After a memorable six weeks of rugby in Japan, it all comes down to one game.
England meet South Africa in Yokohoma on Saturday for the right to be named world champions.
Is this England’s time to shine?
Read on for our England vs South Africa preview as we look where the value potentially lies in the Rugby World Cup odds ahead of a pulsating final.
Who wins in Japan? 2019 Rugby World Cup Final Preview
Following last weekend’s heroics against the All Blacks, England fans will be hoping Eddie Jones’ side haven’t peaked too early. They start out as favourites against the Springboks, priced up at 47/100 with Marathonbet to take the win on Saturday.
This game is a repeat of the 2007 final where South Africa emerged as eventual victors after a hard-fought 15-6 win in France. On that occasion, England started out as underdogs at the Stade De France after grinding out narrow wins to reach the final.
The roles are reversed this time around.
England have looked the class act of the knockout stages after surprisingly hassle-free wins against Australia and New Zealand. Eddie Jones has made some big calls with his selections so far. Each time, he’s silenced his critics with inspired tinkering. The Australian has decided to play things safe in the final with an unchanged starting line-up from the team that swept the All Blacks aside.
Springboks all set for a scrap
South Africa have enjoyed a kinder route to the final, taking on hosts Japan and a Wales side that never looked fully convincing over the last month.
That said, the Springboks tend to be at their most ruthless the deeper they go into a competition and that means they shouldn’t be underestimated. Rassie Erasmus will want the final to be played on his terms. Their game-plan will be built around his rock-solid defence frustrating England’s wealth of attacking talent. A low-scoring first half could well play to South Africa’s advantage as they look to make this contest a war of attrition.
It’s worth remembering that the Springboks showed signs of vulnerability in their 23-13 pool stage defeat to New Zealand. No team has ever won a Rugby World Cup while losing a game within the tournament. That suggests smart tactics early on from Jones in this game could help England seize the initiative.
Expect England to start on the front foot in Yokohoma and disrupt the Springboks’ rhythm as they look to mirror their clinical semi-final display. That approach gives them their best shot of leaving Japan as world champions for a second time. However, one thing is surely guaranteed – South Africa will make them work for it.
Rugby World Cup Final – Best Bets
England to win by 11-15 points at 21/5.
England to win both halves at 7/4.
The first half to have the most points at 11/10.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
See all Rugby Predictions here.
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