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This weekend’s 2023 Rugby World Cup action comes to a close on Sunday evening as South Africa take on Tonga in Marseilles. Ahead of the match, the Springboks are in second place in Pool B with 10 points from three games. Tonga are are in fourth place after defeats against Ireland and Scotland. Read on for our preview of this clash at the Stade Vélodrome.
South Africa vs Tonga match predictions
The teams have only met twice before and South Africa have had no real problems in either of the previous games! Combining both matches, South Africa have scored 104 points with Tonga contributing just 35.
South Africa to win with a -42 point handicap @ 1/1 (2.00)
The Springboks still have genuine hopes of defending their Rugby World Cup crown, but first they need to negotiate their way through this pool! And after losing 13-8 to Ireland in a brilliant contest in Saint-Denis last Saturday, their progression to the quarter final stage is not guaranteed. We expect Jacques Nienaber’s team to take no prisoners in this match and to put Tonga to the sword once more.
Grant Williams to be first try scorer @ 5/1 (6.00)
After going over the line twice in the big win over Romania, we are backing winger Grant Williams to be the first try scorer in this game. He will know that a strong individual performance from himself against Tonga could be enough to put him in the frame for the leading try scorer in the tournament. In his prime at 27 years old, we expect to see him attacking the opposition line from early on in Marseilles.
South Africa ready to rebuild their campaign with Tonga on the receiving end
The Springboks will be targeting bonus points in this clash to keep up with Ireland and Scotland who put 59 and 47 points past Tonga.
Handré Pollard will begin this game at fly-half after being parachuted into the tournament as an injury replacement for Malcolm Marx. Alongside Pollard’s inclusion, there are a further 11 changes to the team who ran Ireland so close last Saturday evening. This will be the second time that South Africa have gone head to head with Tonga in a Rugby World Cup in France.
South Africa last five:
South Africa 8-13 Ireland
South Africa 76-0 Romania
South Africa 18-3 Scotland
New Zealand 7-35 South Africa
Wales 16-52 South Africa
Vavae Fifita received a red card with three minutes on the clock left in their heavy defeat to Scotland last weekend and he is now banned for four games. In his place will come Semsi Paea at the back of the scrum in what is likely to be a punishing evening against South Africa.
Tonga last five:
Scotland 45-17 Tonga
Ireland 59-16 Tonga
Tonga 28-3 Canada
Samoa 34-9 Tonga
Japan 21-16 Tonga
Date & Time: Sunday 1st October, 20:00 UK time
Venue: Stade Vélodrome, Marseilles
How to watch in UK: ITV will show this game.
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