Rugby Championship

Kriel hails 'world class' Serfontein

2017-09-07 13:30
Jan Serfontein (Gallo)

Cape Town - Midfield was one of the many areas of concern for the Springboks in 2016, with injury and poor performance combining to leave coach Allister Coetzee with a serious headache in that department. 

Now, five Tests and five wins into 2017, the Bok centre combination is picking itself. 

Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel will start their fourth Test of the year together when South Africa take on Australia in Saturday's crucial Rugby Championship clash in Perth. 

The only time this year that the pair did not start together was in the second Test against France in Durban, where a concussed Kriel was sidelined and Lionel Mapoe deputised. 

But, other than that, Coetzee has placed his faith in the Bulls partnership. 

Serfontein's return to form has been well documented in the No 12 jersey, but Kriel is also going about making the No 13 position his own. 

According to the 23-year-old Kriel, the continutiy with Serfontein has been beneficial to his game.

"Jan is a world class player. He makes it easy for me outside and creates a lot of space," said Kriel on Thursday.

"He's a hard worker and there is a lot of unseen action and effort that people don't see and that puts the pieces into the puzzle.

"I'm really enjoying the continuity that I'm building with him."

The duo will come up against another exciting midfield combination this weekend in Kurtley Beale and Tevita Kuridrani. 

"They're a great side and they're obviously playing at home," Kriel said of the Wallabies.

"But we've just said to ourselves that if we want to be the best team and win the Championship then we need to be able to win wherever, so that's the mindset that we have."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 12:00.

Teams:

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

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Saturday, 30 September 2017
South Africa v Australia, Bloemfontein 17:05
Sunday, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires 00:40
Saturday, 07 October 2017
South Africa v New Zealand, Cape Town 17:05
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