The last of our 2017 international rugby previews features Saturday’s clash between Wales and the Springboks in Cardiff
Wales v South Africa, Saturday 2nd December, Cardiff, KO 16:30 (South African time)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees:, Wayne Barnes (England), Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)
Weather Forecast – Cardiff (only applicable if roof is open)
Wales were beaten 33-18 by the All Blacks under the roof in Cardiff last weekend, conceding 5 tries and scoring 2. They were very competitive in the first half, going into the interval 21-11 down and although the deficit increased considerably in the second period, Wales managed to stay just within the early handicap which had been set at 17.5 points.
The November internationals had started with a 29-21 defeat to the Wallabies where Wales scored 2 tries and conceded 4 in a game which saw Australia go off as marginal favourites. After that a much changed side made very hard work of seeing off Georgia 13-6.
The Boks beat Italy 35-6 in Padua last week, scoring 6 unanswered tries in wet conditions and easily covering a minus handicap which had been set at around 13.5 points. That made it back to back wins after they edged out France 18-17 in a tense encounter in Paris a week earlier with both sides scoring 2 tries a piece. The end of year internationals had started with a record (38-3) hiding off the Irish in Dublin, provoking memories of a disastrous November 2016 tour which comprised of defeats to England, Italy and Wales. South Africa now have the opportunity to end an up and down year on the right note. The Boks once boasted a 16 match winning streak against Wales, a sequence established from 2000 to June 2014 but they have lost their last 2 visits to Cardiff.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Hallam Amos, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Warrick Gelant, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lukhanyo Am
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2016 INT Cardiff Wales 27-13 South Africa Tries 2-1
2015 RWC Twickenham Wales 19-23 South Africa Tries 1-1
2014 INT Cardiff Wales 12-6 South Africa Tries 0-0
2014 INT Nelspruit South Africa 31-30 Wales Tries 4-3
2014 INT Durban South Africa 38-16 Wales Tries 5-1
2013 INT Cardiff Wales 15-24 South Africa Tries 3-0
2011 RWC Wellington South Africa 17-16 Wales Tries 2-1
Wales 15/10 BetXchange
Draw 22/1 widely available
South Africa 34/50 Sunbet
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
With injuries and club commitments a factor there are 5 changes in the Welsh starting line up from the side that took on the All Blacks including a couple of debutants and you could argue the team news score is evened up Boks missing the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw.
Whilst the Boks can’t really be faulted for the win over Italy the Azzurri have generally had a disastrous time of it at home in 2017 and I’m reluctant to put too much emphasis on it. Wales impressed against New Zealand and although the straight win was tempting to a degree, the best current plus of 3.5 points trumps it.
Bet: 6 units Wales +3.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum