Strauss ready for Brisbane breakdown battle

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The battle will come in the breakdown for the Wallabies and Springboks on Saturday, South Africa captain Adriaan Strauss says.

South Africa had a lesson in how to negate the Michael Hooper-David Pocock combination from the All Blacks last weekend, with the Kiwis trying to take breakdowns out of the equation.

Strauss said the Springboks wouldn’t necessarily take the same route but would be looking out for the breakdown threats throughout the match.

“We're going to need to front up there (in the breakdown),” he said.

“There's a lot of tactics to get those guys out of the game.

“We just need to be sharp and we need to be aware of where they are on the pitch and... what positions they're placing themselves on the field to make those steals and to slow the ball down.

Adriaan Strauss is ready for another tough test. Photo: Getty Images“We are very aware of that and we have prepared for that and it's an area that they are very good at and we're going to have to make a step up there.”

Strauss said there wasn’t just the one way to stop the ‘Pooper’ duo, which made its first cameo in last year’s Wallabies-Springboks Test in Brisbane.

“There's a lot of ways to try and keep them out of the game but they're also very clever players and they find ways to sneak into the rucks,” he said.

“We've prepared quite well for that and on the day we just need to be sharp.”

The Springboks have won in Brisbane just once, in 2013, with last year’s Test decided by a last-gasp Tevita Kuridrani try, and Strauss said he expected another tight encounter on Saturday.

“I think it's always a massive game against Australia, rivals in rugby and we haven't got a great record here in Brisbane but fortunately on the day, the history won't make any difference on the scoreline,” he said.

“We are fully aware that they are a good side, especially in Brisbane, so looking forward to having to play another tough game tomorrow.”

The Wallabies host the Springboks on Saturday at 8:05pm AEST.