Tip New Zealand - South Africa
New Zealand have won the Rugby World Cup more times than any other nation. They have won the trophy for the past two tournaments, making it three wins in all. They are no longer the world's number one ranked team and down to second, but a win in Japan is likely to take them back to the top of the tree. Only once have they failed to get past the quarter final stage of the World Cup. When that happened in 2007, they got so upset, a 47 page report was written looking at what went wrong. Out of 50 World Cup games played, New Zealand have won 44 of them. This is the 99th time they have played South Africa, winning 58 of them and drawing four. The last nine meetings have seen the All-Blacks win seven of them with a draw earlier this year and a defeat in Wellington last September.
South Africa will hope for a smoother progress to the knock-out rounds than in 2015. They lost to Japan in that tournament but recovered to qualify. They are ranked fourth in the world, two places below their opponents. The other three countries in this pool are Italy, Nambia and Canada, so this does look to be the game that will determine who the group winners will be. That's important as whoever finishes second is likely to face world number one ranked Ireland in the last eight. 30 of their 36 World Cup games have been won but the tip here is for the world champions to win this match.
Key points New Zealand - South Africa
New Zealand have won seven of their last nine games against South Africa.
New Zealand have won the last two tournaments.
New Zealand have won their last two World Cup matches against South Africa.
Conclusion New Zealand - South Africa
New Zealand begin their bid to win the Rugby Union World Cup for a third time in a row; They have a strong record against their opponents and never lost a match in the pool stage of this tournament. They can be backed to get a win over the South Afican side.
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New Zealand South Africa Prediction published on September 18, 2019