No security for Springboks

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Springboks aren’t reading much into Australia’s Bledisloe failings, ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Brisbane, assistant coach Mzwandile Sitck says.

South Africa has only beaten the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium once, a 38-12 victory in 2013, and Stick said with both sides in somewhat of a transition period, it was hard to judge their form.

“I think looking at the type of players they've got, you can never underestimate them. Irrespective of the changes they make on their side, they'll still be a good side,” he said.

The Springboks have changed a bit since June. Photo: Getty images“Quade Cooper he's a world class player, Will Genia also coming back to play for the side, he's also a world class player.

“On their day if those guys they click in together and make sure that they play as a team, they could be dangerous.

“They're playing at home, so you can never underestimate them.”

The Springboks say the Foley-Cooper combinations gives more balance. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyStick, who has the backline responsibility at the Boks, said the Wallabies’ new 10-12 partnership with Cooper and Bernard Foley made them more of a kicking threat, an area where South Africa has struggled in recent weeks.

“Quade Cooper and then looking at Foley now playing at 12, that's going to give them another option for their kicking game,” he said/

“I think we're expecting them to have a more balanced game so that's something we're also going to need to work out and make sure we manage it very well.”

The Wallabies lineout was an area targeted by the All Blacks during the Bledisloe and it’s one the Springboks could capitalise on as well, with locks Eben Etzebeth and Lood De Jager in their lineuo.


South Africa will be dangerous in the set piece. Photo: Getty ImagesStick, though, was quick to qualify any Australian weaknesses by praising the All Blacks.

“We saw they were struggling in the lineouts against New Zealand so let's give credit to New Zealand on what they've achieved on the day," he said.

“[We’re] talking about two sides that are almost in a similar situation, talking about South Africa and the way we're struggling at the moment to be on form and Australia, they're also in the same boat.”

Juan de Jongh has returned to the Srpingboks after a Sevens stint. Photo: Getty ImagesSouth Africa centre Juan De Jongh said they had to clear their heads after a loss to the Pumas in Salta two weeks ago.

“What happened in Argentina is behind us now,” he said.

“We had a week off to clear our minds a bit and for us it's more important to focus on the small little things and making sure that we rectify all the mistakes that we did in Salta.”