The reigning world champions will look to reassert their dominance after defeat to Ireland
You are only as good as your last game and the Springboks will have that at the front of their minds. Although they undoubtedly played their part in a thrilling clash with Ireland, they came out second best, losing 13-8 in Paris. And that will give the reigning world champions plenty of ammunition with which to face Tonga. Here are our South Africa v Tonga predictions.
The Pacific Islanders have shown glimpses of what they can do so far at this Rugby World Cup but with the likes of Salesi Piutau in their ranks then it is only a matter of time before they do some real damage.
South Africa v Tonga predictions
Josh Graham: South Africa by 35. The Springboks will be eager to show a response to their defeat and I’m expecting Tonga to feel the full wrath of a wounded beast. It’s incredible to think exciting combinations like Andre Esterhuizen and Canan Moodie don’t even get a sniff in the first-choice 23. Expect the Boks to finish their pool campaign in emphatic style.
Alan Dymock: South Africa by 33. Look, is it odd to see Marco van Staden as the sub hooker, backing up Deon Fourie at No 2? Sure. You’d want to pressure the lineout and the scrum will not be as powerful as it can be. But look at the rest of that pack. If a 75% Pollard is to be reintroduced to Test rugby, let these monstrous blokes build the armchair. They will want to keep it tight until Tonga are ragged.
Kick Off Time 8pm BST – 9pm Local –Sunday 1st October
TV Channel ITV1 (UK) – How To Watch The Rugby World Cup
Venue Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Fun Fact: The venue for the 2022 Champions Cup Final between Leinster and La Rochelle, the Velodrome was first used to host a Six Nations game in 2018 when France played Italy in front of 50,000 fans.
South Africa form
Lost to Ireland
Lost to New Zealand
Lost to Scotland
Lost to Ireland
Lost to Samoa
SOUTH AFRICA v TONGA HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS
South Africa may have won the 2007 Rugby World Cup but they almost came a cropper against the ʻIkale Tahi a week after thrashing England 36-0 in the pool stage.
The Springboks rung the changes for Tonga in Lens but almost paid the price, narrowly escaping with a 30-25 victory. And the Pacific Islanders almost snatched it at the death!
The first match between these sides at Newlands in 1997 was a comfortable victory for South Africa, the home side prevailing 74-10.
South Africa v Tonga team news
The big news from the 2019 winners is that late call-up Handre Pollard starts at fly-half. Manie Libbok’s wayward goal-kicking has led many to suggest Pollard should be parachuted into the No 10 jersey if the Boks make the quarter-finals, so it will be interesting to see how the Leicester Tigers man gets on.
SOUTH AFRICA Willie le Roux; Grant Williams, Canan Moodie, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi; Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Ox Nche, Deon Fourie, Vincent Koch; Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie; Siya Kolisi (captain), Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese
Replacements: Marco van Staden, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jaden Hendrikse, Manie Libbok, Jesse Kriel
Read more: Tonga Rugby World Cup squad
TONGA Salesi Piutau; Fine Inisi, Malakai Fekitoa, Pita Ahki, Anzelo Tuitavuki; William Havili, Augustine Pulu; Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (captain); Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi; Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Semisi Paea
Replacements: Sam Moli, Tau Koloamatangi, Sosefo Apikotoa, Adam Coleman, Sione Vailanu, Sonatane Takulua, Patrick Pellegrini, Afusipa Taumoepeau