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It was a disappointing Six Nations campaign for Wales
Free rugby tips, best bets and analysis for South Africa v Wales on SSaturday.
where to watch
Sky Sports Action, 4:05 p.m. Saturday
2 points 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power
It’s a remarkable statistic that Wales have won just six of 37 Test matches against South Africa, yet five of those wins have come in the last eight competitions, a streak that began in 2014.
But Wales fans looking for comfort ahead of Saturday’s big showdown in Pretoria would do well to read the fine print.
Four of those five wins came in Cardiff, the other in the United States against a Springbok second team, and two of the defeats came in games that really mattered – a Rugby World Cup quarter-final in 2015 and a semi-final in 2019.
Add to that the fact that Wales have never won on South African soil, are in crisis after a poor Six Nations that ended in a home defeat to Italy, and have no players injured, including Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Uilisi Halaholo, Leigh Halfpenny and Johnny McNicholland the odds of 1-12 and under that the hosts start with an early win to make sense.
South Africa are world champions with a series win over the British and Irish Lions last season to their name. With a host of star names on the side and the most fearsome pack on the planet, this is a team not to be taken lightly.
But before we eliminate Wales altogether, it’s worth checking out a handicap line that gives them a start of up to 20 points.
It’s a margin of defeat they have suffered just five times in their last 67 matches, including two against New Zealand, two against Ireland in Dublin and one against Argentina, as they missed their Lions contingent last summer.
The most recent of those was in Ireland at this year’s Six Nations, but Wales followed that up with a tough trip to Twickenham and a home clash with Grand Slam champions France – both sides as the South Africa are blessed with dominating packs – and Wales showed they weren’t ready to be outwitted.
Against England, Wales were 14-point underdogs but went down 23-19 as many predicted they would be crushed by a ten-point start at home to Les Bleus, but they held on. before losing 13-9.
Coach Wayne Pivac has already shown he can replicate Warren Gatland’s talent to get the most out of a side that were written off when they won the 2021 Six Nations title on ante-post shots 50-1 and on a series of seven defeats in nine. .
Their squad are depleted but still retain a strong backbone and plenty of experience, plus a Six Nations campaign already under their belts this season as the Boks play their first game since the autumn.
Wales face a huge test with incredibly strong opponents, hostile crowds, altitude and history all against them, but they are a team that know how to fight.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 12:16 PM, JULY 1, 2022