Springboks vs Australia – Tri-Nations 24 July 2010
The handing out of jerseys is a special tradition and is used to motivate and inspire the team for the next day’s Test. This is usually done by an inspirational athlete or former player, the Bok management however have decided to throw that out the window by asking Kurt Darren. Apparently he had this to say:
“This one time during a show, I got a pretty big blister on my thumb from super fast strumming but I carried on until the end of my set. So ja, I guess you could say that I know what it is like to play through the pain barrier.”
Pretty inspirational stuff.
About 3 weeks ago, many would have said that this was going to be the away game of the Tri-Nations the Springboks would most likely win. Much has changed since then (the Bokke got smashed by All Blacks twice and then cried about poor referees) and at the moment the Wallabies are favourites.
PdV has (probably not on purpose) shifted the focus from his team to himself with some recent ridiculous comments and has been called a ‘clown’ by former Wallaby Brendan Cannon. Brendan has since apologised for this and apparently received fifty lashes from the head of Australian Rugby.
When you look at the current team selected, the Bokke do have the personnel to win but can they find that urgency, mental attitude and fortitude they so desperately need?
For the Bokke to have a hope of victory, they will need a far better defensive showing, a much improved kicking game and be able to physically dominate the Wallabies at the breakdown.
Players to look out for include Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar and Gio Aplon, all brought into the starting team this week and all looking to inject much-needed pace and urgency into the team.
The Bokke should have the upper hand at scrum time, although you never know with the Wallaby scrum (they cheat) and should dominate the line-outs. It is at the breakdown that we may struggle though as there is no out-and-out fetcher in the team with Kankowski in for Francois Louw. Schalk will have to be at his best on Saturday and the Bokke will have to get numbers to the breakdown to stop guys like David Pocock and Richard Brown.
This game is hard to predict, especially with Will Genia and Quade Cooper resuming their lethal partnership. Matt Giteau has not been in great form of late but remains a quality player and Rocky Elsom will be instrumental as always.
The Aussies have been sitting, waiting and training (possibly drinking) since playing Ireland nearly 3 weeks ago and will definitely be well rested while the Bokke will be tired and hurting but will be match hardened.
I reckon the Bokke will be up for this and if they can get a bit of lead in the first 20 min will win this one comfortably.
Kick off: 12:00pm
Referee: Geroge Clancy (Irish. Sigh)
Prediction: Bokke by 10