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What The South African Media Are Saying Ahead Of The Series Decider With Ireland

What The South African Media Are Saying Ahead Of The Series Decider With Ireland
By Conor O'Leary
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The majority of the South African media are in bullish form ahead of the crucial series decider in Port Elizabeth this Saturday. Betting tipsters are predicting massive South African victories, but it's not a universal feeling throughout the country.

Many pundits are on the fence, while there is one article that is extremely fearful and is tipping Ireland to 'shock' the Boks. Although how much of a shock it would be given that Ireland won two weeks ago, and have won five of the last eight tests against South Africa remains to be seen.

My favourite tip is from SARugbymag's Money Man. The website's resident betting tipster is predicting a big win from South Africa - even going as far as saying it'll be a 30 plus point hammering:

This is not a good Ireland team and on the back of that form, I expect more of the same from the Springboks, only this time it will be an 80-minute display and not a 20-minute cameo.

I will place a fun bet on Allister Coetzee's charges. For R500, to win back R4,000 and my stake, I'm backing the Boks to thump Ireland by 30 or more in the Friendly City.

Before we get too upset though, bare in mind that the Money Man plucked for South Africa to win the first test by 25 or more, and the second test 'comfortably' by 12 or more because he "knew for a fact Ireland believe(d) they will not win at Ellis Park".

The belief that South Africa have corrected all of their ails with their second half showing is a widespread one. Both Planet Rugby and Rugby365 - both based in South Africa, have acknowledged that there is almost nothing to choose between either side, and that Ireland have been superior over the previous two tests, and yet both conclude that South Africa will win by at least ten points. How does that work?

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Planet Rugby:

While the Springboks were pretty dismal for the first 120 minutes of the series, that second half in Jo'burg suggests things are beginning to click. The loss of Payne is another blow that Ireland could not afford, so it seems reasonable to back South Africa to win by six points.

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Rugby 365:

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In fact everything looks so close that it is hard to call. We believe that surely the Springboks cannot enter the great stadium in Port Elizabeth in a lackadaisical manner born of overconfidence. Surely they will not retreat from their gains in spirit, effort and skill of the last 20 minutes of the last match. The Springboks could win by 10 or more.

But not all South African's are thinking the same way. Mark Keohane, also in the SARugbymag is extremely wary of the Irish threat that has been on display so far:

The Bok ambulance job of June is not yet complete. A series-deciding Test must still be negotiated in Port Elizabeth and to excuse the opening 40 of the second Test or to dismiss it on the basis of the final 20 minutes when the Boks prospered against tired legs and even more tired minds, is inviting more trouble to what is already a troubled Boks early-season campaign.

Keohane is adamant that the Boks are better than what they have been showing, but has no faith in them or Coetzee that they will show enough in time. He stresses the importance of what this test means to South Africa and their preparations for Japan in 2019.

There are two places that are predicting Ireland victories though.

Zelim Nel of VodacomRugby.co.za is extremely pessimistic about South Africa's chances. He lists five reasons why Bok fans should be preparing themselves for a loss at the hands of Ireland: referee Glen Jackson, Ireland's superior rugby nous, the South African selection which means that the Boks will struggle with "patience and tactical maturity", and Joe Schmidt.

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The Ellis Park fightback was an entertaining spectacle, but the result was an anomaly.

Nel stops short of officially saying that Ireland will win, but warns that Bok fans need to prepare for the worst.

But our last stop does pluck for Ireland to win. TheSportFreak.com thinks that Schmidt's coaching abilities will overwhelm the lacklustre Alistair Coeztee:

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You have two options:

  • Ireland +8 at odds of @ 1.91 (Confidence: 90%)
  • Ireland for a straight win at odds of @3.4 (Confidence 65%)

We don’t believe South Africa will win, however being on the cautious side we will take Ireland with a handicap of +8-points @1.91 which will effectively result in an even money payout. Bet R1000 ROI = R1910, an almost guaranteed result.  Goodluck!

It should be a cracking game, and we're confident that Ireland can get a result - especially after seeing the teams.

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See Also: Ireland Team For The Series Decider Features Six Changes

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