2016-11-22 by Phantom
Boks become Rugby 5 favourites
2016 could go down as the worst in South African rugby history. For punters, it has not been as bad. Suddenly (although hard to stomach) punters see South Africa in action and can almost back the opposition with a fair degree of confidence. They face Wales in Cardiff this weekend and they are underdogs against a good side. Let’s have a look and see what the Rugby 5 has to offer.
M1: England v Argentina
England were hardly tested by Fiji last weekend despite fielding a second choice team. There is no doubt that they will have an eye on Australia who they face a week later so they might be a little bit complacent. Argentina were beaten with the last kick of the game against Scotland last weekend but this is a different class of opposition. Los Pumas will try and spoil as much as possible but ultimately to no avail.
M2: Romania v Uruguay
Romania could be banker bets in this week’s pool. They easily overcame a normally dogged Canada last weekend in Bucharest while Uruguay come off the back off a bad loss against Spain. Uruguay have been known as the whipping boys for many years and Romania could feast off them.
M3: Ireland v Australia
Many were impressed with Ireland when losing 21-9 to New Zealand last weekend. Reports also suggest they earned the respect of the All Blacks in the process. Australia continue their Grand Slam tour and they will be hungry to win this. They rested 13 players against France last weekend and they still escaped with a narrow win over tricky opponents. If Ireland win this, they would consider 2016 as a great success. They will be driven to win in Dublin and they may sneak it.
M4: Wales’s v South Africa
Surely after losing to Italy, South Africa cannot beat Wales? That would be the overwhelming feeling around this match. 2016 cannot be saved after losing to Ireland, Argentina and the Azzurri so all the pressure is on the Boks to end this year with some sort of positivity. Wales are a good side. They escaped with a narrow win over Japan last weekend but South Africa would have been happy with that result in Brighton last year. It would be silly to ignore the chances of South Africa but Wales are fancied to win and add another nail into the coffin.
M5: France v New Zealand
Just because France have been flat this year does not mean they will not perform better here. They should not win but they love giving the All Blacks a scare. There have been so many times that they are underdogs against New Zealand and leave with something positive to say for their performances. New Zealand lost to Ireland in Chicago a few weeks back showing some vulnerability but that may have galvanized them to a new level.