South Africa v Tonga Prediction, Preview & Odds – Rugby World Cup
We have a South Africa v Tonga prediction plus all the betting odds for you as we preview another huge weekend of Pool B action.
South Africa v Tonga Match Info
When? 8.00 pm, Sunday, October 1st
Where? Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
TV Channel? ITV 1 and RTÉ Player
South Africa v Tonga Betting Odds
|South Africa v Tonga Betting Odds – Rugby World Cup|
Despite their loss to Ireland, South Africa are mammoth favourites for this one at 1/500.
Tonga can be backed at 40/1 while the draw is 100/1.
South Africa: -40 @ 10/11
Tonga: +40 @ 10/11
Handicap Draw: -40 @ 18/1
South Africa vs Tonga 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.
The most anticipated game of this Rugby World Cup pool stage was always South Africa v Ireland. The world number one side against the defending champions and world number two. South Africa were favourites going into that game but it was the Irish that came out on top 13-8 after an incredible 80 minutes of rugby.
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.
The Springboks only lost one game in 2023 prior to this World Cup. 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.
Following their 8-13 defeat against Ireland last weekend, South Africa will need a victory in this one to ensure they qualify for the quarter-finals.
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Tonga sat out the first weekend of the tournament before getting their campaign underway against world number one ranked Ireland. The Tongans were comprehensively beaten 59-16 in that game with their sole try coming from Scarlets player Vaea Fifita.
In their second outing, Tonga lost to Scotland 45-17 which means they will have to wait another four years again before attempting to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first time.
The Tongans are the 15th ranked side in world rugby and are no strangers to this event having played in eight other Rugby World Cups.
Tonga’s Head Coach, Toutai Kefu, has yet to guide this team to a victory over a Tier 1 nation despite being in charge since 2016. It’s unlikely that they will change that record against the defending world champions this Sunday.
The form wasn’t looking great for Tonga coming into this World Cup so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have struggled in their opening fixtures.
The first Rugby World Cup warm-up game for Tonga came against Fiji. They were defeated 36-20 in that outing. This was followed by two further losses 21-16 against Japan and 34-09 against Samoa. However, they did earn a 28-3 victory and later a 36-12 win over Canada before they ended their warm-up fixtures.
Key Players To Watch
The South African Strategy
It’s hard to pinpoint a particular player to watch from a South African perspective. The Springboks need a win in this game to secure passage through to the quarter-finals. However, such is the gulf in class between the two sides that they’re likely to rotate heavily even with the final pool stage weekend off.
Following South Africa’s loss to Ireland last weekend, many criticised their strategy not to use their excellent lineout and powerful maul more against the Irish. Instead, South Africa elected to use the boot more.
For the Boks, game so close, but think they are overstretching themselves a bit by having players covering so many different positions.
Think they'll simplify, we'll see a return to the 6-2…and maybe a specialist hooker come in if there's another injury.
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) September 23, 2023
Whether that was a strategy to hold things back later in the tournament or whether they underestimated Ireland remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see if they maintain that strategy on Sunday or change things up in preparation for the knockout stages.
The New Zealand-born Fly-Half was eligible for Tonga through his ancestry (his brother has played for New Zealand) and he plays his rugby for Moana Pasifika in the Super League. He made his debut for Tonga in 2022 and has racked up 77 points in 12 tests so far.
Despite their heavy defeat against Ireland, Havili was impeccable from the boot, making 1/1 conversion attempts and dispatching 3/3 penalties. He continued his perfect tournament record from the boot against Scotland making 2/2 conversion attempts and scoring 1/1 penalties.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) September 15, 2023
South Africa v Tonga Previous Results
South Africa and Tonga have faced off twice with the Springboks winning each of those games.
2007: Rugby World Cup – South Africa 30-25 Tonga
1997: Test – South Africa 74-10 Tonga
South Africa v Tonga Prediction & Best Bet
Prediction: South Africa 50-6 Tonga
South Africa will need a win in this one to confirm their Pool B qualification and that’s exactly what I see them doing. Despite their defeat to Ireland, they remain major players in this tournament.
Tonga will need Havili in tip-top form again if they’re to land a glove on the Springboks.
South Africa to win this comfortably to confirm qualification out of Pool B.
Click Below For All Our South Africa v Tonga Odds
*Prices subject to fluctuation
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