Rugby Championship

Folau ready for running game

2014-09-24 07:00
Israel Folau (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Australia fullback Israel Folau expects a more open game than in their previous encounter when the Wallabies take on South Africa in the Rugby Championship at Newlands on Saturday.

Folau identified opposite number Willie le Roux as the player to watch.

Folau and Le Roux are considered two of the world's premier number 15s, and there is plenty of respect for the Springbok flyer in the Australia camp for his game-breaking abilities, with the ball in hand or the boot.

"Le Roux is one of the dangermen - we know that as a team, and we have to try and limit his opportunities every time he has the ball. He is a great player and one to watch out for this weekend," Folau told reporters on Tuesday.

Australia defeated South Africa 24-23 with a converted try two minutes from time in the reverse fixture in Perth on 6 September, a game played in wet conditions, which was more of a kicking contest than an opportunity for the likes of Folau and Le Roux to express themselves.

The Australian, who scored a try within a minute in that game, hopes drier conditions in Cape Town will mean both sides run the ball more and cut down on errors.

"We have got to start the game strong this week.

"We let ourselves down with simple errors in the game in Perth, so we must clean that up and hopefully, that will keep us in the game," Folau said.

"They are definitely going to come out physical and they are going to start the game strong.

"For us as a team it won't be a surprise.

"We escaped that game in Perth. We are happy with that, but obviously it is a tough challenge at Newlands."

Folau says the introduction of Le Roux and a more attacking flyhalf in 20-year-old Handré Pollard, means the South Africans have more options with ball in hand and rely less on the brute strength of their forwards.

"They have evolved big-time.

"They run the ball a lot more and they look pretty dangerous on attack.

"They have changed their game up," he said.

"We have to expect anything.

"We know they can kick a lot but in saying that, playing at Newlands they might chance their hand and run the ball a bit more."

South Africa and Australia have 10 points after four rounds of the Rugby Championship and trail leaders New Zealand by six.

The All Blacks will claim the title if they win with a bonus point against Argentina in La Plata on Saturday, although they may not need the extra point if neither South Africa nor Australia take five from their game in Cape Town.


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