Rugby World Cup 2011

Doc Jannie diagnoses Oz plan

2011-10-05 08:08
Jannie du Plessis (File)

Cape Town - Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis says they have a simple plan on how to disrupt Australia's dangerous halfback combination when the teams clash at the Wellington Regional Stadium in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

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Scrumhalf Will Genia and flyhalf Quade Cooper are the key play-makers for the Australians and pose the biggest threat to their South African counterparts.

And for Du Plessis - a medical doctor outside of rugby - the recipe on how to go about neutralising the Wallabies' biggest threat is simple: Take them on up front and starve them of good go-forward ball. An old cliché in rugby, yet always vitally important.

"We cannot let guys like Cooper and Genia run us ragged. The counter to that is simple. We simply have to prevent them from playing on the front foot," Du Plessis told the Beeld newspaper.

"Everything will start up front. We have to get them on the back foot in the tight phases so that the possession Genia and Cooper receive, is poor.

"That will force them into making hasty decisions and that's what we want. We want to disrupt the halfbacks by putting pressure on the forwards."

While Du Plessis is confident in his forward packs' ability to dominate their opponents, he acknowledged it will be no mean feat come Sunday. He especially singled out the Australians' scrum as a highly underrated facet in their play.

"I don't think Australia were weak in the scrums against Ireland, it was rather a match where the refereeing decisions played a big role."

The clash in Wellington kicks off at 07:00 SA time on Sunday.

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