France v South Africa predictions

South Africa continue their Autumn series, or End of Year Tour as they call it, with a visit to Toulouse to take on the French this evening.

The South of France is a notoriously difficult place to visit, and with seven Toulouse players lining up for the national team, there’s a good chance that the crowd will be somewhat partisan.

Marc Lievremont has picked a familiar side, and much of the focus will be on the forwards to try to limit the quality of South Africa’s possession – the back row of Thierry Dusautoir, Imanol Harinordoquy and Louis Picamoles will be crucial if France are to put any pressure on the opposition.

Captain Dusautoir has said that he’s desperate to start beating the Southern Hemisphere teams on a regular basis, and will want to build on their impressive victory over New Zealand in the summer.

South Africa will be without three of their stars in Jean de Villiers, Francois Steyn and Pierre Spies, but Fourie du Preez and Morne Steyn will still orchestrate the side if they enjoy the sort of ball that their forwards normally provide – it’s up to the French back to put a stop to it, and if they do that, they can put their own width on the ball with their exciting backline.

It’s likely to be an epic contest which really could go either way. I can’t see a big winning margin for either team, and I’m backing France for a marginal victory, led by the Toulouse contingent and capitalising on home advantage.

My SportGuru pick: France by 4.

What do you think?

France: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Cédric Heymans, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Romain Millo-Chluski, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Sylvain Marconnet, 18 Sébastien Chabal, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 David Marty, 22 Maxime Médard.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Adi Jacobs, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Andries Bekker, 20 Danie Rossouw, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier.

7 thoughts on “France v South Africa predictions

  1. I think this will be the match of the autumn. I hope so. Can’t wait to watch it tonight and i think France will win. I’d have picked Medard and stuck Traille at 12 but i guess at 15 he’ll counter the SA kicking game by booming it back behind them.

  2. Well done to the French for the win. I would however be very concerned as the score line difference being so low when the referee made a point of handing the game to France on a platter. The Boks need not concern themselves with theis result but Worl Rugby should as its destroying the essence of what rugby should be about. What has been noticed is frustration always sets in when refereeing by linesmen included is far off the mark. Let’s hope that can change before spectators loos all interest when certain officials are there.

  3. Don’t know which match you watched zane, the boks were outplayed at every facet of the game. The french never allowed the likes of you know who to bully them(history speaks for itself). I always doubted their worldcup status because they never played against the aussies or the allblacks. Give the french credit because they were better than the boks on the night. And the scrums? …. ooooh. Let’s not go there because it’s gonna hurt.

  4. Forgive my ignorance but it would appear the only channel broadcasting the SA V France match was ESPN………Subsequently I missed the game as a result. I have Sky Sports, how many others to I have to subscibe to to ensure full coverage.
    Could someone please provide an explanation.

  5. Zane – you’re right with one point, France should have won by a lot more, they butchered so many chances. But they got those chances because they played so well!

    I didn’t think it was one of Wayne Barnes’ better games but France were the dominant, attacking force and the rub of the green is always going to go with the team playing the positive rugby. To Barnes’ credit he was always very clear about what he was going to penalise before he did it and was consistent throughout so the SA team should have taken that age-old advice and played to the ref!

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