Rugby Championship

Aussie lineout remains a focus point

2016-09-08 16:14
Dean Mumm (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks and the Wallabies both go into this Saturday's Rugby Championship clash in Brisbane with their backs against the wall. 

South Africa, under the guidance of new coach Allister Coetzee, have lost at home to Ireland and then away to Argentina to leave large sections of the rugby public unconvinced. 

Australia, meanwhile, have lost their last six Test matches and have shown few signs of turning things around in their two Rugby Championship clashes against the All Blacks so far. 

One of the major talking points in the build-up to this weekend's clash has been the perceived vulnerability of the Australian lineout. 

Lood de Jager was made to talk about it earlier on in the week and now Eben Etzebeth, set to make his 50th Test appearance on Saturday, has also had to field questions on how he sees the lineout battle playing out. 

While the All Blacks were faultless from 17 lineouts two weekends ago, Australia butchered four of their 12 throws leaving them with a less than desirable success rate of 66.67%.

But Etzebeth expects them to be far more polished against the Boks.

"The lineout is an important aspect of the game. We’re just looking to focus on what we must do and win our balls," he said.

"Hopefully we can get one or two of their balls too … we always try and give a good account of ourselves on the lineout. We’re looking forward to the battle.

"We have looked at a few things but they are a good lineout side also so we must be on our A-game to match them.

"New Zealand is a very good man-watching team. I’m sure the Wallabies would have worked on their lineouts and will be a lot better this weekend."

Australian coach Michael Cheika has kept faith in the lock pairing of Kane Douglas and Adam Coleman from that 29-9 loss to the All Blacks in Wellington two weekends ago, but he has called up Dean Mumm to play at flank and bolster the lineout. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 12:05.

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes (from): 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Drew Mitchell

South Africa

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Lionel Mapoe

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01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires 00:10
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