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Japan – South Africa

Japan South Africa rugby world cup betting preview

Hosts Japan will face South Africa in the last Rugby World Cup 2019 quarterfinal on Sunday, at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu.

What a marvelous World Cup this has been for Japan! Playing at home, the objective was to finally break through from the group stages to the quarterfinals, among the big boys of rugby, and the Brave Blossom did just that. But not only did Japan qualify – they qualified in style, topping a group with Ireland, Scotland, Samoa and Russia, winning all their matches – including 19-12 over Ireland and 28-21 over Scotland.

South Africa couldn`t quite keep up with New Zealand in their first group game, losing 13-23, but has been on a tear in the remaining matches – beating Italy, Canada and Namibia by an average margin of 53 points! The Boks have been excellent in the past couple of years, won the shortened edition of the Rugby Championship this year, and have found their form at the right time. Surely they are one of the Top 3 favorites to win the entire thing here in Japan.

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Team news & lineups:

There are no new injuries for either side, although Japan surprisingly left out William Tupou out of the match squad. South Africa has named a very experienced lineup, while Japan will make one change to the side which booked a QF place against Scotland last weekend.

Japan: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Japan will hope to repeat the result from the previous World Cup, when they defeated South Africa 34-32 in what was described as one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Japan has improved and is not such a huge underdog this time around, but the South Africans are still heavy favorites.

The Brave Blossoms have been truly impressive so far and their defense stepped up big time when it mattered, allowing just 12 points from Ireland in the Pool stages. Even the 21 allowed against Scotland were not that bad considering Scotland’s attacking capabilities.

Japan will certainly need another big defensive performance here, because they are unlikely to score many points against the Boks, considering how South Africa has performed so far.

The Boks were all around excellent and put up huge scoring numbers against Namibia, Canada and Italy, but that was to be expected (especially with Italy, the only competent opponent against those three, having a player sent off early in the second half).

What stood out was the defensive performance of South Africa, as they conceded just 23 points from New Zealand (a pretty good performance in itself) and only 13 in the other three matches.

Earlier this year, in the Rugby Championship, South Africa allowed 16 points from New Zealand, 17 from Australia and 13 from Argentina. These are some remarkable stats.

This Springboks defensive DNA is as good as it gets and should keep Japan in check. The Japanese will have to bring their own defensive intensity, like they did against Ireland, to stand any chance – something which they are capable of doing, although surely they won`t stop South Africa from scoring at least a couple of tries.

Weather is expected to be fine for rugby, with only low chances for rain and slightly above average wind.

My tip will be under 49,5 points to be scored. All the big matches these two teams played so far in the World Cup ended up with less than 49,5 points (Japan vs Ireland and vs Scotland, South Africa vs New Zealand). Prediction: Japan – South Africa 15 – 29.

Pick: under 49,5 points
Odds: 2.00 @ Bet365
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 8
Event date: 20 October

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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