Springboks hopeful of ending Suncorp drought

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

South Africa's barren Brisbane history is no psychological barrier for the Springboks, according to captain Siya Kolisi.

Brisbane has not been a happy hunting ground for the Springboks.

In fact Suncorp is the ground at which they have their worst visiting record, with just one win from 10 matches against the Wallabies there, along with a 2003 World Cup pool win over Samoa.

The Springboks' sole win came in 2013, a 38-12 victory over Robbie Deans' side, with Australia scraping through with 24-20 and 23-17 wins in 2015 and 2016.

Last year, the sides played out a draw in Perth.

Kolisi said their Brisbane history wouldn’t play on their minds on Saturday night.

“We can only trust in our preparations, not what other people have done,” he said.

The Springboks have lost their last two away Tests, to Argentina and Wales.

Kolisi said they were confident they could turn that trend around.

“We’re not at a stage where we say: ‘we can’t win away’,” he said.

“This game this weekend is very important for both of us, for the championship as well.

“Playing away games we didn’t have a good record.

“This game for the championship is very important and it is very important for Australia as well to keep the competition alive.”

News of David Pocock's withdrawal came after Kolisi addressed media on Friday but it seems unlikely it will change the visitors' plans.

New Zealand's brutal treatment of Pocock in the two Bledisloe Tests left the flanker so stiff he could barely move his neck post-game in Auckland.

The 29-year-old couldn't shake off that soreness and almost a fortnight later was ruled out of the Brisbane Test because of it.

Pocock had also been targeted through the Super Rugby season after his return to Canberra this season.

The Wallabies didn't take any issues to the citing commissioner but the Brumbies had taken instances to SANZAAR through the season without any action taken.

Both Michael Cheika and Dan McKellar have voiced their concern for the flanker's long-term health.

Speaking before Pocock's withdrawal, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi said they weren't planning to put their attention solely on Pocock despite his damaging ability.

“We haven’t spoken specifically about plans for him but we know how good he is and you can’t really just watch him because if we just watch him Michael Hooper will have a go as well,” he said.

“We know in general Australia is good at the breakdown so it’s something we know about, are aware about and have trained for it.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”

South Africa has benched one of its own most dangerous fetchers in hooker Malcolm Marx but Kolisi said he was confident in the rest of the team to make up for Marx’s absence.

“In the modern day rugby game everybody can be a fetcher, so there’s a couple of guys who play other positions who can do the job," he said.

The Wallabies take on South Africa at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday September 8, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten, Macquarie Radio and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.