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BOKs will decide own fate

By unknown | Sep 07, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Springboks still control the destiny of this year's Tri-Nations title despite their mauling by the Wallabies, says skipper John Smit.

THE Springboks still control the destiny of this year's Tri-Nations title despite their mauling by the Wallabies, says skipper John Smit.

South Africa crashed to their first defeat of the season of southern hemisphere championship, going under 21-6 to the fired-up Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday, but still lead the series by a commanding nine points.

The World champions would likely wrap up their first Tri-Nations crown in five years if they come away from next Saturday's showdown with the All Blacks in Hamilton with a point.

New Zealand must win both their remaining games, with at least one bonus point, against South Africa next week or Australia in Wellington on September 19 to give themselves any chance of pegging back the Springboks.

Though conceding the Wallabies were far better than his Springboks, Smit is confident his players will be fired-up for their final match of the tournament next weekend.

"We knew they were going to be firing. No one loses four (matches) on the trot and just rocks up. They were always going to be far more formidable this weekend and we still have our own fate in our hands," Smit said.

Smit said the Wallabies had paid a compliment to his team by beating them at their own game.

"Our intensity was not quite at what it should have been. It was a game where we had moments of brilliance but we just couldn't put it together enough to create that pressure," he said.

It was the Wallabies' remorseless pressure for the entire second half that finally cracked open the world champions. The Australians capitalised with tries by centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and teenage fullback James O'Connor.

"Our plan remains the same and we try to gain an advantage through a kick- and-a-chase (game), but sometimes if you don't do it accurately it becomes a risk of losing the ball," Smit said.

"Our accuracy has been far superior in our previous four games and this time we weren't as accurate in those areas and the Wallabies capitalised on that," he said.

Smit was also left scratching his head over South Africa's inability to win in Brisbane.

The Springboks have not won there since 1971. They have lost all their six matches against the Wallabies at Lang Park - and have been held try-less in their past four Tests at the venue.

"There is certainly something (about losing in Brisbane)," he said.

"We've just got to find out what it is. It's not a great place for results for us here. " - Sapa-AFP


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