Defending champions South Africa laid down a marker with last month’s 35-7 win over New Zealand and will look to carry that form into their Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday.

The pair have been drawn alongside Ireland in the ‘Pool of Death’, Pool B, and while both Romania and Samoa will be game opposition, they will both feel that a victory in Marseille on Sunday will see them put one foot in the quarter-finals.

Scotland failed to qualify for the last eight in Japan but are a far more rounded outfit four years later and, having beaten France in the build-up, will feel they have a chance to cause a huge upset.

The Springboks have piled on the points in recent outings, also beating Wales 52-16, but Gregor Townsend has plenty of attacking firepower at his disposal and his side are sure to run the champions close.

South Africa vs Scotland Betting Tips

  • Scotland +10.5 – 2-way Handicap @ 21/20 
  • Kurt-Lee Arendse and Duhan van der Merwe both anytime tryscorers @ 3.5/1 

Team News

South Africa are without Handre Pollard and Lukhanyo Am for the tournament. Manie Libbock will continue in the fly half role in Pollard’s absence, while Jesse Kriel starts in the number 13 shirt ahead of Canan Moodie.

Damien Willemse has been given the nod at full-back, with Willie Le Roux primed to make an impact from the bench, a six-two split, as has become the norm for the Boks.

Scotland’s side is pretty much as good as it gets, with Ben White fit enough to partner Finn Russell in the halves and Rory Darge rewarded for his brilliant form in the build-up with a start at openside flanker.

Scotland +10.5, 2-way Handicap @ 21/20 

South Africa look to be in sensational form and the confidence within their camp suggests they will expect to get the victory in Marseille.

However, Scotland have shown that they have something special and are happy to take on anyone.

Their back three of Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn and Duhan van der Merwe can attack from anywhere, while centre Huw Jones, who went to university in Cape Town, forms a brilliant midfield partnership with Sione Tuipulotu.

White and Russell have also excelled and there is genuine excitement about this Scotland team.

This has the ingredients of a classic but also a whiff of a gallant Scottish defeat, so backing them on the handicap could prove fruitful.

Kurt-Lee Arendse and Duhan van der Merwe both anytime tryscorers @ 3.5/1 

Arendse has made a flying start to his Test career, scoring 11 tries in 10 matches, including a hat-trick in the 43-12 Rugby Championship win over Australia.

His poacher’s try in picking off Jordie Barrett’s offload against the All Blacks showed how well he reads the game and with South Africa’s attack on song, and Scotland happy to throw the ball around, he could get his chances.

There is also a smattering of South African influence within the Scotland side. Both prop Pierre Schoeman and wing Van der Merwe were born in the Rainbow Nation.

That gives the pair extra motivation to shine and Van der Merwe could be especially dangerous.

For all of Arendse’s skill and speed, there is no substitute for size and he is giving both height and weight away to his wing rival.

There is every chance that subtlety could go out of the window and Van der Merwe could bundle over so back those two wings to dot down in a double.

Share Article

(Visited 133 times, 1 visits today)