Bok pack starting to gel: Alberts
Willem Alberts (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Springbok flank Willem Alberts
said on Thursday their pack’s performance in the defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin two weeks ago was proof that they had started to click as a unit.
The Boks lost that game 21-11 but dominated the All Blacks up front, with only some wayward goal-kicking proving their undoing.
“You go out every week just to give your best," Alberts said, as they prepare to face the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
"As a forward pack we played quite well and all the individual performances seemed to be a bit better.
“I just hope as a team and as a pack we can play better this weekend and that will help everyone to lift their game.”
It will be the second match that Alberts, Duane Vermeulen
and Francois Louw
play together as a loose trio, with Marcell Coetzee
making an impact off the bench.
While they have not had a lot of time playing together, Alberts felt all four loose forwards brought something different to the table.
“We haven’t played a lot but everyone brings a different aspect into the loose trio and I thought we played quite well together with Flo (Louw) slowing up the ball at the rucks,” Alberts said.
“When Marcell comes on he brings a lot of energy and he can be a starter in any team in the world.
“It is good for us to know we can give everything on the field and when the backup comes on, he is not a reserve but an impact player.”
Alberts said the forwards pack might be young and inexperienced in terms of age but he believed the younger players had shown their worth in recent months.
“The younger guys like Eben (Etzebeth) and Marcell aren’t youngsters anymore, a couple of Tests in now,” he said.
“So they bring a new energy to the pack and they bring a lot of pressure to the older players to keep their game up to standard.
“As a pack we’ve played a couple of games together now so we are starting to gel and we are looking to improve on every performance.”
The clash against Australia kicks off at 17:00 on Saturday.Teams:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana
, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Francois Steyn/Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard
, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar
, 8 Duane Vermeulen
, 7 Willem Alberts
, 6 Francois Louw
, 5 Andries Bekker
, 4 Eben Etzebeth
, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss
, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg
, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen
, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee
, 20 Elton Jantjies
, 21 Jaco Taute/Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick LambieAustralia:
15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Anthony Fainga'a