England v South Africa
Twickenham a Happy Hunting Ground
It’s been 112 years since South Africa played their first game in England. 1906 at Crystal Palace and believe it or not it was a 3 all draw. That would be the one and only time the Boks would play an away game in England outside of Twickenham.
Twickenham has generally been a happy hunting ground for the Boks. I was present at the 16 v 15 game in the rain in 2012. It’s been sixteen years since England smashed the Boks by a record score. 2002 England won by fifty. Since then it has been predominantly one way traffic.
2016 is not 2018
2016 England won the most recent game, SA were not in a good place, likewise with 2017. However 2018 has been a different year. A different year for both squads, Boks going forward and the English going backwards. The Americans say it best, backing up. England under Eddie Jones started off fantastically. However they have done nothing but back up.
England have won three test matches this year, one v Boks, Italy & Wales. Losing twice to the Boks, once to France, Ireland and Scotland. Prior to the dead rubber win in Cape Town England had lost an unbelievable five times in a row. Prior to that England had won a record 25/26 games losing a solitary game to Ireland by 4pts.
Those days have gone, Eddie Jones once the talk of the town, has quietened down. In fact you can hear the proverbial pin drop. Injuries have ruled the roost. Confidence has been at an all-time low. A year out from Japan 2019 you would think that they need to do something. England are 3rd favourites at 7/1, a step below the Boks at 9/1 for the title.
It’s hard to believe that England are 3rd favourites for a trophy that looks a lifetime away. England have a lot of work to do, if they are to be considered title contenders alongside the Irish and the Boks
South Africa on the other hand have had a stellar year. A double result v the All Blacks have SA on zero point’s difference. This is huge both mathematically and from a confidence point of view.
I must say I am licking my lips at this encounter, I feel the Bookies have overestimated England’s chances. This game will not be close, when I say not close I am expecting the Boks to prevail by around the ten mark.
Closer to GT I may take a minus around seven.
Kick off is scheduled for 17h00 GMT +2 on Saturday at Twickenham. The referee for this game will be Angus Gardner (AUS), Click here for the Weather in London and if you want to follow the game on Twitter click here for the Hashtag #ENGvRSA
Call: South Africa to win on the board at 13/10 for 4 units
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