The MONEY MAN, in his Independent Media betting column, is backing the Springboks to cover the spread and not lose by 11 or more points against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.
Last weekend was a ripper for me. If you followed the advice of the Boks to win comfortably with double digits against the Wallabies in Johannesburg and the Pumas to be within one score against the All Blacks, then you would have seen the cash reward.
I always felt the bookies had both games wrong last weekend, especially when analysing the All Blacks squad of 23. They were never going to hammer an in-form Jaguares Vodacom Super Rugby side playing as the national Pumas. I wrote a week ago that it would be very close and that it wouldn’t be a shock if the Pumas beat the All Blacks for the first time in history.
The game played out as I expected and with a bit of good fortune, the Pumas could have won it in the final play of the game.
I really enjoyed the performance of the Springboks. They played with enthusiasm, energy and intelligence. Both teams were underdone in the first 40 but the Boks turned it on in style in the second half. They dominated territory and possession – 80 and 20% – respectively, and this was reflected on the scoreboard.
I like what I am seeing in Rassie Erasmus’s approach and the display in Johannesburg certainly would have put the heat on those who start against the All Blacks.
The respective All Blacks and Springbok victories showed the depth of both squads because only three players remain from last weekend’s two starting XVs.
It’s wonderful to experience the confidence of the South African players. The 36-34 win in Wellington a year ago was massive for the Springboks. There is conviction when the players talk about the possibility of beating the All Blacks in New Zealand because those doing the talking have been there and done it.
I haven’t sensed any arrogance from the Springboks and they have come across as a group of players who believe they are good enough to win. Of the match-23, 17 proved it a year ago and I believe they will do it again.
I have the Boks to win by a point in Superbru and I am putting R2,000 on the Springboks 10.5 plus spread. In layman terms I am betting that the Boks won’t lose by more than 11 points and this will get me R3,800.
Only one point has separated the two teams in the last three matchups and that is how it should be in the game’s greatest rivalry. It was a remarkable turnaround from the Springboks last year, given that they had twice in succession conceded 57 points to the All Blacks in 2016 and 2017.
The All Blacks have been magnificent in the last decade but I sense an era coming to an end for the men in black’s World Cup heroes of 2011 and 2015, and a new dawn for the men in green.
The Jaguares have a brilliant Super Rugby record in Australia. They haven’t lost there in 2018 and 2019. They are the Pumas in another guise, so they won’t be lacking in confidence.
Still, I don’t think they will win and I don’t think they will cover the 5.5 plus spread.
I have the Wallabies to win by six or more points and am putting down R2,000 to win back R3,800.
*Kevin Ferguson is Highbury Media CE and a leading sports betting authority in South Africa.