World Cup Prediction | South Africa versus Ireland
The reigning world champions South Africa take on the number one ranked side in the world Ireland on Saturday at the Stade de France in Paris in what is possibly the biggest match of the World Cup so far.
This is a huge match for so many reasons. Firstly, the number one spot in the world rankings is at stake, but more importantly the chance to top Pool B is on the line. The winner of the pool will likely play the tier two All Blacks in the quarter-finals, which seems a much better prospect than playing the red hot hosts France. Moreover, this is a match that could easily be repeated in the final, so both sides will be desperate to make a statement.
With that in mind, Rugby Onslaught are here to provide their match prediction.
This will be a close game, and it is unlikely that one side will pull away in the same way France did against the All Blacks in the opening match of the tournament. But when it comes down to close games, it is foolish to ever bet against the Boks, particularly when they have named a 7-1 split on the bench.
The Springboks having the opportunity to completely replenish their pack could well be the deciding factor at the Stade de France, as it will likely give them the energy and power to grind Ireland out in the final quarter.
While betting against a maestro like Johnny Sexton is never wise, South Africa have in truth been the best team in the world over the past month or so. Not only did they inflict the biggest defeat ever upon the All Blacks, but they followed that up with a clinical dismantling of Scotland in Marseille in round one. They have the physicality up front that only France can match, and that will be the deciding factor.
Here’s what happened when the two sides met last year:
Match prediction: South Africa win