Yes it’s true. I said it. Samoa are scum. They always play dirty against the Bokke and escape. Will today be different?
The Samoans gave as well as they got and matched scores with the Boks against Italy and Scotland… arguably they were better. Is Bok rugby’s staff losses finally telling? Are the Samoans beginning to compete in international rugby? We’re about to see…
Players to Watch
For South Africa: Of course, you will watch cunning Willie le Roux who could just revel in a match such as this. You will watch Bryan Habana and admire his zest for the game.
For Samoa: Flyhalf Tusi Pisi may just be one of the most deceptive players in the world – deceptive in his footwork, deceptively fast and deceptively strong. He can break a defence apart. And you will keep an eye out for massive Alesana Tuilagi, so effective against Italy and so anonymous against Scotland. Perhaps he was resting from his labours. Samoa’s No.8 Taiasina Tuifu’a gets through a pile of energetic, powerful work.
Head to Head: Experienced Paul Williams, son of the great Bryan, against rookie JJ Engelbrecht of great speed and enthusiasm. Then there is the contest between two different kinds of flyhalves – staid Morné Steyn and sparkling Tusi Pisi. Steyn has homeground advantage. The battle between the front rows is an interesting one and could be decisive – huge Census Johnston against iffish Tendai Mtawarira. And when big Census leaves, bigger James takes his brother’s place. The hooking duel could be interesting in the scrum but more obviously about the field. Adriaan Strauss and Wayne Ole Avei both have high workrates about the field and both enjoy carrying the ball.
2011: South Africa won 13-5, Albany (World Cup pool match)
2007: South Africa won 59-7, Paris (World Cup pool match)
2007: South Africa won 35-8, Johannesburg
2003: South Africa won 60-10, Brisbane (World Cup pool match)
2002: South Africa won 60-18, Pretoria
1995: South Africa won 42-14, Johannesburg (World Cup quarterfinal)
1995: South Africa won 60-8, Johannesburg
Prediction: History suggests a Springbok victory but this is not confirmed by recent history. Mercifully, this will be a match, injuries aside, between the first-choice sides of each country. Normally one would expect a Springbok victory by a substantial margin but not after last Saturday in Nelspruit. If they repeat that performance, they will lose, which is unthinkable at Loftus. So we predict a close victory for the Springboks in an exciting match.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain)/Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts/Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi/Marcell Coetzee, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh.
Samoa: 15 James So’oialo, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Paul Williams (captain), 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Jeremy Su’a, 8 Taiasina Tuifu’a, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 James Johnston, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Brando Va’aulu, 22 Seilala Mapusua, 23 Alafoti Fa’osiliva.
Date: Saturday, 22 June 2013
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT, 04.15, Sunday, June 23 Samoa time)
Expected weather: Sunny with a high of 21°C, dropping to 5°C .
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Hennessy (Wales), JP Doyle (England)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)