A DREAM start to the Tri-Nations is not enough to secure victory. After three home wins, the Springboks must now beat Australia's Wallabies in their first away game at Perth's Subiaco Oval tomorrow.
After losing a tight game to the All Blacks last week, the Wallabies are effectively out of this year's Tri-Nations, and have been further weakened by injury- enforced changes.
Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe, who is carrying a shoulder injury from last week, has been replaced by Mark Chisholm.
A neck injury to playmaking centre Berrick Barnes has necessitated a line-up shuffle, with Adam Ashley-Cooper moving across into the No 12 jersey and Ryan Cross taking his place at outside centre.
Though the Boks dominated their Aussie counterparts in their last game, the Bok pack did struggle in the scrum, with Wallaby loosehead prop Benn Robinson putting considerable pressure on John Smit.
The Boks will be looking to get the edge back come scrum time, and the Bok front row must establish their dominance early on.
Beast Mtawarira is up against newbie tighthead Ben Alexander, who replaces the older Al Baxter after he came off worse in the battle against All Black loosehead Tony Woodcock last week.
Facing them is a dangerous Bok first XV, with only one change from the last match. Bok coach Peter de Villiers has opted to replace Frans Steyn at fullback with Ruan Pienaar, seeking more creative options in the backline.
Back from suspension is powerhouse flank Schalk Burger, who must now play his way back into the starting line-up. Rumours abounded earlier this week that Burger would replace Juan Smith at No 7, but the Free State blindside flanker has recovered from an ankle injury and takes his usual place in the scrum opposite wunderkind openside Heinrich Brussow. The Boks have 12 Tri-Nations log points and need only six points from three remaining games to claim the Tri-Nations.