South Africa vs Ireland Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 23 September 2023 - 23:00 GMT +1
⏰ 24 September 2023 - 05:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Stade de France (Paris - Saint-Denis)
The Rugby World Cup Pool B blockbuster between the world's top two ranked teams sees number two South Africa take on number one Ireland at the Stade de France. Both are unbeaten after two games, so the winner books their place in the quarterfinals, something the Springboks have done in all seven previous World Cups, while Ireland has only failed once.
The defending champions have hit top form, notching a 76-0 shutout of Romania after allowing just three points against Scotland. Their staunch defence could drive a historic campaign in France, and playing in Paris suits the Boks, who've won seven straight there. They also boast a strong 17-6 record against fellow Tier 1 sides at World Cups, having beaten all bar one Six Nations team. But this is no ordinary Tier 1 team.
The world's best side and Grand Slam winners Ireland stand in their way, though the Springboks have won 12 of 13 Cup games against Six Nations teams. They'll be keen to make a statement. Coach Nienaber has reverted to his first-choice XV after 13 changes against Romania, Mbonambi the only switch from the Scotland win. Attention was on the 7-1 forward/back bench split, a tactic used pre-tournament in their win over the All Blacks.
Ireland were unfazed, sticking with a conventional 5-3 split and an unchanged starting team after thrashing Tonga. That followed their record World Cup win over Romania as they met expectations in their opening games. Now their credentials face the ultimate test. Victory would add to coach Farrell's legend after beating the All Blacks and winning the Slam. Going unbeaten through their pool for the first time is also in sight.
First, they must improve their 8-18-1 record against the Boks, though they've won three of their last six. Tackling their poor 2-9 Cup record versus the Rugby Championship powers is also key.
📋 Players to watch:
- Bok winger Arendse has 12 tries in 10 tests and will look to star after the forwards dominated headlines.
- Ireland's Aki has four World Cup tries already and the midfielder will aim to make an impact in his 50th Test.
⚡ Match Facts:
- Top two ranked teams meet in pivotal Pool B clash
- The winner books quarterfinal spot after 2 wins each so far
- South Africa yet to concede a try, and Ireland posted a record win
- First-ever RWC meeting between the sides
- Ireland have won 3 of last 6 matches against Boks
- Arendse has 12 tries in 10 tests for South Africa
- Aki has scored 4 tries already for Ireland
- Ireland seeking first unbeaten RWC pool stage
💡 Match Prediction:
This highly anticipated pool stage clash sees the top two ranked teams in the world face off, with the winner sealing a quarterfinal spot. Both Ireland and South Africa have looked in sublime form so far, despatching minnows and posting strong wins over Scotland and Tonga respectively.
The Springboks' suffocating defence has been the hallmark of their campaign, keeping both Scotland and Romania try-less. They are undefeated in 7 straight tests in Paris, giving them an added advantage. However, Ireland have showcased their free-flowing attack, racking up a record World Cup score against Romania.
This will be a fierce battle between South Africa's physicality and structure against Ireland's creativity and flair. The midfield duel between De Allende and Aki could be decisive. If Ireland can match the Boks physically up front they have the backline edge, but South Africa's pack is formidable.
A tight contest but the experience and big-game pedigree of the Springboks prevailed by 3-7 points.
Match Winner: South Africa
Margin: South Africa by 1-12 points
First Try Scorer: Arendse
Total Points: Under 45
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