South Africa are overwhelming favourites to take the Test series 3-0 when they clash with England in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
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After two superb Test matches in Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa and England again face off in the final match of their series in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, in a game that has all the ingredients of a classic (South Africa 2/9, draw 25/1, England 10/3).
Apart from Scotland’s win against an under-strength Australian side, the home nations have once again struggled to overcome their Southern Hemisphere opponents but with the gap closing with every match, the time now appears right for England to record their first win on South African soil for over a decade.
However, it will be no easy feat and, despite their traditional limitations in the backs, Heyneke Meyer’s new-look Springbok side have once again powered their way to victory in the opening two matches.
As usual, the Springboks’ success has been built around a mighty pack of forwards and despite some reshuffling following last year’s World Cup, they once again look like a forced to be reckoned with at the inaugural Rugby Championship later this summer.
Key to their success has been the form of flanker Willem Alberts who has quite literally ran over everyone that’s tried to stop him.
However, he is injured for Saturday’s game meaning 26-year-old Jacques Potgeiter (25/1 first tryscorer) has been handed the opportunity to fill his quite-sizeable shoes.
Although he may not be as big, the Bulls flanker can certainly make an impact around the park and will be looking to create even more havoc at the breakdown.
After their solid Six Nations showing, England appear to be getting closer to the Boks with every game and almost pulled off what would have been a memorable victory at Ellis Park last weekend.
Stuart Lancaster has once again used this tour to blood new players and give some youngsters their first taste of top level international rugby.
One of these youngsters has been Saracens full-back Alex Goode (16/1 first tryscorer) who after, a few years of waiting patiently, will finally make his debut on Saturday.
Goode has been tipped for the top for some time and his deceptive turn of pace and eye for a gap will certainly challenge the South Africa defence.
However, his educated boot could have more of a part to play as he’ll be charged with pinning the South Africans back in their own half so that they can’t build momentum.
The match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium certainly represents England’s best chance of winning a match on South African soil for some time and they certainly won’t be lacking in effort.
However, the Boks on home soil are a formidable opposition and will probably just shade it, but it’ll no doubt be another close encounter (South Africa 5/1 to win by 1-5 points).