Oz ready for physical Boks

2011-07-21 10:31

Sydney - Australia's returning backrower David Pocock says the Wallabies are prepared for a fierce and physical South Africa challenge in Saturday's Tri-Nations opener.

Australia, eager to make up for a humiliating 32-23 loss to Samoa, has included seven regular Wallabies missing from Sunday's defeat.

Pocock, who has recovered from a foot injury, said on Thursday the Wallabies have done a lot at training to turn things around from last weekend.

"Everyone knows when you play South Africa you've got to be up for it," Pocock said. "Otherwise, it's going to be a hard day at the office."

"It's also a big mindset thing; meeting them in that physical battle."

After torrential rain in Sydney, the match is expected to be played in slow and muddy conditions, which scrumhalf Will Genia says Australia will look to take advantage of.

"It's a lot easier, when it's raining, to just turn them around and put it into the corners and try and put pressure on them that way," Genia said.

"You can't throw the ball around as much as you can when it's dry. So we might have to tighten up a little bit as well and we'll just adjust on the night."

Pocock said the wet conditions serve as useful preparation for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand starting from September.

"It'll be good in the long term as far as preparation goes, and good for the side in general to be able to play in whatever conditions and be able to adjust to a different sort of game style."

South Africa has left more than 20 regular internationals at home to rest up ahead of the Springboks' two home Tri-Nations Tests and the World Cup starting in September.

"We feel like we can exert pressure on them, not just through our attack but through our defense as well," Genia said. "Hopefully we can stifle their attack and we're confident that when we have the ball in hand - with the players that we have - that we can score points."

While the Wallabies are bolstered by the return of their big names, 92-Test veteran Matt Giteau's World Cup chances are in doubt after failing to make the 22-man squad for Saturday's match - an omission that sparked criticism on Thursday.

Eddie Jones, who led Australia to the 2003 World Cup final, said he was baffled by current coach Robbie Deans' decision and said opposition teams would be happy to see Giteau left out. John Connolly, the 2007 Wallabies coach said Giteau needed to be given a major role in the Wallabies line-up.

Wallabies great Tim Horan, meanwhile, said Giteau was too good a player not to go to the World Cup.

The prospects look slightly brighter for Berrick Barnes, who will play at fullback for Sydney University in club rugby Saturday as he attempts to comeback from several weeks of self imposed rest after multiple concussions.


  • Raka13 - 2011-07-21 10:53

    Leaving Matt Giteau out of their WC is the same as leaving Fourie du Preez out of our WC squad - it will be crazy and just plain stupid. Their experience pays off time and again - the way I see it is, these guys make 1 or 2 crucial decisions and go 100% out to complete the decision which WILL win a game. Unexperienced guys makes many "will be the hero" decisions which they can not live up to.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-21 11:21

      @Raka13 - The Aussies and Kiwi's are going to make a few selection stuff ups going forward.The problem they have, is that there are so many playmakers they want to make place for in the starting 15 - and it seems that the coaches (both Henry and Deans) will be having some trouble deciding on who plays and where they will play......That's why I reckon we should actually be relieved as Bok fans that we don't have that "over abundance of backline talent" problem. We have limited options, and we make do with that - and it suits our 'gameplan'. Those Aussies and Kiwi's have so many backline playmakers, and they are going to want them all on the field - which could lead to a few problems......

      Tshepo - 2011-07-21 11:51

      hougaard is better than fourie so not such a bad thing.....

      boyd.lance - 2011-07-21 12:11

      "Over abundance of backline talent"? One would think that's a good dilemma to have. I happen to think we have plenty of backline options, and they're there now to give the seniors a hard time and Div a selection headache.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-07-21 12:32

      @Saffa-cat, interesting point, but do you think we're really that limited? I agree though that our selected game plan helps us decide who to bring in, but at the same time, does the Aus/Kiwi game plan change that much either?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-21 12:36

      @Boyd.lance - an abundance of talent is great - until the coaches try to play every "game breaker", regardless of whether the players is in position or not, just to get him on the field. Kiwi's have been more inclined to do this than the Aussies in recent World Cups especially (with dodgy results) - the Cullen switch, and the MacAlister selection come to mind. Now there are rumours that SBW will play on the wing for the AB's just so that he is on the field.....etc etc. 6 Game breakers don't make a team. I just think trying to accommodate all the GB's in Aussie and Kiwiland, could cause a few problems in terms of game plan and structure (for them). I'm glad we aren't in that position - that's what I meant :)

  • Anneleen - 2011-07-21 10:58

    Bolstered Wallabies vs Fierce, Physical Boks...what a game to look forward to...!

      René Müller - 2011-07-21 11:43

      @Anneleen, I think what makes this game exciting is the fact that there are so many young faces in the team. With the regulars at home, we know what they are capable of, however, with the new guys there, interesting game that awaits us! The 'unknown factor'! Behind the guys all the way!!

      Anneleen - 2011-07-21 12:52

      @René Muller...thanks for your reply! Appreciate your "unknown factor " you have any predictions regarding the score?

