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New Zealand vs South Africa - Can The Springboks cause first upset of the World Cup?

South Africa will cause some headaches for the defending champs.
springboks vs all blacks
South Africa have covered the +5.5 line in their last four matches against the All Blacks (Getty Images)

New Zealand vs South Africa Rugby World Cup Preview, Betting Tips & Best Bets

New Zealand meet South Africa in an early Rugby World Cup blockbuster. If recent meetings between the two are anything to go by, this one could go down to the wire. 

Bookmakers have been generous to the Springboks in the handicap market which makes them an enticing prospect in their opening contest.

New Zealand Form & Team News

New Zealand has dominated world rugby for the better part of the last two decades and have won the last two World Cups. While their recent record looks solid, there are some cracks beginning to appear.

Their last match was a comfortable 92-7 victory over Tonga at the Waikato Stadium but their performances in the 2019 Rugby Championship are of more importance. They struggled over the line against Argentina, drew at home to the Springboks and lost to Australia in Perth. 

Despite coming back to annihilate the Wallabies 36-0 in the second Bledisloe Cup match they have shown enough vulnerabilities. The last three matches against South Africa have ended in a 2 point defeat, a two point win and a draw. 

Steve Hansen is also struggling to find his best team as he tries to fit Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga into the same side. They are outright favourites to win the match at 1.36 but I see that as far too risky. To cover the -5.5 line at 1.85 is a risky proposition. 

Young winger Sevu Reece secured his place in the starting line-up with a number of impressive displays and will be a popular pick in the anytime try-scorer market. He is also tipped to be the 2019 Rugby World Cup top try-scorer.

Beauden Barrett
Beauden Barrett could be key to New Zealand if he returns to his favoured fly-half position (Getty Images)

South Africa Form & Team News

South Africa was at full strength for their final World Cup warm-up match against Japan and barring injury, are likely to start with the same side. It was a comfortable outing for the Springboks who ran out 41-7 winners at Kumagaya Stadium. 

The Springboks have made immense strides over the last 18 months under the reign of head coach Rassie Erasmus. They beat New Zealand 36-34 at the Cake Tin in 2018 and then followed it up with a 32-30 defeat at Loftus Versfeld two weeks later. The hosts were clearly the better side but conceded two late tries to hand the All Blacks victory.

Earlier this year the Springboks drew 16-all at the Cake Tin and I believe they have had the upper hand over New Zealand recently. The +5.5 line had been covered by the Springboks in their last four encounters against the All Blacks.

New Zealand vs South Africa Head to Head

New Zealand has dominated this fixture since 2012 winning 12 of their 15 meetings. Statistically it doesn’t look great for the Springboks but recent matches tell a different story. 

The All Blacks have won two, lost one and drawn one of the last four matches between the two sides. 

Their last match ended 16-all at the Wespac Stadium in July 2019.

New Zealand vs South Africa Match Up

This will be a titanic forward battle which the Springboks have dominated in recent meetings. They will need another physical display and at least find parity in the line-out. 

The All Blacks are superior to any other side in terms of skills but the Springbok rush defence has troubled them tremendously over the last two years.

South Africa are unbeaten in 2019 with four victories and a draw (Getty Images)

New Zealand vs South Africa Key Statistics

  • South Africa have covered the +5.5 line in their last four matches against New Zealand
  • South Africa have won four and drawn one of their five matches in 2019
  • South Africa are the 2019 Rugby Championship champions


South Africa have matched New Zealand step-for-step over the last two seasons and have covered the +5.5 handicap in their last four outings. 

We're tipping them to cover the +5.5 handicap and are not ruling them out to take out the match outright.

Best Bet: Springboks +5.5 Line @1.85 at Beteasy - 5 Units
Value Bet: Springboks Win @2.75 at Ladbrokes Australia - 2 Units

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