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Two pivotal fixtures with massive group implications will kick-off today as South Africa look to confirm their place in the quarter-finals while Australia look to redeem some pride after a humbling tournament thus far.
Predictions and tips
Australia v Portugal
The afternoon game sees Australia face Portugal at 16:45 GMT, at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne. The wounded Wallabies are all but out of the tournament and will be hoping for a positive performance after just one win and two losses at Rugby World Cup 2023. Portugal are buoyed by their draw with Georgia and hoping to achieve history with an unlikely win.
Mark Nawaqanitawase to score the first try @ 7/1 (8.0)
‘Marky Mark’ has been one of the shining lights in a dim and life-less Wallabies team. The right winger came into the side last year and has thoroughly impressed every time he steps onto the park. Although he is one for the future for the Wallabies, as he will probably start for many years to come, he has already developed into one of the best finishers in world rugby.
The New South Wales Waratah has six tries in his eleven international caps and scored two tries in his opening two Rugby World Cup 2023 games versus Fiji and Georgia.
A rattled Australia will likely come out with fire, eager to right their wrongs and they should score the first try, expect Marky Mark to be the man on the end of it.
South Africa v Tonga
The evening kick-off at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille sees the Springboks aiming to get back in the winner’s column after a loss to Ireland last week. South Africa are nearly through to the quarter-finals but need a bonus point win to confirm it. Meanwhile, a disappointing tournament for Tonga may get much worse against the Bok behemoth, the Tongans have showed little to be happy about at Rugby World Cup 2023 with two big losses in two games.
Makazole Mapimpi to score the first try @ 11/2 (6.5)
No brainer this one. Mapimpi was one of the stars of the Springbok’s victorious Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign, scoring six tries in six games at that tournament, including one in the final. Unfortunately, Mapimpi seems to have been pushed out of the starting side by Kurt-Lee Arendse but one positive of this is that he starts in the rotated side versus the weaker teams in the group, where try-scoring is plentiful.
Mapimpi bagged a quick hattrick with little effort versus Romania in round two of Rugby World Cup 2023 and looked like he could have been on the end of two or three more.
The lethal finisher, who plays his club rugby at the Durban Sharks, has a staggering 26 tries in his 46 total South Africa caps. If South Africa score first, and they will, it will be the hero of 2019, Makazole, who does the job.
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