      René Müller - 2011-07-21 14:02

      @Anneleen, geez that's a tight one! As a rule I don't make prediction, the Aussies selected a good team (best team rather), as long as we put up a good fight and the guys play to their potential, it should be a cracker. I think the Ausies will win, however, but I doubt we'll see a 49/0 situation.

      Anneleen - 2011-07-21 15:09

      @René Muller...a tight one indeed! For this one, I'm gonna back the Bokke...23-21 on Superbru!

  • Kaapie - 2011-07-21 11:00

    Well we just have to be more direct and more physical..Both Elsom and Pocock may alck a bit a match fitness since thay have both just returned from injury

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-21 11:11

      @Kaapie - I am a little worried about the balance of our loose-trio....and VERY worried about Hargreaves starting (nearly choked on my Rice Crispies when I saw it on the news). Anyone but Hargreaves in a physical battle.....Can't wait for the game though.....

      Raka13 - 2011-07-21 11:39

      SAFFA - agree, but who else to fill that role, maybe Danie at lock and Kanko(not his biggest fan) at 8? Elstadt, van Zyl or even Skeate will bring the physicality factor.

      Sarge - 2011-07-21 11:54

      Gerhard Mostert would have been a way better choice if you consider physicality. But i'm sure Hargreaves wont let the Boks down though. This game is gonna be great though!

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-07-21 13:01

      Danie at lock with Deysel to replace him at flank. But I'm quite looking forward to seeing what Hargreaves does in a green jumper

      Kaapie - 2011-07-21 13:24

      @ Saffa my sentiments exactly regarding Hargreaves. Tooo soft for me. I have watched Eben Etsebeth and even he is more physical than Hargreaves. And as hHannes said Perhaps the answer was to move Rossouw to lock and Deysel @ flank. As it is I think we lack speed to the point of breakdown. Having said that I have this feeling that we can certainly bury the Aussies come Sat!!

      GregandShaz - 2011-07-21 13:58

      Young Hargreaves has a lot to offer...I don,t think we,ve seen the best of him. Have seen him get quite physical at times and don,t think he will let us down at all

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-21 23:26

      @Shaz - atleast he can write a beautiful article if we do lose!

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-21 23:28

      @SAFFA - LOL. More worried about locks.

  • Jason - 2011-07-21 11:38

    I guess thats what oz said against the Samoas aswell..."we are ready"...and weeee...look at the thumping

  • Grey B - 2011-07-21 11:45

    Whatch out Bokke, the Wallabies are a new side. HA hahahahahahahaha. Seriously lets F them up Go bokke!

  • StBad - 2011-07-21 13:12

    The last game that we had any real physical edge over any side was against England, to be honest we haven't dominated like that against NZ or AUS for a good couple years

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-21 23:32

      @StBad - the last time was against England, and that was the last time we played? But I agree with you. We just havent been able to dominate the physical game. Even in the S15, none of our teams could dominate as we did in the past.

      StBad - 2011-07-22 09:55

      @GraemeBB.. ha ha quite right, seems so long ago!

  • PieterSA - 2011-07-21 13:29

    Yeah I hope SA looses so that all you white pply cry. Losers

      Gouetor - 2011-07-21 13:49

      trolling or need a hug, Pietertjie?

      Ferrari Fan - 2011-07-21 13:50

      TROLL ALERT!!!!

      GregandShaz - 2011-07-21 13:59

      What a toss u are you dumbass

      Lance - 2011-07-21 16:38

      Its great to see that Pieter has embraced the "New South Africa" with open arms.

      Thefactxxx - 2011-07-21 19:06

      hey PieterSA.. stop making STUPID comments, You cant even spell... "looses" RACIST

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-21 23:36

      @Pieter, what have the white people done to you? Will you be ok if we lose? Go Pieter go!!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-21 13:36

    170mm of rain over the past couple of days in Sydney, will the slow, wet conditions favour the Boks?

      Lance - 2011-07-21 15:49

      If the Aussies lack confidence/fail to execute quality passes in the wet, we can take them.

      Grunk - 2011-07-21 18:03

      Our physicality is OK but do we have the sufficient passing, handling and ball retention skills to back it up? Generally we are not good as we should be in these facets in the dry, let alone the wet?

  • Kevin - 2011-07-21 14:04

    The result of this game is academic, its about the players proving their worth to wear those Green and Gold Colours. Ruan, Johnson, the 2 new props, things are about to get interesting

  • Roy - 2011-07-21 15:27

    I don't give the Boks much chance of winning on Saturday but because they are playing the Aussies, I hope they give them a hiding.The Aussies are too arrogent and any loss against another country is good.

      Lance - 2011-07-21 15:44

      A wet soggy field means it could be anyones game...The "B-Boks" physicality could cause an upset.

  • Drewka - 2011-07-21 15:45

    Looking at the Oz team, it looks like quite a good one on paper. Kurtley Beale; James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Quade Cooper and Will Genia are all brilliant rugby players. The question remains if Deans could make them gell together in time before the boks throws the kitchen sink at them.

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