New Zealand VS South Live HOW TO WATCH RUGBY WORLD CUP IN USA: NEW ZEALAND VS. SOUTH AFRICA TV CHANNEL, LIVE STREAM AND ODDS
BY DAN CANCIAN ON 9/20/19 AT 7:00 PM EDT
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RUGBY WORLD CUP
Saturday marks the 99th occasion New Zealand and South Africa have crossed paths in international rugby.
Should things go to plan for both teams, their 100th meeting will be at the same venue—the International Stadium in Yokohama—in the Rugby World Cup final in six weeks’ time.
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Intriguing as it might be to think about the future, the All Blacks and the Springboks are firmly focused on the present.
Three-time winners, New Zealand arrives in Japan looking to become the first team in the history of the tournament to lift the Webb Ellis Cup three times in a row.
Their aura, however, has been slightly dented of late. The All Blacks lost on the road to Ireland in November last year just a week after narrowly beating England by a single point.
In this year’s Rugby Championship—the annual competition that pits the four main Southern Hemisphere teams against each other—the All Blacks narrowly beat Argentina, drew against South Africa and lost to Australia.
Having to face the Springboks at the pool stage for the first time in World Cup history has hardly eased the nerves in New Zealand, a country that places almost unparalleled pressure on their rugby team to deliver.
Furthermore, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen still does not have an automatic first-choice XV available. Brodie Retallick, one of the stars of the team, won’t play until the quarterfinals as he recovers from an injury, while Ryan Crotty has just returned to action.
The latter will start at 12 on Saturday, with the peerless Beauden Barrett selected at 15, with Richie Mo’unga at fly-half.
Having a settled side, in contrast, has been a crucial factor in South Africa’s transformation under Rassie Erasmus.
The former Munster coach has restored the Springboks as one of the dominant forces of world rugby and South Africa has been tipped as the team to halt the All Blacks’ dominance.
The Springboks drew 16-16 in Wellington against New Zealand in July and will again try to stifle New Zealand’s attacking flair with a suffocating defense on Saturday.
Under Erasmus, South Africa has gone back to basics, placing greater emphasis on a dominant scrum and imperious line-out.
The return of captain Siya Kolisi is the only change from the draw in Wellington and Erasmus expects another close encounter—the last three Tests between the teams have ended 82-82.
“You couldn’t say there is a favourite,” he said in his press conference.
“I think we have a healthy respect for each other’s capabilities but, in the end, it will come down to a small moment to decide a big game.”
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Saturday.
Rugby World Cup, New Zealand, South Africa
Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks makes a break during the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Westpac Stadium on July 27 in Wellington, New Zealand.
When and where is the game?
New Zealand takes on South Africa at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Saturday, September 21.
Kick-off is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. local time (5:45 a.m. ET).
The venue will also host the World Cup final on November 2.
All 48 Rugby World Cup games will be broadcast exclusively in the U.S. by NBC Sports Gold. Fans can purchase a single match pass for $29.99, or a Rugby World Cup pass for $199.99.
An all-access premium package, which includes al 48 matches live and on-demand as well as season-long access to Rugby Pass for the 2019-20 season, comes in at $229.99.
Additionally, NBCSN will broadcast 26 games live, including the first game of the tournament on Friday, all Team USA matches and the final.
Fans can follow the action in a number of ways. Live streams will be available via NBCSportsGold.com and NBC will broadcast the matches on desktop, mobile tablet and connected devices.
Live streams will also be available via Apple and Android devices, as well as Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
Saturday will be the 99th Test between New Zealand and South Africa. The All Blacks have won 58 times, while the Springboks have prevailed 36 times.
The last meeting between the two ended in a 16-16 draw in Wellington, New Zealand, in July.
According to Oddschecker, New Zealand is an 11/25 favorite, while South Africa is a 21/10 outsider and the draw is at 25/1.