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South Africa vs New Zealand Tips - Springboks backed to win Rugby Championship opener

By Ralph Staniforth
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  • South Africa vs New Zealand predictions for Saturday’s Rugby Championship fixture
  • Match is being played at 16:00 BST at the Mbombela Stadium
  • Can the Springboks make home advantage count?
  • Preview, tips, stats & team news
All Blacks vs Springboks
Springboks can get one over their arch rivals in Rustenburg (Getty Images)
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South Africa vs New Zealand Preview

Two or less points have separated these two sides in six of their last seven matches. While South Africa are favourites at home, New Zealand have a particularly good record in the Republic. 
  • South Africa vs New Zealand Preview
  • Head to Head
  • South Africa Form
  • South Africa Team News
  • New Zealand Form
  • New Zealand Injuries
  • South Africa vs New Zealand FAQ

My best bet is for South Africa to get the outright win. There could be value in the -2 handicap for the hosts.

  • South Africa won their last match against New Zealand.
  • South Africa have won 5 of their last 7 matches.
  • New Zealand have lost 4 of their last 5 matches.
  • New Zealand and South Africa have seen 6 of their last 7 matches won by 2 or less points.

Head to Head

New Zealand hold a 3-2 lead in the last six matches against South Africa. There was one draw in 2019. 

In six of the last seven matches between these two sides the winning margin has been by two or less points. In 2021, South Africa won the last meeting 31-29 with the All Blacks winning 19-17 the week before.

South Africa Form

The Springboks will be confident coming into this fixture against their arch-rivals. They beat Wales 2-1 in a recent home series but those performances will need drastic improvement.

Head coach, Jacques Nienaber will need to guard against complacency given the All Blacks troubles against Ireland. However, recently this fixture has been a very tight contest, and South Africa have not beaten New Zealand on home soil in some time.

South Africa have been in decent form, last year they defeated the All Blacks in the final Rugby Championship match before winning against Scotland and Wales in Europe. The defeat to England at Twickenham will however still hurt.

This season started with a come-from-behind first Test win against Wales. Nienaber then made 14 changes for the second Test, a match the Springboks lost in the final minute. They bounced back at full strength to win the third test with relative comfort.

South Africa Team News

South Africa have named a full strength lineup. The only player still missing is loose forward Duane Vermeulen. 

Faf de Klerk returns to scrumhalf to partner Handre Pollard. Damian Willemse also retains the fullback jersey ahead of Willie le Roux who will sit on the bench.

New Zealand Form

New Zealand have not often been in peril as far back as I can remember. They have consistently been the team everyone else looks to and envies.

In 2022 that has all come crushing down, in fact, they started dropping off in 2020 already but many of their weaknesses were well hidden. During the 2020 Rugby Championship they lost their first ever match to Argentina.

Last year the All Blacks won the Rugby Championship but on their overseas tour lost convincingly to France and Ireland. There was hope that 2022 will see an improvement under head coach Ian Foster.

In the first home Test against Ireland it all looked rosy, the hosts winning 42-19. That was hardly a fair reflection of the game though and Ireland bounced back to win the next two Test matches and in so doing their first ever series win in New Zealand.

New Zealand Injuries

Ian Foster retained his job following the series defeat to Ireland. Many expected him to face the sack but poor performances in the Rugby Championship could see that become a reality.

Sam Cane has retained the captaincy as well. The visitors will need to be physically up for the fight on Saturday, if they can match the hosts at set pieces they certainly have a chance of winning.

South Africa vs New Zealand FAQ

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South Africa are backed to win at home and cover the -2 handicap in the process.

Best Bet: South Africa Win Full Time Result @8/11 at bet365 - 5 Units
Value Bet: South Africa -2 Handicap @9/10 at Paddy Power - 2 Units
South Africa Win
Full Time Result
@8/11 - 5 Units
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South Africa -2
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South Africa v New Zealand

06 Aug 2022