Rugby Championship

Matfield to pressure ref: Blades

2014-09-26 17:30
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Australia’s forwards coach Andrew Blades has taken aim at Springbok lock Victor Matfield for trying to manipulate referees.

The Boks tackle the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday and Blades says he expects Matfield to put pressure on referee Nigel Owens at lineout time.

The buildup to the Rugby Champipnship Test has been dominated with talks of set-piece trickery, with the Boks making mention of Australia's gamesmanship at scrum time. The Australians have responded in turn, and highlighted Matfield's 'management' of the referee.

“Victor is very good at manipulating that situation and trying to create something in the back of peoples’ heads,” Blades told Fox Sports Rugby.

“You even watch it in-game, when he plays for the Bulls, if someone stops their drive he’s straight across to the referees’ assistant to give him his thoughts, and often at the next lineout there’s a penalty when nothing’s happening.

“That’s just the value of experience. He is a great lineout exponent, probably one of the best ever, and that’s why he is able to control the way the game is played around the lineout. We’re expecting them to put loads of pressure on the referees around that."

Australia will be looking to overturn a string of losses at the Newlands, where their last victory was a 26-3 win in 1992.

In the corresponding fixture there last year, the Boks ran out convincing 28-8 winners.

Kick-off for Saturday's Test is scheduled for 17:05.


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen


15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 James Horwill, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nic White, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Rob Horne


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