The Springboks clash with Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and after a humbling at the hands of Italy last weekend, the Boks face the prospect of returning home from their end of year tour without a win.
Wales edged out Japan 33-30 in Cardiff last weekend but a more significant form guide for this match arguably rests with their 24-20 victory over Argentina the previous week. Looking at the Welsh line up for this game there is just one change from the side that took to the field against Los Pumas and we should remember that in the Rugby Championship earlier this year the Boks lost 26-24 to Argentina in Salta having beaten the same opponent 30-23 in Nelspruit with a late comeback. The Welsh will be without Sam Warburton for this game and they haven’t been overly convincing in these end of year internationals which started with a 32-8 loss to the Wallabies in Cardiff.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts
After defeats to England at Twickenham and last week’s horror show against Italy in Florence, the Boks have one last opportunity to return home with something positive to show from the tour. Four wins and seven defeats this year is a record that doesn’t inspire much confidence with the 20-18 loss to the Azzurri by far the most disappointing result. This will be the first meeting with the Welsh since the Boks edged a RWC 2015 quarter final 23-19 at Twickenham. Wales won the last head to head in Cardiff back in November 2014 whilst earlier that year they toured South Africa, losing the first test 38-16 in Durban and the second 31-30 in Nelspruit.
There are seven changes in the Bok line up including test debuts for Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jamba Ulengo and Uzair Cassiem.
South Africa: 15 Johan Goosen‚ 14 Ruan Combrinck‚ 13 Francois Venter‚ 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg‚ 11 Jamba Ulengo‚ 10 Elton Jantjies‚ 9 Faf de Klerk‚ 8 Warren Whiteley‚ 7 Willem Alberts‚ 6 Nizaam Carr‚ 5 Lood de Jager‚ 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ 3 Lourens Adriaanse‚ 2 Adriaan Strauss (c)‚ 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx‚ 17 Steven Kitshoff‚ 18 Trevor Nyakane‚ 19 Franco Mostert‚ 20 Uzair Cassiem‚ 21 Piet van Zyl‚ 22 Pat Lambie‚ 23 Lionel Mapoe
Recent Head to Head (Wales at home)
2014 INT Cardiff Wales 12-6 South Africa
2013 INT Cardiff Wales 15-24 South Africa
2010 INT Cardiff Wales 25-29 South Africa
Betting– click here to bet
South Africa 17/10
Handicap: Wales -5.5 points, South Africa +5.5 points, at 9/10 the pair.
Suggested Bet: Highest scoring half, 2nd half at 5/6
There are plenty of close calls in the recent head to head history but after last week’s display it’s hard to back the Boks with confidence. Wales haven’t been that great though and this could be a bit of arm wrestle early on so we side with the second half to produce more points than the first.