Ireland v South Africa: Latest Odds & Analysis On South Africa Test

Date IconLast Updated : 22 Sep 2023
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Ireland v South Africa: Latest Odds & Analysis On South Africa Test
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When: Saturday, September23 , 8pm (Irish time)

Where: Stade de France, Saint-Denis (capacity: 81,338)

Watch: RTE

Best Odds: Ireland 6/5, South Africa 8/11

It is one that has been marked in the diary for quite some time and, with both sides currently two from two in Pool B of the Rugby World Cup, rugby betting sites are gazing into their crystal balls for the clash of Ireland and South Africa at Stade de France on Saturday (kick-off 8pm Irish time).

In their opening game of the RWC in Bordeaux on September 9, Ireland recorded a comprehensive 82-8 success over Romania. While they were always expected to come out on top.

Andy Farrell’s men ruthlessly went about their business nonetheless with Jonathan Sexton, Peter O’Mahony, Bundee Aki and Tadhg Beirne all grabbing two tries apiece.

Ireland And South Africa Have Perfect Records So Far

There were some eyebrows raised when head coach Farrell opted to keep faith with the majority of his starting 15 for their subsequent pool stage showdown against Tonga in Nantes seven days later. 

Many people felt that it was a good opportunity to rest some frontline stars ahead of their duel with South Africa, though there was a method behind the Wigan man’s selection decisions.

Tonga are a far better side than Romania and showed that during the first-quarter of the game. Yet Ireland had already secured a try bonus by the midway point in the action and ultimately claimed a convincing 59-16 victory.

Aki once again touched down twice over the course of the proceedings to put himself out in front in the race for the tournament’s top try-scorer. 

Sexton added another try to his World Cup tally and after spending six months on the sidelines thanks to injury and suspension, the Irish skipper has been looking sharp thus far in France.

Whereas Ireland had it relatively comfortable in their first game, South Africa were made to work for an opening weekend win over Scotland in Marseille.

The boot of Manie Libbok ensured the Springboks held a slender 6-3 interval cushion, leaving the Scots very much in the reckoning on the resumption.

Quickfire tries from Pieter-Steph du Toit and Kurt-Lee Arendse put South Africa in the driving seat, however, and they eventually came away with an 18-3 triumph. 

A much-changed SA team took the field to face Romania in Bordeaux last Sunday, but Jacques Nienaber’s men played with the same cohesion as the first-string side.

Cobus Reinach and Makazole Mapimpi both seized their opportunities to impress with try hat-tricks as the Springboks issued the Romanians with a 76-0 demolition. 

The fact neither player has done enough to earn a starting berth for the Ireland game tells you that head coach Nienaber and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus are unwilling to deviate too much from their main starting line-up.

Little To Separate Two Teams For Either The Game Or World Cup Glory

Given there are also few surprises when it comes to Ireland’s selection in general – Nienaber and Erasmus are familiar with many Irish players from their time at Munster – both camps will have been able to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents for quite some time 

When it comes to betting for the outright winners of the tournament, there is little to separate South Africa and Ireland – the reigning Rugby World Cup and Six Nations champions respectively. 

Whereas many bookmakers have the Springboks at 11/4 to defend their title, Ireland are available at the relatively similar odds of 4/1.

There is also little to keep them apart in the betting for Saturday’s match, but South Africa will enter the Saint-Denis venue as slight favourites.

Springboks Slight Favourites To Defeat Ireland

No fewer than 13 bookmakers have the Springboks at 8/11 to get the better of Ireland on the day.

Yet, Ireland are on a winning run of 15 games that stretched back to last year’s summer tour of New Zealand and are more than capable of going very deep in this tournament. Around 13 bookies rate Ireland’s chances of success this weekend at 6/5.

Some firms are offering odds of 5/4 on the Irish and while they will go into the game as underdogs, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise – never mind a shock – if they do come out on top in the end.

Small Winning Margin Is Anticipated

Despite being well acquainted with each other down through the years, this will actually be the first meeting between Ireland and South Africa at the World Cup. 

It also represents their maiden showdown in a neutral venue – a remarkable fact when you consider the two teams have clashed on no fewer than 27 occasions in the past.

With all this taken into account – and the expected cagey nature of the game itself – it seems likely that any winning margin will be quite small. 

Betting sites are currently offering 4/1 on South Africa securing the spoils by between 1 and 5 points.

Bookmakers see a Springboks win of 6-10 points as an 11/2 possibility and a more comfortable 11-15 points success as an 8/1 prospect. 

The odds on Ireland to win by the latter margin is currently 9/1, but a shorter gap in favour of the Green Army is a lot more enticing.

Unlikely That One Team Will Be Ahead From Start To Finish

It is the kind of game where the lead could change hands regularly and there is every chance that the team ahead at half-time won’t be on the right side of the scoreline come the final whistle.

Bookies are offering 11/2 on Ireland being ahead at half-time, only for their southern hemisphere counterparts to squeeze home at full-time. They also see the opposite scenario as a 7/1 possibility.

When it comes to forecasting who will be the team to break the deadlock in a crunch fixture that could well decide who tops Pool B, South Africa are 4/5. Meanwhile, Ireland are 10/11 with these respective betting apps to be the first team to score on the night.

Considering how close the two teams are in the betting across a number of different markets, this game is almost impossible to predict. 

It is a tie that will take on a life of its own once the two teams cross the white line and in-game management will undoubtedly be key to a successful outing for either side.

Best Bet: Ireland To Win By 1-5 points – 5/1 @ William Hill

Player Prop: South Africa To Score First – 4/5 @ Bet365