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Ireland to 'sneak past' South Africa by four or five points | BRIAN O'DRISCOLL

Ireland will 'cut South Africa's defence apart' and sneak to a four to five point victory over the defending World Champions, according to Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll.



Ireland will 'cut South Africa's defence apart' and sneak to a four to five point victory over the defending World Champions, according to Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll.

Pool B of the Rugby World Cup will be all but decided come 11pm in Paris on Saturday, as the world number one and the world champions clash at the Stade de France.

With both sides in terrifying form, many have speculated that either side can win the crucial clash, as Ireland's exquisite attack will meet South Africa's airtight defence.

While talk of South Africa's controversial 7-1 bench split has dominated the build up to Saturday, Ireland have named a strong starting XV and talented 5-3 bench to defuse the 'bomb squad'.

With the winners of this clash most likely going to top the group and face the winners of Group A, everything is on the line even though both camps have said this is not a must-win match.

'Ireland might sneak it by four or five'

Speaking on Off The Ball Breakfast on Friday, former Leinster and Connacht outhalf Andy Dunne predicted Ireland to beat the Springboks by 'more than 12 points'.

While he could see where Dunne was coming from, Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll felt the 12-point margin might be a but too lofty.

"Weirdly I can understand it," O'Driscoll said on Off The Ball. "If Ireland can click, I think they can cause every team, including this South African defence, real problems.

"We've got a phase game play that nobody else can quite match. Even the All Blacks of the last couple of years haven't been able to reach the quality and ability to be able to cause defences problems.

"I do feel we have that capacity more than anyone else in the world at the moment. But, can the smothering defence of South Africa keep us at bay? I don't know."

In spite of some concerns, O'Driscoll was confident that Ireland could get the important victory over South Africa in Saint-Denis.

"We were close in November to cutting them apart," O'Driscoll said. "I get a sense that we're going to cut them apart quite a few times.

"Can we convert them? Will their scramble be able to make up for some of their shortcomings, or will we put them away? One of my pals, yesterday, said, 'Ireland by seven'. I bravely shot back, 'Ireland by nine'. That's probably lofty. I think Ireland might sneak it by four or five."

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