The Springboks had to come from behind to beat Scotland in Nelspruit and they will be looking for an improved performance when they host Samoa at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Boks have won both June Internationals beating Italy by 44-10 in Durban, and then getting pushed hard before getting past Scotland 30-17 last week. There were some encouraging signs against the Italians, despite a greasy surface they managed to run in four tries and generally played some entertaining rugby. More of the same was expected against Scotland but they were on the back foot for most of the match. They will miss injured Vodacom Bull Arno Botha this week but Morne Steyn is playing well and should relish the chance to play in front of his home fans. Hopefully Bjorn Basson will get more opportunities to shine on the wing.
Samoa beat Italy 27-17 in Durban and while they started favourites against Italy the 39-10 victory was far more convincing than most were expecting and the result will serve as a warning to the Boks that they cannot drop their guard. Their style of play is predictably hard and abrasive in defense and on attack they have playmakers capable of creating try scoring opportunities.
Head to Head
South Africa have won all seven matches between the sides by an average of 47-10 but they were pushed hard in the 2011 Rugby World Cup getting home by 13-5. They have met four times in South Africa with the Boks averaging 49 points to 12 a margin of 37 points. Samoa last visited these shores in 2007 losing 35-8 at Ellis Park and in 2002 they lost 60-18 at Loftus Versfeld.
The Boks may have been a bit complacent against the Scots but there is little chance of that against Samoa. Heyneke Meyer will have worked hard to sort out some of the set piece and breakdown issues and we expect a concerted effort to dominate upfront in the early stages.
This will be a game played at a frantic pace early on and we expect the Boks to get the upper hand as the match progresses. It should be a Bok win by 20 points or more built on the back of an improved performance by the pack and the ever reliable boot of Morne Steyn.
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