Tri Nations 2010: Australia v South Africa preview

By Sam Rogers
springboks rugby union(Photo: M+MD)

springboks rugby union

While the Springboks will be relieved to see the back of the All Blacks after an arduous fortnight, they would be foolish to underestimate the Wallabies on Saturday.

Peter De Villiers’ side have suffered two defeats to an impressive New Zealand side in as many weeks, conceding eight tries and over 60 points in the process.

It will be the manner of these defeats as much as the margin that will frustrate De Villiers and his captain John Smit, as on both occasions they have had experienced players—Bakkies Botha and then Jean de Villiers—sin-binned for needless incidents early on.

As well as the suspended pair, Springboks lock Andries Bekker will miss out due to a back injury. Flip van der Merwe has been drafted in to replace the Stormers lock in a Springboks side who are now without two of their most experienced back-rowers.

Smit and his men will be keen to draw a line under the last two weeks and get the defence of their 2009 title back on track.

They move on to Brisbane to face a Wallabies side who are rested and looking to take advantage of the low morale in the South African dressing room.

What Robbie Deans’ young side may lack in experience, they make up for in passion and raw talent.

Deans welcomes back some of his first choice front row, looking to strengthen an Australian scrum that looked so worryingly frail against England last month.

Prop Benn Robinson and Hooker Stephen Moore are set to return to the fray, with the former gaining some much-needed game time in the Shute Shield.

Brisbane, like Auckland and Wellington before, has not been a happy hunting ground for the Springboks—they have not won in the city since 1971.

But come Saturday and all eyes will be on whether South Africa can play in the manner everybody knows they are capable of, and more crucially, get a win on the board.


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