The stage is set, and the countdown begins for one of the most anticipated matches in Pool B at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Defending champions South Africa will go head-to-head with Tonga in a thrilling encounter at the iconic Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. The match promises to be an explosive clash between two rugby powerhouses, as both teams aim to make their mark on this prestigious tournament.
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The Battle Begins
South Africa enters this match as reigning champions and the top-ranked team in the world. Led by inspirational captain Siya Kolisi, they possess a formidable lineup and are determined to maintain their supremacy by securing a successful title defense. However, Tonga should not be underestimated despite being ranked 16th. Known for their strong scrum and unforgiving forward pack, they bring an element of surprise that could shake up the rugby world if they manage to secure an upset victory.
Key Players to Watch
In such high-stakes encounters, standout performers often shape the outcome of the game. For South Africa, all eyes will be on captain Siya Kolisi who leads by example with his powerhouse runs and lineout expertise. Handré Pollard’s masterful playmaking skills will orchestrate attacking plays from flyhalf while Eben Etzebeth remains a defensive force not easily overcome. On Tonga’s side, fearless captain Sonatane Takalua will rally his teammates while Telusa Vea’s lightning-fast speed poses a threat from out wide.
Tournament : 8 September to 28 October 2023
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Live in USA : Fubo TV, Sling TV, Hulu TV, NBC Sports
Live in UK : BBC iPlayer, ITV
Where to Watch : TF1 (France) Stan Sports (Australia), Raiplay (Italy) & Worldwide TV channels
This match adds another chapter to an already rich history between these two nations on rugby’s biggest stage – The Rugby World Cup! Memorable moments like Tonga’s first-ever World Cup try against South Africa in 1999 showcase the significance of this clash. It pays homage to their shared rugby heritage, and both teams have an opportunity to etch their names in the annals of rugby history with a memorable performance.
Clash of Styles
The clash between South Africa and Tonga promises a battle between two contrasting styles of play. South Africa’s structured approach, building pressure through precise phases, will collide with Tonga’s unpredictable free-flowing game. It’s a battle between control and chaos, strategy and spontaneity that adds another layer of excitement to this match. Individual showdowns like Kolisi vs Vea, Pollard vs Takalua, Etzebeth vs Kalamafoni will raise the stakes even higher.
TV Channels & Streaming Platforms
For fans who prefer watching from home or on the go, there are various options for catching all the thrilling moments live! ITV (UK), NBC Sports (US), Stan Sport (Australia), Sky Sport (New Zealand) among others will provide comprehensive coverage ensuring no fan misses out on any action-packed moment.
- France – TF1 Group, France 2 et M6
- Netherlands – Ziggo Sport
- South Africa – SuperSport
- United Kingdom – ITV
- United States – NBC Sports
- Australia – Stan Sport (all matches) and Nine Network (all Australia matches and the final)
- Italy – RAI and Sky Sport Italia
- New Zealand – Sky Sport (New Zealand)
- Canada – TSN
- Malaysia – beIN Sports
- Georgia – Live on 1TVSport
- Japan – Nippon TV, NHK, and J SPORTS
Top Streaming Platform
- Peacock (US): Enjoy the match for $4.99/month (ad-supported) or $9.99/month (ad-free).
- Stan Sport (Australia): Catch the action for just $10/month.
- Nine Now (Australia): Tune in for free (with ads) – yes, you read that right!
- Sky Sport Now (New Zealand): Take your pick: $19.99/week or $39.99/month.
- SuperSport (South Africa): Grab the popcorn for ZAR54.90/month.
- ITV Hub (UK): No cost, no problem! Enjoy for free (with ads).
- TF1 (France): Say “oui” to free (with ads) streaming!
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Betting Market Buzz & Odds Analysis
With South Africa as heavy favorites at odds ranging from 1/10 offered by notable bookmakers like Bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes; Tonga remains an intriguing underdog choice at odds around 14/1.
Beyond match winner betting markets – total points over/under at 45.5 indicates high-scoring potential while first try scorer market favors Handré Pollard at 9/2 odds. Betters should also consider factors such as injuries, recent form/results when placing bets.