Springboks

Springboks at a canter!

2014-06-13 14:20
Heyneke Meyer (Getty Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks should comfortably see off Wales in their Test at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

BetFlash has tipped the Boks to win the first of two Tests by 13.5 points.

And quite frankly, I have to agree with the bookies.

The Springboks have dominated Wales over the years and boast a 25-1 winning record, with one match ending in a draw.

Wales' only victory (29-19) came in 1999 at the opening of the new Millennium Stadium, while the drawn match (6-all) was at the old Cardiff Arms Park way back in 1970.

The Welsh also have a torrid record against the three Southern Hemisphere giants - South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. When Australia beat them 30-26 in Cardiff last year, it was Wales' 18th consecutive loss against one of the 'Big 3', with their last win coming against Australia back in 2008.

Despite this torrid record, Welsh coach Warren Gatland earlier this week sounded confident when he targeted a 2-0 series win for his charges in South Africa.

“My target for this tour is to win. We are here to build, get some confidence and hopefully to win the series," he was quoted as saying on the Wales Online website.

Gatland may just be a tad too optimistic in my view. How often have we heard Wales talk themselves up before a Test against the Springboks? The same happened before last November's game in Cardiff, before they were physically out-muscled in a 24-15 defeat.

Wales have run the Boks close in Cardiff on several occasions in the last decade, but somehow always end up falling short.

Mentally and physically they appear a step behind. And the upcoming series is in South Africa - where Wales have never come close to grabbing a win.

Wales were back-to-back Six Nations champions in 2012 and 2013, but away losses to Ireland (26-3) and England (29-18) saw them concede their title earlier this year.

They're also not renowned as the best touring side - and given the fact that they're touring in a country they've never won in - nothing suggests that the status quo will change come Saturday night in Durban...

Teams:

Springboks:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Wales:

15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Ian Evans, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 James Hook, 23 Matthew Morgan

Read more on:    springboks  |  herman mostert  |  rugby
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