England v South Africa | Rugby World Cup Final
England vs. South Africa: Rugby World Cup Final Betting Preview
England stand on the brink of glory after sweeping aside defending champions New Zealand in a pulsating World Cup semi-final clash. Yet they must now prepare for another almighty battle as they seek to overwhelm a powerful South Africa side in Yokohama on Saturday. The Springboks battled to a gruelling semi-final victory over Wales and they boast a number of world class players within their ranks, meaning Eddie Jones’ men will need to be at their very best if they are to triumph. It promises to be a fascinating contest and we have a number of rugby spread betting markets to boost the excitement.
England’s Journey to the Final
England began their World Cup campaign with a 35-3 victory over Tonga and then they beat USA 45-7. They benefited from a Tomas Lavanini red card as they beat a spirited Argentina side 39-10, and their final pool stage game against France was abandoned due to a typhoon. It left Jones’ men top of their group, teeing up a quarter-final with Australia. The Wallabies were heralded as a dangerous team, but England annihilated them 40-16.
That emphatic victory left them surging with victory ahead of their blockbuster semi-final showdown with the All Blacks. Steve Hansen’s men were the heavy, odds-on favourites to win a third consecutive World Cup this year, and many England fans feared the worst after they demolished Ireland in their last-eight match. Yet Owen Farrell and his troops were utterly sensational as they surged to an emphatic 19-7 triumph. They were better than the All-Blacks in every department and the result left fans daring to dream of glory once again.
South Africa’s Journey to the Final
The Springboks’ World Cup campaign got off to a shaky start as they lost 23-13 to New Zealand in their opener. However, they quickly rallied and rattled off convincing victories over Namibia, Italy and Canada to ease into the quarter-finals as group runners-up. That left them with a tricky assignment against hosts Japan, who beat Ireland and Scotland en route to topping their pool. Yet the Brave Blossoms were ultimately no match for the Springboks, who smothered their opponents in the second-half.
South Africa were the favourites to beat Wales in their semi-final and they looked reasonably comfortable when they took a 16-9 lead through Damian de Allende’s second-half try. However, Wales battled back in style and levelled the scores at 16-16 with 10 minutes remaining. Warren Gatland’s men drove forward in a desperate bid to seal victory, but Handre Pollard scored his fourth penalty of the game on the 76-minute mark to hand the Springboks victory.
England and South Africa World Cup Records
It is now 16 years since Johnny Wilkinson’s famous drop-goal handed England their one and only World Cup triumph. They went all the way to the final in 2007, only to lose 15-6 to South Africa inside the Stade de France. Since then they have struggled to make an impact at the World Cup. The 2011 tournament was an utter disaster, dominated by controversy and a lack of discipline in the squad.
In 2015 they became the first host nation to ever crash out at the group stage. Stuart Lancaster was quickly axed and Jones was brought in to replace him. Now they stand on the verge of a second triumph, and they have the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Springboks for that painful defeat 12 years ago.
South Africa reached their first World Cup final in 1995 and their triumph over New Zealand widely regarded as the greatest moment in rugby history. Apartheid was coming to an end and Nelson Mandela famously wore a Springboks jersey and hat as he handed over the Webb Ellis Cup to South Africa skipper Francois Pienaar.
Their victory over England in 2007 made them the second team to win two World Cups, along with Australia. Since then the All Blacks have dominated the tournament and they now lead the way with three World Cup triumphs, but the Springboks could move level if they beat England on Saturday.
England v South Africa Head-to-Head Record
The Springboks dominate the head-to-head record between these teams. They have met 42 times and South Africa have won 25, with 15 wins for England and two draws. In that time, the Springboks have scored 887 points to England’s 717. The teams have met four times at the World Cup, and South Africa have won three of those matches.
It finished 44-21 to the Springboks when they locked horns in the 1999 quarter-final. Four years later, England were comfortably the best team in the world and they beat South Africa 25-5 in the pool stage en route to winning the tournament. Yet South Africa gained sweet revenge in 2007, beating England 36-0 in the pool stage and 16-5 in the final.
The Springboks beat England nine times in a row between 2006 and 2012, when the English finally secured a 14-14 draw in Port Elizabeth. Two more victories for South Africa followed, until England finally snapped a 10-year winless streak by beating the Springboks at Twickenham in 2016, They lost twice on their summer tour of South Africa in 2018, but ended it with a 25-10 triumph. England then hosted South Africa at Twickenham in November 2018 and battled to a 12-11 win, so they have now triumphed in their last two meetings with the Springboks.
Who Are England’s Key Players?
Lock Maro Itoje was named man of the match in England’s semi-final victory over the All Blacks. He was absolutely immense throughout the contest, battering former World Player of the Year Brodie Retallick and budding superstar Sam Whitelock into submission. England boast a big, monstrous pack led by Billy Vunipola the engine that drives the team on. His brother, Mako, is a world-class prop, and flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill – dubbed the Kamikaze Kids – are on fire right now. Owen Farrell is captain fantastic and he will be relied on to dictate the game for England, while George Ford and Jamie George are potential match-winners.
Who Are South Africa’s Key Players?
Springboks hooker Malcolm Marx is arguably the best in the world in his position, ruthlessly driving their power run game and often proving devastating in the breakdown. Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth is an absolute beast, while captain Siya Kolisi has supreme ball-carrying abilities. Faf de Klerk, Willie Le Roux, Duane Vermeulen and Peter-Steph du Toit are all big players for South Africa too.
Where Will This Game Be Won and Lost?
South Africa are probably the one team in the world that can match England in terms of physicality, so it will be a ferocious battle on Saturday. England will feel they have the best pack in the world right now, and having breakdown specialists in Underhill and Curry could help swing it in their favour. England also have greater experience in their ranks, and their mental strength was fantastic against the All Blacks. If they play like that against South Africa, they should surge to victory, but it remains to be seen how much that match took out of England and whether they can recapture the magic.
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has pledged to stick to the physical, confrontational style that served them well against Wales. They yielded plenty of possession and territory in that semi-final, but their powerful pack was key. “I don’t think the final will be won by a very expansive game plan and wonderful tries,” said Erasmus. “We’ll go and grind it out.” That sort of one-dimensional approach could be risky against an intelligent, tactically astute England team that is blessed with variety in its approach. Yet the Springboks have history on their side and plenty of great players in their ranks, so they could certainly upset the odds on Saturday.
England v South Africa Betting Markets
England are the 40/85 favourites to win the World Cup after they swept the All Blacks aside last weekend. They are surging with momentum right now and they are priced at 11/10 to win it with a -6.5 point handicap in the World Cup final odds. South Africa are 15/8 underdogs, while the tie is 17/1. You can also find 21/20 on South Africa +3.5 if you think they will grind out a narrow win. Our Bad Beat Special offer applies in this match. Back either to win and if they lose the match but score more tries than their opponent, we will refund your stake. It can be infuriating to see the team you bet on totally dominate a match but still lose, which is why we created Bad Beat. The maximum stake for this offer is £50.
There are also some intriguing options rugby spread betting for you to consider. England have been assigned a 6-9 point Supremacy Index over South Africa, so you can buy at 9 if you think they will secure a resounding triumph, or sell at 6 if you think Jones’ men will struggle. The 100 Index sees England with a spread of 65-71, while the Springboks are 25-31. Total Points is priced at 36-39, while you can find betting markets on team tries, team points, kicking metres, winning margins, handicaps, first half betting, totals, extra-time and much more, so you are bound to find something that appeals.