Rugby Championship

Wallabies have 'unfinished business' with Boks

2017-09-29 22:17
Michael Cheika (Getty Images)

Bloemfontein - When the Springboks and Wallabies drew 23-23 in Perth back on September 9, nobody was left satisfied. 

The Springboks sparked into action in the second half to fight back but miss out on a win for the first time in 2017, while the Australians felt that they had let a solid performance go unrewarded. 

It makes Saturday's return leg clash in Bloemfontein all the more spicy. 

While the Wallabies have improved throughout the Championship, the Boks are coming off the worst result in their history when they were hammered 57-0 by the world champion All Blacks in Albany two weekends ago.

Australian captain Michael Hooper, addressing media at Free State Stadium on Friday, agreed that their was 'unfinished business' between the sides following the draw in Perth, revealing that their had been a bit of post-match banter after that game.

"Both teams said at a function after the match that they want to get out on top the next time and not walk away with even points," Hooper said.

"There were a few laughs in the changeroom. Both teams are fired up, both teams want to win and they’ve got something to prove."

Right now, it seems like the Boks have more to prove than the Wallabies. 

That record All Black result has halted all of the optimism that was accompanying the national side this year, but Hooper knows how easy it is to get thrashed by the New Zealanders. 

In the first round of Rugby Championship fixtures this year, the Wallabies were looking at a similar result against the Kiwis until a late flurry of tries added some respectability to the scoreboard as they went down 54-34 at home.

Still, Hooper was surprised to see the Boks massacred the way they were.

"From facing South Africa the week before and watching their games throughout the year, they’ve been impressive," he said.

"Sometimes you have one of those games. We nearly had one of those games at the start of our Rugby Championship campaign so you can see how easily a game like that can get away from you."

Saturday's battle is also key in the race for 2nd place on the Championship log. 

The Boks currently occupy the runners-up position with 11 points after four rounds while the Wallabies have eight.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.


South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Francois Louw, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende


15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes (from): 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Ned Hanigan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Samu Kerevi, 24 Henry Speight


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