Wales v South Africa: Dragons ready to fight but unlikely to triumph
With his job coming under scrutiny, Warren Gatland has declared that his side can have no more excuses as they look to end their hoodoo against southern hemisphere sides, as South Africa visit the Millennium Stadium.
But in a week where former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has claimed that “Wales are on a downward spiral” under his fellow Kiwi, it’s a big ask for the Red Dragons to improve on a run of 26 defeats in 27 matches against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa under their current manager.
Here’s where we see the best value ahead of the match.
Despite throwing away a lead late on against New Zealand, the performance from Wales was an improvement on previous showings. They will be up for a physical scrap against the notorious Boks pack, but with George North out with concussion, could be fighting a losing battle.
Nevertheless, we fancy them to run their opponents close. They may have only ever beaten South Africa once (in 29 meetings), but five of their last seven defeats have come by less than six points.
So with their tight scoring record against Heyneke Meyer’s side, take a chance on Gatland’s men to give them a game of it, and maybe even nick a win.
If only Wales could focus on a match for the whole 80 minutes. They have been leading southern hemisphere sides after 65 minutes three times this year, only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory each time.
They were 30-17 up approaching the final 10 when the nations last met in June, before a fight back saw South Africa claim a thrilling 31-30 win.
Backing a similar outcome could prove shrewd, especially with Wales going ahead in their last four matches, before succumbing to defeats in three of those, only securing victory against Fiji.
Hendricks has enjoyed playing Wales in his short international career so far. The winger has gone over the whitewash in both meetings between the sides this year already, kicking off the comeback in Nelspruit back in June when he was awarded a penalty try.
The Cheetahs player has five international tries to his name in the 10 Tests he has featured in, so should be backed to make it three from three against the Welsh at a very nice price.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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