Wallabies a different kettle of fish for Boks in Tri-Nations
THE Springboks will look to continue their dream start in this year's Tri-Nations by beating Australia's Wallabies tomorrow at Newlands, Cape Town.
Wisely, Bok coach Peter de Villiers has made no changes to last week's starting XV. The only change on the bench sees fit-again flyhalf Ruan Pienaar replace Wynand Olivier, as back-up to last week's man of the match Morne Steyn.
It has been some time since South Africa has had a contest between two international-quality flyhalves, and giving both Pienaar and Steyn game time will only benefit our rugby in the long term.
Predictably, this week has seen the usual battle of words between the two sides, both seeking a psychological upper hand. Bok coach De Villiers fired the first shot by criticising his opponents for illegal scrummaging, claiming that the Aussies prefer to collapse scrums rather than contest them fairly.
Veteran Wallaby flanker George Smith retaliated by claiming that the Boks will miss the physical presence of the suspended Schalk Burger.
But Burger's replacement in the No 6 jersey, Cheetahs fetcher Heinrich Brussow, has been outstanding, getting the edge over much-feared All Black captain Richie McCaw. The battle at the breakdown between Smith and Brussow will be crucial, and dictate the flow of the rest of the game.
Wily Wallabies coach Robbie Deans will have learnt from the last two weekends' Tri-Nations matches.
His first priority will be ensuring that the Wallaby forwards front up to the Bok onslaught, and provide some good ball that the backs can use, while his highly talented backline must constantly test the Bok defence. The Wallabies will also not attempt the All Blacks' amateurish tactic of trying to run the ball from deep in their own territory.