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Wales vs. South Africa Match Preview – Gatland hoping for improved Wales display

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Just 80 minutes stand between Wales and a maiden Rugby World Cup final, but they’ll have to overcome a stern South Africa side in Yokohama on Sunday.

The Welsh dodged a huge bullet against 14-man France in last weekend’s quarter final eventually winning 20-19. From the first whistle to the last they were well below par and had the French kept a full 15 on the field then Gatland’s side would have been on the next flight home.

In his press conference earlier this week the Wales head coach admitted France were by far the better side and knows a similar performance against the Springboks will only end in defeat. South Africa are a force to be reckoned with. Ranked 4th in the world they have swept aside all bar New Zealand before them in 2019 including a ruthless display against hosts Japan in the quarterfinals.

Back in 2015 South Africa sent Wales packing in the quarter finals, but have since lost their last four head to heads including a 20-11 defeat in Cardiff almost a year ago. Their last defeat prior to the World Cup. Wales are 4/1 to win by 1-10 points.

South Africa are aiming to become the first nation to win a Tri-Nations, Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup all In the same year. They’re 10/3 to get their hands on the Webb Ellis Cup.

Defensively South Africa have been faultless in Japan, conceding just 35 points, currently the fewest by any team in a single Rugby World Cup.

Wales welcome back full-back Leigh Halfpenny. He replaces Liam Williams, while centre Jonathan Davies returns after being passed fit. South Africa have made one change to the side that beat Japan. Winger Cheslin Kolbe has picked up a knock, so S’Busiso Nkosi gets the nod – he’s 9/1 to score the first try.

For Wales to have any chance of reaching the final Dan Biggar will have to be at his best and he’s 14/1 to be named man of the match.

Wales head into the game as 3/1 underdogs, which is a decent price considering their head to head record against the Springboks. South Africa are 4/11 to win inside 80 minutes.

I have over 10 years experience working in online publications, working for Betfred & Footasylum. Part time writer, full time tweeter. Long suffering Blackburn Rovers fan still clinging on to that one Premier League title. Want to get in touch? You can contact me via my email, or follow my twitter feed. You can also connect via my linkdin profile.

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