South Africa v Ireland Prediction, Preview & Odds – Rugby World Cup
We have a South Africa v Ireland prediction plus all the betting odds for you as we preview this massive Pool B clash in the Rugby World Cup.
It doesn’t get much bigger than this. World Rugby’s number one ranked side Ireland take on defending Rugby World Cup champions and number two ranked side South Africa. The reward on offer is control of Pool B and almost guaranteed passage through to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Below you can find everything you need to know ahead of this game including; how to watch the game, the betting odds, form, team news and our big game prediction.
South Africa v Ireland Match Info
When? 8.00 pm, Saturday, 23th September
Where? Stade de France, Saint-Denis
TV Channel? ITV 1 and RTÉ 2
South Africa v Ireland Betting Odds
|South Africa v Ireland Betting Odds – 2023 Rugby World Cup
South Africa are the favourites going into this game at odds of 4/5 to win. and take control of Pool B. Our oddsmakers have Ireland at 11/10 odds which makes them underdogs but still in with a great chance.
The draw could prove value at 20/1 with very little separating these sides on paper.
The handicap betting for this game has South Africa as the marginal -1 favourites at 10/11.
That means Ireland is +1 in the handicap betting while the handicap draw of -1 (South Africa to win by exactly one point) is 18/1.
Click Below For The LIVE South Africa v Ireland Odds
South Africa v Ireland Preview
South Africa’s Form
South Africa opened the tournament against a Scottish side that many fancied to give them a tough test. To be fair to the Scottish they kept things close with the score only 6-3 in favour of South Africa at half-time. However, the second half was a different story and they wore down Scotland with their attritional style coupled with a moment of brilliance from Manie Libbok to win the game 18-3.
The second outing for the Springboks came against Pool B minnows Romania. The World Cup favourites whitewashed the Romanians 76-0 to reaffirm their status as the side to beat in this tournament.
South Africa are looking to become only the second-ever nation to win two successive Rugby World Cups after New Zealand did it in 2011 and 2015. They now have the opportunity to do that following their 2019 final victory against England.
This South Africa side are ranked number 2 in the world having only lost one game this calendar year.
That defeat came against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship back in July. South Africa proceeded to win their final four games before the Rugby World Cup. Those wins came against Argentina, then a 52-16 thrashing of Wales and most recently (and perhaps most notably) a 35-7 demolition of the All Blacks in Twickenham.
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Ireland opened up their World Cup campaign against Romania. Nerves were tested early on as the Romanians scored an early try but the Irish responded immediately with a try of their own and would go on to win the game 82-8 to get off the mark in this year’s tournament.
Ireland continued their impressive form with a 59-16 victory against Tonga in their second outing in Pool B. Most importantly, Ireland built up a lead going into half-time which allowed crucial players like Johnny Sexton to come off early while some squad players got minutes under their belt.
Andy Farrell and Ireland fans alike have to be happy with the start the team have made to this Rugby World Cup. With that said, there won’t be any more easy games for Ireland with South Africa next and Scotland in the final pool game.
This Ireland team is the number one ranked side in the world following their 2023 Grand Slam success and incredible level of form over the past two years. That was the third Grand Slam in the country’s history and the first under current Head Coach Andy Farrell.
The next time we saw this team after the Six Nations was in the summer where they played three warm-up matches in preparation for this Rugby World Cup. Andy Farrell’s side went 3/3 in those games with victories over Italy, England and Samoa. That means that Ireland have played eight test matches this year and have won all eight of them.
The big talking point going into this game is South Africa opting for a 7-1 forwards-backs split on their subs bench. This 7-1 split has been called the ‘Bomb Squad’ and it gives the South Africans the ability to switch out all but one of their forwards. That makes this Springboks outfit a formidable opponent up front in the second half.
Ireland are sticking with a traditional 5-3 split between backs and forward.
Jamison Gibson-Park will return to the starting lineup at scrum-half in place of Conor Murray.
