HOW will South Africa respond after their shocking defeat last weekend. We asked our in-form expert Russ Petty (@rpetty80).
South Africa v Samoa | Saturday 18:15 | ITV1
South Africa won 18 of 20 matches from 2012-2014, but have been on the slide in the last year with defeats against Ireland, Wales and Argentina. The shock 34-32 loss against Japan is a low ebb and has put even more pressure on their head coach.
Heyneke Meyer managed to combine Tim Sherwood and the end of Rocky IV with his comments about Jean de Villiers’ win rate and the need for less hate and more love in South Africa. He has backed his captain’s fighter spirit and promised a return to the team’s traditional style – which means plenty of kicking.
Samoa are expecting a Bok-lash with their coach saying it will be “warfare”. There have been red cards shown in the previous two meetings between these teams and with referee Wayne Barnes in charge it wouldn’t be a surprise if that trend continued.
Allowing for the likely reaction from South Africa, they are still going to be low on confidence and reliant on older players or those returning from injury to get the job done. Four of the backline started in the win over Samoa in the 2007 World Cup.
If it is to be a kick-heavy, war of attrition or “UFC fight” as Japan boss Eddie Jones called it, then I prefer to be on Samoa +21.
South Africa v Samoa – Samoa +21 (Evens Betfair Sportsbook)
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