England vs South Africa Tips: Odds, Predictions & Best Bets For The RWC Semi

Date IconLast Updated: 20 Oct 2023
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England vs South Africa Tips: Odds, Predictions & Best Bets For The RWC Semi
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England vs South Africa Predictions:


Reigning Rugby World Cup Champions South Africa have named an unchanged starting line-up for their semi-final clash against a so far slightly lacklustre England side, with UK betting sites making the Springboks the overwhelming favourites to progress to the final.

That will not surprise anybody who watched the remarkable France against South Africa quarter-final last week. 

The first half was pulsating and could have been a highlights reel all on its own, and the game's pace throughout was staggering.

Overall, they probably deserved the win, but as good as they are, they are not unbeatable. 

Their pool matches against Tonga and Romania produced the inevitable runaway victories, but Scotland restricted the Springboks to 18 points and significantly, Ireland beat them 13-8. A strong defence can stifle them.

England slogged out a win against Fiji in their quarter-final but showed little flair in their pool matches, lacking in ideas and often relying on their kicking game. 

Even so, they are grinding out the wins, and dismissing them out of hand would probably be foolhardy.

Historically, South Africa has been the superior side, and in five World Cup games against England, they have come out on top in four of them. England’s sole success was in 2003 when they went on to lift the trophy.

The First Scoring Play Looks Like An Alternative

The handicap market is usually attractive with the best betting sites for rugby union, but the line for this match is generally set at 13.5 points - which looks like a flip-of-the-coin margin. 

The final result could easily see it fall on either side of that, so it is perhaps left alone on this occasion.

UK bookmakers offer a vast array Rugby World Cup odds, and the one that appeals here centres on the first scoring play. 

As always, a penalty by either side tops the betting, with BoyleSports making a South Africa penalty 6/4 and Bet365 chalking up an England penalty at 21/10.

Interestingly, the game referee is Kiwi Ben O’Keeffe, who also officiated in South Africa’s win over France. 

He was far from whistle-happy and there could easily have been more penalties in that game. If he adopts a similar attitude in this contest, it could make things interesting.

England are 9/1 with BoyleSports to score the first try in this market, with Bet365 making a Springbok try the first scoring play an attractive 3/1

An England try early in the game seems unlikely, but there is reason enough to suppose South Africa can open the scoring with this method of play.

France took the ball over the line in four minutes last week and the Springbok’s response was a ball lofted high and hopeful, catching the French out, with Kurt-Lee Arendse reading the bounce and grabbing it for a free run to the line.

They may adopt similar tactics against England in an attempt to score and unnerve the Red Roses early in the game. 

They are not short of ideas when it comes to free-flowing play either, and if England leave any gaps, the Springboks undoubtedly have the weapons to exploit them.

Tip: First Scoring Play: South Africa Try - 3/1 With Bet365

Points Could Be Hard To Come By In World Cup Semi-Final

The under/over market has been set at a tantalising 43.5 points by betting apps, and while both England and South Africa quarter-finals comfortably sailed through that barrier, points could be a lot harder to come by here. 

If things are not going to plan for England early and penalties are not coming their way though, they could be forced to open up and carry the ball more than they may feel comfortable with. 

Finding a way through a granite-like defence will be far from easy, but when on their A game, England have the players to force the ball over the line.

Equally, this could open things up for the quick-thinking Springboks, and as they have demonstrated time and again throughout the World Cup, they have the imagination, speed and the power to punish mistakes.

South Africa are expected to reach the final, and hopefully, it will be on the back of a high-scoring game on this occasion.

Tip: Total Points Over 43.5 - Evens With Betgoodwin