The Springboks will hammer France in the World Cup final to retain their status as world champions, writes MARK KEOHANE.
The defending world champions completed their preparations for the World Cup with a record-breaking 35-7 victory over New Zealand at a sold-out Twickenham.
It was the All Blacks’ biggest-ever loss and came just a few weeks after Ian Foster’s side battled to beat Eddie Jones’ struggling Wallabies by two points in the second Bledisloe Cup Test.
Meanwhile, England suffered a first-ever defeat to Fiji at home, Ireland were pushed to the limit in a narrow win against Samoa, and France produced a second-half show after a sluggish first half to comfortably beat Australia.
Making his World Cup predictions on his blog Keo.co.za in the wake of the warm-up matches, Keohane wrote on that South Africa and France will contest the final, with the Boks coming out on top to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
“Realistically, there are four teams who will compete to win this World Cup: Ireland, France, South Africa and New Zealand. Outside of the Boks, I don’t see anyone stopping France.
“I thought, maybe the All Blacks but the Boks, at Twickenham, provided the necessary evidence that the All Blacks get 10 points in every match on historical – and deserved – hype but the current imposters give up 15 points by way of introduction.
“Such is the acceptance of New Zealanders, they actually found positives in their worst loss in history. How is that the mindset of champions? It is one of knowing your team is going nowhere.
“Ireland, after the Boks have dealt with them in the Group stages, will be dealt with by France. Which leaves just the hosts and the defending champions to contest the final.
“My winner and score, which must be revisited on 28 October, is for the Boks to complete the most amazing World Cup double and win successive World Cup finals with 20-point differentials.”
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