Talk of this being a “do-or-die match” is misguided because there is no way the Boks will lose to Italy in Japan today. Italy are on a three-game winning World Cup run, which is their best streak in the history of the tournament, but the last two wins have been against Namibia and Canada.
Italy have consistently been the poorest team in the Six Nations and ordinarily you wouldn’t think of them as being good enough to beat the Boks. What blurs the vision is that three years ago Italy did in fact beat South Africa. That was an aberration and it came against a Bok team totally lacking in coaching leadership.
The Springboks, under Rassie Erasmus, are a different animal and have improved immeasurably. The Azzurri simply haven’t grown their game since their famous win against the Boks.
The bookmakers have the Boks to win by 30 points. I am going to be more conservative and say, at best, the differential will be 25 points. I reckon a score of 35-10 would be consistent with the strength and form of both teams at the World Cup.