Wales facing an up-hill battle against the Boks this weekend
Another tough match lies in store for Wales this weekend and once again the history books aren’t on their side. Their record against South Africa isn’t quite as depressing as their run of results against the All Blacks, but it isn’t much better.
They’ve now failed to beat South Africa in their past 16 matches, last winning in 1999, which was their first win ever against the Springboks. Worryingly for the Welsh, South Africa also enjoyed a more relaxed fixture last weekend against Italy, resting several key players. A stark contrast to Wales’s build up to this match, as they were run ragged last weekend against New Zealand.
Wales have also been struggling for points this autumn, rarely showing much creativity and flair in the backline. They’ve only managed a total of 33 points across their last two matches, which is just not good enough.
Usually, their attacking style of play is their saving grace and a Welsh team without this key ingredient doesn’t tend to be a winning one.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom for Wales, as their fans saw an improved performance against the All Blacks in their last match. There were finally some glimpses of the Welsh side from four years ago, as they matched the Kiwis for 65 minutes before it eventually all fell apart.
If they are going to beat the South Africans then they will have to put in a performance for the full 80 minutes, something that may be easier said than done as New Zealand-induced fatigue sets in in the latter stages. It is in these last 20 minutes when players like Willie Le Roux, Hendricks, Serfontein and Mvovo will all come into their own this weekend and will run riot in that Welsh defence.
With so much pace at the Boks disposal, it could be a repeat of last weekend’s result for Wales, as the better side’s true class eventually prevailed to snatch victory.
Expect another hard fought performance from the home side, but in the end it will be the Springboks who will come out on top and end their autumn on a high.
9/10 – South Africa to beat Wales by -6.5 handicap