Japan v South Africa betting tips, odds, predictions – RWC 2019 quarter-final 4

Japan Rugby World Cup predictions

Welcome to our free predictions and odds update for the fourth quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup between Japan and South Africa at Tokyo Stadium on Sunday, October 20.

The winners of this match will play the winners of the third quarter-final between Wales and France in a semi-final at International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday, October 27.

Bookmakers have made South Africa $1.13 favourites to end the fairytale for Japan.

Unfortunately for the Brave Blossoms’ passionate fans (all of Japan and the millions of neutrals who have jumped on the bandwagon), we think they will be proven right.

Not because we don’t rate Japan’s dazzling style of rugby; we are huge fans of the way they play the game as opposed to the pick-and-drive grind of so many other international teams. But simply we rate South Africa as one of the top two teams the world and we believe they are a real threat to the All Blacks’ dominance.

Quarter-final 1: England v Australia betting preview
Quarter-final 2: New Zealand v Ireland betting preview
Quarter-final 3: Wales v France betting preview

The Springboks dominated for long periods in their pool match with New Zealand. We are not sure whether the Japanese forwards, as good as they have been, can cope as well as the Kiwis did.

Also the South Africans have some serious firepower in their back line as well. Rising superstar Cheslin Kolbe (ankle) has been rated an 80-90 per cent chance of being fit for the quarter-final and his performance and those of Japanese wingers Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima alone will make this worth watching.

Matsushima is the joint World Cup top try scorer with five, while Fukuoka has four, with the two Japan flyers benefiting from the swift ball movement they have adopted under coaches Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown.

“Jamie Joseph compared their two wings [Fukuoka and Matsushima] to Ferrari cars, so we have to not allow those Ferraris to go to fifth gear or sixth gear,” Springboks assistant coach Mzwandile Stick told Reuters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “We must make sure we are at our best with our defensive systems, because they are skilful and have quick players.”

Check out our team previews to get the RWC lead-up form, our tips for leading try-scorer from each team and where we think they will finish in the tournament.

South Africa

Here are our Japan v South Africa predictions and odds for their clash at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.


Rugby World Cup quarter-final 4 – Japan v South Africa

Kick-off: 7.15pm local time (GMT +9)
Venue: Tokyo Stadium

Japan v South Africa odds

Head to head odds: Japan $5.80, South Africa $1.13
Handicap line odds: Japan (+14.5 points) $1.91, South Africa (+14.5 points) $1.91

Japan v South Africa – previous meetings

September 19, 2015: Japan 34 d South Africa 32, Falmer Stadium, Brighton, England
September 6, 2019: South Africa 41 d Japan 7, Kumagaya Rugby Ground, Kumagaya

Previous World Cup 2019 matches:

Japan 30 (Kotaro Matsushima 3, Pieter Labuschagne tries; Rikiya Matsuda, Yu Tamura con, Tamura 2 pens) d Russia 10 (Kirill Golosnitskiy try; Yuri Kushnarev con, pen). Referee: Nigel Owens.
Japan 19 (Kenki Fukuoka try; Yu Tamura con, 4 pens) d Ireland 12 (Rob Kearney, Garry Ringrose tries; Jack Carty con). Referee: Angus Gardner.
Japan 38 (Kenki Fukuoka, Kazuki Himeno, Timothy Lafaele, Kotaro Matsushima tries; Yu Tamura 3 cons, 4 pens) d Samoa 19 (Henry Taefu try; con 4 pens). Referee: Jaco Peyper.
Japan 28 (Kenki Fukuoka 2, Keita Inagaki, Kotaro Matsushima tries; Yu Tamura 4 cons) d Scotland 21 (Zander Fagerson, WP Nel, Finn Russell tries; Greig Laidlaw 2, Russell cons). Referee: Ben O’Keeffe.

South Africa:
New Zealand 23 (Scott Barrett, George Bridge tries; Richie Mo’unga 2 cons, Mo’unga 2, Beauden Barrett pens) d South Africa 13 (Pieter-Steph du Toit try; Handre Pollard con, pen, drop goal). Referee: Jerome Garces.
South Africa 57 (Mbongeni Mbonambi 2, Makazole Mapimpi 2, Francois Louw, Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Brits; Elton Jantjies 6 cons) d Namibia 3 (Cliven Loubser pen). Referee: Mathieu Raynal.
South Africa 49 (Cheslin Kolbe 2, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, RG Snyman tries; Handre Pollard 4 cons, 2 pens) d Italy 3 (Tommaso Allan pen). Referee: Wayne Barnes.
South Africa 66 (Cobus Reinach 3, Schalk Brits, Damian de Allende, Warrick Gelant, Frans Malherbe, S’busiso Nkosi, Francois Steyn, Damian Willemse tries; Elton Jantjies 8 cons) d Canada 7 (Matt Heaton try; Peter Nelson con). Referee: Luke Pearce.

Japan v South Africa tips RWC2019

Japan +14.5 points at $1.91

While we are confident the Springboks will win the game, it’s an extremely generous line given the Brave Blossoms’ ability to score freely. We think the South Africans will put the clamps on them a little but we have to be with the home team with 14.5 points starts. Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima have been sublime and a couple of tries for either player here could put them in the frame to be the leading try-scorer for the tournament.

Kenki Fukuoka first try-scorer/South Africa to win

The odds for this type of bet will vary greatly among leading bookies and, to be honest, it’s more of an interest type bet than one we think is a genuine money-maker. We feel with huge support and the emotion of the occasion Japan will start well and could cross first, with Fukuoka right in the frame to add to his try-scoring tally. But then we can see the relentless South African approach starting to pay dividends and we feel they will finish strongly enough to win the game.

Japan v South Africa prediction

These two teams have played only twice previously, including that famous win for Japan 34-32 in Brighton at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They blindsided the Springboks then with the speed of their play. Japan will try that again but South Africa this time will be ready and waiting. They should be able to assert some sort of scrum dominance and the Boks have their own flyers for the home team to contend with. We tipped Japan to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in our pre-Rugby World Cup team previews, and they also did the right thing by us in beating Scotland at good odds last Sunday. But we feel South Africa have really blossomed under new coach Rassie Erasmus. We will be happy if Japan can prove us wrong. Our hearts are saying the Brave Blossoms, our heads are saying the Springboks to win by around 10 points.

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