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Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Springboks have the weapons to foil Wales

Scrappy encounter looks likely

The powerful South Africa pack will be a key weapon
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Autumn international
BBC1, 2.30pm Saturday

A much-changed Wales team take on a Springbok outfit who have laboured through a difficult year and the final Test of 2017 has the makings of a disjointed and untidy affair.

Generally the autumn internationals follow a pattern whereby the home teams get better week by week while the southern hemisphere sides start off at an advantage having been together all through the summer but start to fade as the fixtures pile up.

But this match may buck that trend as Wales are missing a host of players while the Springboks have picked themselves up since a dismal defeat in Dublin three weeks ago, winning in France and running up a big score against Italy.

Despite losing to New Zealand last week Wales showed that their transition to a more open, passing game is taking shape.

But having to shuffle the line-up again, with Jonathan Davies injured and Owen Williams unavailable in the midfield, will surely slow their progress and it is likely the Springboks will approach this match with the intention of negating Wales's attempts to put pace and width into the game.

The powerful Bok pack, with hooker Malcolm Marx and lock Eben Etzebeth both in good form, look set to come to the fore, while fly-half Handre Pollard has an astute kicking game and will look to keep the hosts penned back.

Wales created openings against New Zealand but lacked a clinical finish and were often too lateral and easy to defend against. This may not be a classic but the Boks have the strength to pinch it.

Recommendation
South Africa to win by one to 12 points
1pt 15-8 Betfair


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This match may buck the trend as Wales are missing a host of players, while the Springboks have picked themselves up since a dismal defeat in Dublin
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