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South Africa demolition job in store but Namibia to dig their heels in

| 06.10.2015

South Africa will bid to book their spot in the Rugby World Cup quarter finals with an authoritative victory over the USA on Wednesday, and their starting XV will certainly stand them in good stead.

The Springboks have named virtually their strongest possible team for the fixture at the Olympic Stadium while their transatlantic opponents have made wholesale changes.

A final match fixture against Japan looks to be the priority for the Eagles, with Mike Tolkin making 12 changes from the side that lost 39-16 to Scotland.

The Pool B leaders, who bounced back from their shock defeat to Japan with wins over Samoa and Scotland are priced up at 1/500 to take the spoils.

This is the first meeting between the two sides since the World Cup in 2007 when the favourites ran out comprehensive winners in a 64-15 demolition.

It could be much of the same again this time round with the handicap of 42 points looking well within South Africa’s reach.

They have only had four days to overcome an extremely physical battle with Scotland, but nurturing that side of their game has become second nature to this Springboks side.

This game is likely to be much of the same, with the favourites likely to be delighted to take on an American side who themselves are particularly hard-hitting.

The speediness and quick breakaways of Japan hurt South Africa when the shock-of-all-shocks graced the AMEX Stadium a fortnight ago, but with the USA providing a different test, Bryan Habana and co should have no problem delivering the odds.

Gutsy minnows should produce a cracker

The shock on Mamuka Gorgodze’s face when he was named Man of the Match in Georgia’s brave defeat against New Zealand told the story of a Lelos side that the neutrals are taking to their hearts.

Having bagged a surprise victory against Tonga in their Pool opener, Milton Haig’s men have gone down fighting in their subsequent pair of games.

A 54-9 loss to Argentina followed a 43-10 defeat against the All Blacks, but they will be eyeing up a second win of the tournament against the nation they bagged their maiden World Cup triumph against in 2007.

They were 30-0 victors that day in France, but their other three meetings with Namibia have been fairly tight affairs.

That win in Marseille was the only time in four meetings that the game has been decided by more than eight points.

With that in mind, backing the pattern to continue and the Welwitshias getting to within 14 points of their foes in the handicap market looks solid value at Evens.

They themselves have shown they are more than capable of giving some of the more established sides a run for their money, implementing an exciting counter-attacking style of play that makes them dangerous when turning the ball over.

They have, however, named a virtually new forward pack for this fixture.

If they gel instantly then expect the Namibians to give Georgia a real run for their money.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.