With Japan hosting the Rugby World Cup starting on Friday, it is unfortunate that the majority of South Africans won’t be able to watch the Springboks in actions due to the public broadcaster failing to acquire broadcasting rights.

The Springboks and captain Siya Kolisi will be hoping to put in a much better performance than their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.

In a group consisting of the first back to back World Champions, All Blacks, our neighbours Namibia, Italy and Canada, what are the chances of the Springboks going all the way to the knockout round and to the final?

Prior to Rassie Erasmus taking over the reins as Springboks coach and director of rugby, it was a tough period during the Allister Coetzee two year reign.

Not only was it a difficult period for Coetzee and the Springboks but there were too many questionable selections and combinations by the former Stormers mentor. No one will forget that famous loss at the Rugby World Cup opener against Japan.

With the latter getting sacked and Erasmus taking over in 2018, it was going to be a difficult task for him galvanize his troops and also impress the entire nation. SARU’s plan when appointing Erasmus was to build a team for the 2023 World Cup but it looks like Erasmus has built a strong and hungry team for the 2019 World Cup.

Erasmus has succeeded in pulling the Boks out of a “dark place”. Under Coach Erasmus, the Boks have been playing impressive Rugby. The boys absolutely look sharp and ready as they come into this World Cup campaign after winning the Rugby Championship for the first time in a decade. That will surely give Erasmus and his troops’ confidence and a much-needed boost.

Erasmus could have lost his job when the All Blacks humiliated his side in Auckland with an emphatic 57 – 0. All that has been forgotten as the last encounter between these two sides ended in a draw (16 -16) at Wellington.

A FINAL before a final is what everybody is predicting as the Springboks will take on the All Blacks on Saturday in their opening match which will be a cracker of a match.

The boys can take courage that they are unbeaten in 2019 and that should count for something but that all cliché saying in a World Cup, anything can happen.

For the Springboks, it should be easy wins against the so-called “minors” in their group; no disrespect to the oppositions (Italy, Namibia, and Canada). Most people have predicted that these two forces will probably meet again in the final which would be great news for rugby fans as it is always an epic battle when these two nations meet.

To put that into context, if the Springboks do manage to beat the mighty All Blacks and win all their remaining group stage matches which I think they will with ease, the Boks might play Scotland in the knockout stages.

Ireland who are my dark horses for the World Cup will definitely be a tougher opposition to beat hence I see them winning the group. It might be an easier tie to play but if we do go and lose against the All Blacks, playing Ireland shouldn’t be a train smash as Ireland haven’t gone past the Quarter Final stages in the World Cup.

Let’s not forget that there are other tougher oppositions with former winners like Australia and England also in the mix to win the World Cup. So it promises to be a great World Cup. One disadvantage will be the weather. It gets humid so coaches will have to make sure they keep their players fresh and ready.

The Boks have a chance let’s not forget they do have depth in their squad and the subs do come in and score points.

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