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Wales – South Africa

Wales South Africa rugby world cup betting preview

Wales and South Africa will meet on Sunday in the second Rugby World Cup semifinal at the International Stadium in Yokohama.

Wales survived an epic quarterfinal with France last weekend, and if we`re being honest, Wales did not deserve to win that game. The French were the better team right out of the gates, but Vahaamahina was sent off in the 49th minute with France leading 19-10, which gave Wales a chance. The Brits managed to take advantage and edge it 20-19 via a late try by Moriarty. France played great, but Wales was not very good, which was quite surprising. They entered the World Cup in great form, winning the Six Nations this year, and were solid in the group stages – winning all their games, including a 4 point win over Australia.

South Africa found its best form this year, winning the shortened edition of the Rugby Championship, and came into the World Cup as one of the Top 3 favorites for the title. The Springboks lost their first game, 13-23, against New Zealand, but cruised the rest of the way. They demolished Namibia, Canada and Italy in the group stages, and did a professional job for a 26-3 victory in the quarterfinals against hosts Japan. The Boks are looking as solid as ever, and their defense has been a highlight – just 39 points allowed in 5 matches, 23 of which were against New Zealand.

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Team news & lineups:

Liam Williams and Josh Navidi will be out for Wales. Navidi will be a big blow, but the Welsh get Jonathan Davies back from injury. Halfpenny is also back in the starting lineup for Wales, no doubt mainly because of his exquisite kicking. All in all, there will be three changes made to the team which beat France last weekend.

South Africa will make only one change to last week`s starting XV, as young wing Nkosi is forced to come in for injured superstar Kolbe. In fact, South Africa will have the same matchday 23 as in the last two games, with the exception of Kolbe – so they will be happy with their chemistry.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 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, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

South Africa used to be a nightmare opponent for Wales in the past, but the Welsh managed to win the previous four H2H meetings, which will give them a degree of confidence. All these 4 meetings took place since the previous World Cup. Two of them were last year, with Wales winning 22-20 (less relevant, since both sides rested most key players) and 20-11.

Even the last win for South Africa, a 23-19 success in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, was extremely hard fought and somewhat lucky. The game before that one, it was another Welsh win. It`s safe to say Wales gave South Africa huge problems in the last six H2H meetings since 2014 onwards.

Weather should be pretty decent for rugby on Sunday. It`s expected to be cloudy with chances of light rain. I wouldn`t rush to say wet weather would be an advantage for one side of the other, but Wales certainly won`t mind if it will be the case.

Wales will put on a fight here, and their recent H2H record against South Africa will give them a much needed confidence boost, but overall you have to expect South Africa to take this semifinal. Still, if Wales have an inspired day and find a way through that magnificent Boks defense, this will be anyone`s game.

The Welsh seem to be a bit underrated here based on their weak performance against France in the quarters, but surely they will turn up with a different intensity and level this time around. They are a truly elite side, and won`t sell themselves short, especially since the matchup is a pretty good one for them. If they were to play New Zealand it would be a different matter, but they have the weapons to trouble South Africa.

Wales should be able to cover the spread. The under is also an option in my eyes, but the 40,5 point line seems right on the edge.

South Africa is not really the kind of team to blow opponents out, we saw that in their QF win against Japan as well. A 23 point margin was not so impressive against an opponent of that caliber, particularly since the lead was built later in the game, when the Japanese (not used to playing so much and so often at this level) gave out physically.

Look for a tactical game, a lot of place kicking and forwards battles, with the South African defense and overall quality coming on top in a tightly contested semifinal.

Leigh Halfpenny being back in the lineup for Wales means that the Welsh could get about 3 extra points from 50 + meters penalties which only Halfpenny can kick.

My tip will be Wales to cover the +8,5 handicap. Prediction: Wales – South Africa 18 – 20.

Pick: Wales +8,5
Odds: 1.91 @ 1xBet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 7.28
Event date: 27 October

About Rostick

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