, but home advantage and the experience of the Irish half backs will play a critical role and we believe Ireland will win by 5 points.
Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change. View the latest rugby betting odds
The Springboks have played the Irish 25 times. Won 18 times, lost 6 and drawn 1.
2016: South Africa won 19-13, Port Elizabeth
2016: South Africa won 32-26, Johannesburg
2016: Ireland won 26-20, Cape Town
2014: Ireland won 29-15, Dublin
2012: South Africa won 16-12, Dublin
2010: South Africa won 23-21, Dublin
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi , 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Francois Venter
15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy
Substitutes: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 James Ryan, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Darren Sweetnam