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South Africa v Ireland: Prediction, Tips and Odds

Two heavyweights of the international game go head-to-head in Pretoria on Saturday, as South Africa prepare to host Ireland at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

These were two sides that were considered serious contenders to win the 2023 World Cup on French soil.

They met in a competitive pool game and it was Ireland that came out on top with a 13-8 victory over the Springboks.

However, while Ireland went on to suffer quarter-final heartbreak yet again with a narrow defeat to New Zealand, South Africa showed their quality to be crowned world champions for a record fourth time.

Approaching a year on from the World Cup, the debate rumbles on as to who is currently the best Test side on the planet.

Saturday will go some way to answering that question as two amazing sides go head-to-head at the iconic Loftus Versfeld.

South Africa v Ireland

South Africa v Ireland betting tips and predictions

South Africa -6.5 handicap - 10/11

Naming 12 of the players who started the 2023 World Cup final, South Africa have gone with a strong and experienced side for this first of two Tests against Ireland.

There were doubts surrounding scrum-half Faf de Klerk but he has been passed fit and he will likely be key to how South Africa plan to get at this stern Irish defence.

The boot of Hendre Pollard should also be key, in a match that could be largely decided by discipline and goal-kicking.

South Africa missed four penalties in the 13-8 defeat to Ireland at the last World Cup in Pollard’s absence and he could prove a pivotal figure this weekend.

Ireland no longer have the experienced Johnny Sexton in their ranks and they might well miss the former Leinster star’s composure from the kicking tee.

The altitude at Loftus Versfeld will not only help Pollard with his long-range efforts but it will also be an advantage to the hosts.

At 1,350m above sea level, the altitude is a topic that is always brought up when teams travel to this historic Pretoria venue.

Ireland have won three on the bounce against South Africa going into this one but the Boks look capable of ending that losing run and falling on the right side of the handicap.

South Africa put Wales to the sword at Twickenham last month, winning 41-13 against this the team that picked up this year's Wooden Spoon in the Six Nations.

Of course, Ireland will put up a much sterner test but in their own backyard, South Africa to overcome a -6.5 point handicap looks to be the way to go.

1st half betting - South Africa -2.5 handicap - 4/5

South Africa will look to come flying out of the blocks this weekend and will try to put this Irish side on the back foot.

Ireland have lost their last two games against the Springboks in South Africa, both times by a margin of six points.

Those were some heavyweight tussles in 2016 and the same can be expected from the two Tests in Pretoria and Durban this time around.

Looking at the half-time handicap market, South Africa look capable of overcoming -2.5 points at the break.

With Pollard kicking the points and a monstrous pack looking to wear down this Irish defence, the hosts should be able to take a lead of over three points into the sheds at the half-time whistle.

South Africa to score first try - 8/11

With that theme of South Africa looking to stamp their authority on this game, the Boks might well produce the first try as well.

Having the likes of Cheslin Kolbe and Kurt-Lee Arendse gives South Africa a huge threat in the wide channels.

Once the Boks’ pack have done the grunt work up front, having Kolbe and Arendse in the space freed up is a frightening thought for Irish supporters.

Given the attacking talent in the backline, the Boks are worth backing to bag the first try of the game.

Read more rugby union betting tips and predictions on site.

South Africa v Ireland odds

South Africa - 2/5
Tie - 20/1
Ireland - 21/10

View the full market and more odds for South Africa v Ireland on site.

Read South Africa v Ireland how to watch, TV channel, head-to-head stats, team news and more on site.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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