Springboks vs Australia – Tri-Nations 28 Aug 2010
After last Saturday’s heart breaking, final minute (kick in the jollies) loss to the All Blacks, the Springboks have another chance at winning a Tri-Nations Test, this time against the Wallabies.
Can the Springboks break their current losing streak? Will Victor Matfield celebrate his 100th Test at his home ground with a glorious victory? Will Habana finally break the record for the most tries he currently shares with Joost Van Der Westhuizen? Will any Wallabies be sent home for public drunkenness after getting into fights outside nightclubs on Saturday night?
Only one more sleep and we will know the answers to these rugby mysteries. I for one think that, they can, he will, he will and of course they will.
Well done to Victor Matfield. A legend in his own time. Praised by team mates, coaches and opposition players alike. The man has single-handedly changed the way line outs are thought about and implemented and through his intense studying of opposition line outs has had more steals than Quade Cooper has had nights in jail. Congrats big man, you embody what being a Springbok is all about.
There are only two changes to the team that lost last Saturday. Jacque Fourie is back after suspension, replacing the hard-working Juan De Jongh and Frans Steyn get’s his first start of the tournament in place of super fast Gio Aplon. Both De Jongh and Aplon played well last week putting in some big hits on defence but Pieter De Villiers has gone with his experienced World Cup winning players and on paper this team looks to be the strongest he has chosen all season.
The Wallabies have based themselves in Cape Town since arriving in SA and only flew up to the Highveld on Thursday. Quade burglar Cooper returns from his suspension and will be looking to razzle dazzle his way through tackles to try to give the Aussies a chance at their first victory at altitude since 1963. Coach Robbie Deans says that the altitude is not really as big a factor as it is made out to be, but the Wallabies do seem to get intimidated at venues like Loftus, having lost 61-22 at the fortress in 1997.
As for the Springboks, they will be hoping that they can retain the same intensity levels they reached last week but this time for the full 80 minutes. They definitely looked better at FNB Stadium with both Schalk Burger and Juan Smith playing sublime rugby. The Springboks lost some momentum when Juan was replaced and it was obvious how much the Bokke have missed this incredible player this year.
In an as yet unexplained twist to this Test, former Bok prop, Toks vd Linde is going to be singing the anthem, which could well be one of the funniest things ever seen at Loftus. He does of course have a huge set of lungs (belly) so should at least be able to be heard around the stadium, whether or not that is a good thing, should be worth tuning in early for.
The ref for this game is Alain Rolland, the very same ref who had such a shocker in the 2nd Tri-Nations Test. So much so that it led to this quality video. Surely he can only improve…
Kick off: 5pm
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Prediction: Bokke by 15