The Rugby Championship – Week 5 – Springboks vs. Wallabies Preview

The following is a preview with betting tips for the Rugby Championship Week 5 clash between the Springboks and Wallabies. The game kicks off at 1:05 AM AEST on Sunday the 28th of September. The venue is DHL Newlands in Cape Town and the referee is Nigel Owens from Wales.


Starters South Africa Australia
15 – Fullback Willie le Roux Israel Folau
14 – Right Wing Cornal Hendricks Adam Ashley-Cooper
13 – Outside Centre Jan Serfontein Tevita Kuridrani
12 – Inside Centre Jean de Villiers (c) Matt Toomua
11 – Left Wing Bryan Habana Joe Tomane
10 – Fly-half Handré Pollard Bernard Foley
9 – Scrum Half Francois Hougaard Nick Phipps
8 – Number Eight Duane Vermeulen Ben McCalman
7 – Openside Flanker Oupa Mohojé Michael Hooper (c)
6 – Blindside Flanker Marcell Coetzee Scott Fardy
5 – Right Lock Victor Matfield Rob Simmons
4 – Left Lock Eben Etzebeth Sam Carter
3 – Tighthead Prop Jannie du Plessis Sekope Kepu
2 – Hooker Adriaan Strauss Saia Fainga’a
1 – Loosehead Prop Tendai Mtawarira James Slipper
Replacements South Africa Australia
16 Bismarck du Plessis James Hanson
17 Trevor Nyakane Benn Robinson
18 Marcel van der Merwe Ben Alexander
19 Bakkies Botha James Horwill
20 Schalk Burger Scott Higginbotham
21 Cobus Reinach Nic White
22 Pat Lambie Kurtley Beale
23 JP Pietersen Rob Horne



With hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau back in the casualty ward after making his long-awaited return in Week 4, coach Ewen McKenzie has opted for the same approach as the Reds by selecting Saia Fainga’a to wear the No.2 jersey over James Hanson. Fainga’a has been chosen for his strength at the set-piece and he was often given the start in the Super Rugby this season when the Reds played South African sides. This is Fainga’a’s first international start since November 2010, however. In a further effort to bolster the set-piece, Benn Robinson has been recalled to the bench at the expense of Pekahou Cowan.

In the backs, Adam Ashley-Cooper returns from a neck injury to start on the right wing while Joe Tomane has been selected over Rob Horne to play on the left wing. Halfback Will Genia has recovered from an ankle injury but McKenzie has opted for Nic White on the bench.


In the backs, Francois Hougaard comes in for injured halfback Ruan Pienaar, with the uncapped Cobus Reinach added to the bench. Schalk Burger, Bakkies Botha and JP Pietersen are also new additions to the bench.

With Marcell Coetzee shifting to the blindside to cover for the injured Francois Louw, in one surprising selection, Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje has been picked as the starting openside flanker ahead of 71-test veteran Schalk Burger. Mohoje hasn’t played a competitive game for 10 weeks.

Head-to-head History

The Wallabies beat the Springboks 24-23 in Perth three weeks ago to end a three-game losing streak to South Africa. Prior to their three-game losing streak the Wallabies had won seven out of their previous eight against the Springboks. Below are the latest results played on South African soil:

2013: Springboks 28 – 8 Wallabies (Cape Town)
2012: Springboks 31 – 8 Wallabies (Pretoria)
2011: Springboks 9 – 14 Wallabies (Durban)
2010: Springboks 39 – 41 Wallabies (Bloemfontein)
2010: Springboks 44 – 31 Wallabies (Pretoria)
2009: Springboks 29 – 17 Wallabies (Cape Town)

Cape Town has not been a happy hunting ground for the Wallabies, who have not won at Newlands Stadium since 1992. Cape Town is one of the more formidable venues in South Africa. The Springboks have not lost there since 2008.


The Wallabies defeated the Springboks 24-23 in Perth in Week 3, however the Springboks were far from at their best. Signs of what they’re capable of appeared in their close 10-14 loss to the All Blacks a week later and the Wallabies will be under no illusions as to how hard this clash will be. If the Wallabies can secure an upset victory here, they will overtake South Africa as the No. 2 ranked IRB team behind the All Blacks. They would also reclaim the Mandela Challenge Plate which the Springboks won last year.

The Springboks have been installed as firm favourites for this clash. At the time of writing the best available head-to-head odds are 1.31 for the Springboks and 3.60 for the Wallabies. Click here to compare the latest Rugby Championship odds.

Conservative betting

In 2012 the Wallabies beat the Springboks 26–19 in Perth only to go on and lose 8-31 a few weeks later in Pretoria. The Springboks tend to find another gear when on home soil so I would back the ‘South Africa / South Africa’ selection at 1.67 in the HT/NT market (Luxbet).

Aggressive betting

The Springboks won this fixture at the same venue 28-8 this time last year, however the Wallabies have closed the cap on them since then. While the Springboks’ style of play makes them tough to beat, they haven’t been setting the score-sheets alight this year, scoring less than 20 points per game in the Rugby Championship with no 4-try bonus points. I expect a close encounter so I would back the Springboks 1-12 at 2.63 (Sportsbet).

If you were dropped on your head as a baby

The average winning margin for Rugby Championship Tests involving South Africa this year is 3.5. I’m going to go for a close game and make the following three correct winning margin wagers:
South Africa by 3 at 26.00 (Sportingbet)
South Africa by 4 at 26.00 (Sportingbet)
South Africa by 5 at 23.00 (Sportingbet)

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