Boks coach to give some players a match run

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

South Africa's Pool A clash with the United States on Sunday will be their last "easy" game before the business-end of the Rugby World Cup begins.

The Americans go into the match without a win to their name and will be packing their bags for home when the final whistle blows at 10pm on Sunday. Despite the slight hiccup against Tonga last Saturday, the Boks already know they have done enough to secure a quarterfinal spot.

For coach Jake White it has been a case of so-far-so-good for his squad.

Wins over Samoa (57-7), England (36-0) and Tonga (30-25), ensure they sit pretty at the top of the log, but equally importantly, they have managed to get through the early stages relatively injury-free. Apart from centre Jean de Villiers, who picked up a tournament-ending arm injury in the opening match against Samoa, White will be happy his squad is largely unscathed.

Slight niggles to Enrico Januarie, Danie Roussouw, Bobby Skinstad and Jacque Fourie will not be giving the coach too many sleepless nights as it enables him to give players a little short of match time a run.

One such player is the flying Blue Bulls wing, Akona Ndungane, who up to this stage of the tournament, has seen no action.

"Ever since we came here we have always said it will take the whole squad to win this tournament and no one is better than another person," Ndungane was quoted earlier this week as saying.

On the opposite wing coach White is expected to start with Bryan Habana who has failed to pick up a try in his last two outings.

Setting the tournament alight with four touchdowns against Samoa, Habana will be desperate to add to his tally. The forward pack is also expected to have a more settled look to it.

Back come captain John Smit, props Os du Randt and BJ Botha along with lock Victor Matfield and loose forward Schalk Burger, who has finished his two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Samoan game, and will be desperate for some game time

lKickoff is at 8pm and will be shown live on M-Net and SABC 2.