Rugby Championship

Clash of 'survivors' in Perth

2012-09-04 14:37
Morne Steyn (Gallo)
Cape Town – In many respects, Saturday’s high-stakes Castle Rugby Championship encounter between Australia and South Africa could be said to feature certain men lucky enough to have clambered aboard a lifeboat since the 2011 World Cup.

There have admittedly been several retirements – particularly on the Springbok side, of course – since these teams locked horns in the quarter-final of that tournament at Wellington in October last year, and the Wallabies earned a controversial 11-9 win.

But when the sides line up at Patersons Stadium on Saturday (12:35 SA time), the significant changes in each team will also demonstrate the terrible toll taken by injuries in a first-class calendar that becomes ever more cluttered and very questionably sustainable.

The Wallabies, this time, will be missing such key figures as David Pocock, James O’Connor, Pat McCabe and James Horwill on medical grounds.

But at least the team they have chosen for this fixture, and despite the inevitable fallout from successive thumpings at the hands of New Zealand, just about retains the spine of the XV who pipped the Boks at the World Cup – eight players.

In precisely the same positions they served their country in at the “Cake Tin”, will be backline representatives Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper and Will Genia, plus pack members Radike Samo, Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson.

Although the Bok team had not been named at the time of writing (it should be available around 07:00 our time on Wednesday) it is definitely going to be much more severely altered from the line-up agonisingly blown – some would mutter by Bryce Lawrence’s whistle -- out of the World Cup.

Reading between the lines, the SA starting side ought to feature only four players who played the quarter-final, and two of them (Jean de Villiers, since switched from inside to outside centre, and versatile wing stalwart Bryan Habana) may be in different-numbered jerseys.

Morne Steyn will probably stay at flyhalf and Jannie du Plessis, who has pretty much made the tighthead prop position his own in recent months, will run out wearing No 3 again.

It is in the pack where the current Boks have been hardest hit by retirements or injuries – as reflected in Du Plessis being the lone forward survivor.

The Wallabies may well take some heart from their foes fielding an entirely different “back five” at scrum time for this meeting.

Instead of Victor Matfield and Danie Rossouw at lock, amidst that dominant unit from the Wellington clash, Eben Etzebeth and Andries Bekker will presumably be the combo, whilst all of loose trio Pierre Spies, Schalk Burger and Heinrich Brussow being on the crocked list means the Aussies may come up against Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts and possible new cap Duane Vermeulen.

It is a fairly good reason, like it or not, for already under-pressure coach Heyneke Meyer to venture that the Wallabies remain favourites on Saturday, however desperate he and his troops will be to nick it instead and stay in touch with runaway tourney favourites the All Blacks ...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

HAVE YOUR SAY: Who do you want to see in the Springbok starting line-up for the clash against Australia this weekend? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


Attack coach to help out WP

2016-08-29 21:04


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
10 September 2016
New Zealand v Argentina, Hamilton 09:35
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 12:05
17 September 2016
New Zealand v South Africa, Addington, Christchurch 09:35
Australia v Argentina, Perth 12:05
01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who would you like to see start at flyhalf for the Boks in their next Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.