At hooker Ronan Kelleher will retain his place while Dan Sheehan returns to the bench after an injury absence.
In other team news, Jack Crowley comes back into the squad as the replacement fly-half in place of Ross Byrne.
South Africa Starting Lineup
- Steven Kitshoff
- Mbongeni Mbonambi
- Frans Malherbe
- Eben Etzebeth
- Franco Mostert
- Siya Kolisi (C)
- Pieter-Steph Du Toit
- Jasper Wiese
- Faf De Klerk
- Manie Libbok
- Cheslin Kolbe
- Damian De Allende
- Jesse Kriel
- Kurt-Lee Arendse
- Damian Willemse
Marco Van Staden
Ireland Starting Lineup
- Andrew Porter
- Ronan Kelleher
- Tadhg Furlong
- Tadhg Beirne
- James Ryan
- Peter O’Mahony
- Josh van der Flier
- Caelan Doris
- Jamison Gibson-Park
- Jonathan Sexton
- James Lowe
- Bundee Aki
- Garry Ringrose
- Mack Hansen
- Hugo Keenan
16. Dan Sheehan
17. David Kilcoyne
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Iain Henderson
20. Ryan Baird
21. Conor Murray
22. Jack Crowley
23. Robbie Henshaw
Key Players To Watch
Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
Kolbe came into the tournament as 12/1 fifth favourite to be the Top Tryscorer at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. However, after failing to score against Scotland and sitting out against Romania as the side was rotated he has now drifted to 25/1 in the betting for that same feat.
Kolbe is versatile and while he is likely to be out on the wing for the Springboks you could see him moved into the full-back or fly-half position if needs be. Since making his debut for the Springboks in 2018 he has amassed 81 points from 25 tests.
After amassing 50 points in 30 games for Toulon he has now agreed to sign for Japanese outfit Tokyo Sungoliath for the 23/24 season.
One thing to watch out for with Kolbe is his pace. The South African back recorded 10.7 for the 100m which makes him one of the quickest rugby union players ever.
Air Kolbe ✈️
— Springboks (@Springboks) July 17, 2023
Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
What is there to say about Johnny Sexton that hasn’t already been said. The Leinster legend is a stalwart of Irish rugby and is as key to this Ireland team’s success as he ever has been.
In Sexton’s last outing against Tonga he broke Ireland’s all-time points scoring record courtesy of a first-half try. That try put Sexton on 1,090 international test points, seven more than the previous record holder Ronan O’Gara.
The Ireland fly-half now has 40 points altogether in this Rugby World Cup which puts him second behind England’s George Ford (41) and squarely in the conversation for Top Points Scorer honours.
If Ireland are to beat South Africa on Saturday evening Sexton will have to be on song.
We recently took a look at where Sexton ranks among Irish rugby’s all-time greats.
🇮🇪 17 years of blood, sweat and tears for club and country.
— BoyleSports (@BoyleSports) September 4, 2023
South Africa v Ireland Previous Results
South Africa and Ireland have faced off twenty-seven times. South Africa have won 18 of those test matches, Ireland have won on eight occasions and one draw has taken place.
Ireland have scored 399 points while South Africa have scored 522.
Ireland have had a lot of success in this fixture of late despite South Africa’s relative dominance in the all-time record between the teams. The Irish have won four of the last six meetings with South Africa.
The most recent game between the two sides was in the autumn of 2022 when Ireland recorded a 19-16 victory in the Aviva Stadium.
The Springboks last beat Ireland 19-16 and 32-26 during the 2016 Ireland Tour of South Africa.
South Africa v Ireland Prediction & Best Bet
Prediction: South Africa 26-25 Ireland
I’m predicting South Africa to edge this and take command of Pool B.
Expect this to be a thriller, two teams widely fancied to go far in this competition and I can’t see either team running away with this one.
Best Bet: Bundee Aki Anytime Tryscorer @ 11/5
Click Below For All Our South Africa v Ireland Odds
*Prices subject to fluctuation
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