The second international rugby test between South Africa and England takes place in Bloemfontein on Saturday and the Springboks come into the game on a high after a dramatic victory in the series opener.
South Africa v England, Saturday 16th July, Bloemfontein, KO 17:05 (South African time)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
The first test in Johannesburg was a terrific contest and the Boks came through with a 42-39 victory in a game of 10 tries.
South Africa started last week’s match as favourites with most handicap lines set at 3.5 points. Inside the first 20 minutes England were making short work of their hosts as 3 early tries saw them surge into a 24-3 lead. It was at that stage the Bok comeback was launched and by half time England led by just a single point at 29-28. The second half saw South Africa largely on top and punters who went high on points were already home and hosed.
In total the Boks scored 5 tries through Faf de Klerk, S’bu Nkosi (2), Willie le Roux and Aphiwe Dyantyi, 4 of which were converted by Pollard who also landed 3 penalties.
Bloemfontein is next stop and the last test match at this venue saw South Africa draw 27-27 with the Wallabies in last year’s Rugby Championship. There have been 2 meetings with England at this venue with the Boks winning 58-10 in 2007 and back in 2000 England came out on top 27-22.
In the June 2017 inbound tour the Boks whitewashed France 3-0 , in 2016 they came from behind to beat Ireland 2-1 and victory here would seal another home series victory over opposition from the north.
Despite seeing a very significant lead overhauled England at least scored the last try of the game in Johannesburg although it proved too late to save them from defeat. Their 5 tries came from Mike Brown, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and, Johnny May with Owen Farrell converting 4 times and England also registered from 3 penalties.
Eddie Jones’ side has now lost each of their last 4 test matches, a run which started in the six Nations where they went down in Scotland (25-13), in France (22-16) and at home to Ireland (24-15). They also lost a warm up game at home to the Barbarians just before this tour. England now need to win here to take the series to the third and final test which will be staged at Newland’s next weekend.
When England last toured South Africa in 2012 they lost the first 2 matches, 22-17 in Durban and 36-27 in Johannesburg before drawing the final contest 14-14 in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Warrick Gelant
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
Jun 2018 Johannesburg South Africa 42–39 England (Tries 5-5)
Nov 2016 Twickenham England 37-21 South Africa (Tries 4-2)
Nov 2014 Twickenham England 28–31 South Africa (Tries 3-3)
Nov 2012 Twickenham England 15–16 South Africa (Tries 0-1)
Jun 2012 Port Elizabeth South Africa 14–14 England (Tries 1-1)
Jun 2012 Johannesburg South Africa 36–27 England (Tries 4-3)
Jun 2012 Durban South Africa 22–17 England (Tries 2-1)
Nov 2010 Twickenham England 11–21 South Africa (Tries 1-2)
Nov 2008 Twickenham England 6–42 South Africa (Tries 0-5)
South Africa -4. Points at 9/10
England +4.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
England have won just 1 of the last 14 head to heads with South Africa and their fortunes have changed big time since the end of 2017. It’s doubtful they will be able to run through the Bok defence as they did in the first quarter of last week’s match but I do feel they showed enough spirit towards the end of the match to suggest they are capable of taking the series to the final game.
South Africa were excellent once they got going last week but I’m far from certain they can put England away convincingly and I fancy the plus handicap here, albeit to a reasonably conservative stake.
Bet: 3.5 units (1 to 10 scale), England +4.5 points at 9/10
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