It looks as if the two teams to beat in this years’ Rugby Championship are New Zealand and South Africa.
The Kiwis produced a clean sweep of the Australians in the 2021 Bledisloe Cup for the 18th time and their ninth in the competition since regaining the Cup in 2003.
The final two Tests of that head-to-head came in this years’ Rugby Championship, as the Aussies currently sit bottom of the table behind Argentina on points difference.
Jacques Nienaber’s men look the other powerhouse in the tournament after defeating Argentina by 20 and 19 points in their opening two Tests respectively.
Those home victories come after winning the British and Irish Lions series too, and it seems as if they’ve continued on from their spectacular 2019 form.
Dave Rennies’ men failed to score a single point in the first half against the All Blacks last weekend, and when you consider the visitors were down to 14-men after Jordie Barret was given his marching orders in the 27th minute, it seems as if they’ve reached rock bottom in their quest for success.
To make matters worse, they’re now set to play this Springboks outfit that have looked very solid this year after a 19-month break without any international rugby since winning the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa 1-12 Point Winning Margin
One factor that will be with the hosts is South Africa’s relatively poor record in Australia. Indeed, they’ve played 17 times since 2004 here, winning just three and losing as many as 13.
We’re, however, expecting a very different result this time around given the direction these two outfits are heading in, with the Aussies now down to seventh in the world rankings, while the Boks are high and flying at the top.
If we look at how the visitors have performed against the tier one nations and the British and Irish Lions (excluding Italy and Japan) dating back to September 2018, they’ve gone W13-D1-L6 over that period.
A substantial 70% of those matches saw fewer than 13 points separate the two teams, and given their reasonably poor record on these shores and the absence of their star man Cheslin Kolbe on the wing, that looks the most likely way this encounter will turn out.
SOUTH AFRICA 1-12 POINT WINNING MARGIN