One step at a time

THE Tri-Nations title may be within reach but South African coach Peter de Villiers says the Springboks aren't looking beyond Saturday's Test against struggling Australia at Subiaco Oval in Perth.

THE Tri-Nations title may be within reach but South African coach Peter de Villiers says the Springboks aren't looking beyond Saturday's Test against struggling Australia at Subiaco Oval in Perth.

Victory over the injury-hit Wallabies would put the unbeaten Springboks in an almost impregnable position at the top of the Tri-Nations ladder after just four matches, following two wins over New Zealand and a 29-17 thumping of the Wallabies at Newlands earlier this month.

But, speaking in Perth yesterday, De Villiers said it would be business as usual for his players this weekend in the first of three away Tests for the Springboks over the next three weeks.

"It has worked well up to now to concentrate on one game at a time," he said.

"That is how this team likes to prepare - to throw everything into one game and this game we will throw everything into. And then the next game we will do the same. We take it one game at a time."

De Villiers dismissed suggestions his team's kicking-based style of play was strangling attractive and entertaining rugby, leading to a dearth of tries. He said he expected and hoped running rugby would return as the sport evolved, but the Springboks were simply playing to the current laws.

"Entertainment is one of the boxes we want to tick off, but it doesn't mean it is the first one," he said. "We didn't invent this game and we didn't write the laws.

"The law changes called for us to adapt and our adaptation, at this moment, is spot on and I am proud of how the team has adapted."

De Villiers said there were few injury concerns in the Springbok camp, though he added that he would err on the side of caution with utility forward Danie Rossouw, who has a slight hamstring strain.

He said flanker Juan Smith would be available for selection for Saturday's game.

The Wallabies suggested this week that they have some new tactics in store to foil the Springboks' kicking game, but De Villiers doubted they would significantly alter the way they play. - Sapa-AFP

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