What, Where and When: Springboks v All Blacks, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 1am (AEST) Sunday
For Guide: Springboks WLWWW, All Blacks WWWWW
Match Odds: South Africa $1.97, New Zealand $1.85 (correct as at 5pm 3/10)
Key Match Ups:
- Bismarck du Plessis v Andrew Hore
- Willie Le Roux v Julian Savea
And so it boils down to this: South Africa must defeat New Zealand scoring four tries and, in the process, deny the All Blacks a bonus point. It looks a long shot on paper when you consider the Springboks have beaten the world champions only once since 2009 – an 18-5 victory in 2011. However this Springboks side is a different beast. Had Bismarck du Plessis not been given the first of two yellow cards at Eden Park three weeks ago then we might be sitting here with the equation reversed, such was the Springboks hooker’s dominance. But there could be no arguing his second offence – a forearm to the throat of Liam Messam – and with that the Auckland encounter was settled.
Andrew Hore is the only All Black to have played a Test at Ellis Park and while Richie McCaw is a welcome addition to the visitors’ line-up, you get the feeling the veteran duo are going to need all of their combined 199 caps of experience at a ground known for its ferocious atmosphere. It’s been billed as the biggest Test of the year and has all the ingredients to deliver on that promise.