South Africa v Australia in Brisbane (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
South African rugby is right on the edge. Two defeats in New Zealand has just about ended any chance of retaining the Tri Nations Trophy. Another defeat in Australia and South Africa will be in real trouble. Their World Cup Final preparations will be in disarray, the coach's job will be in jeopardy, established players may have to go and rebuilding will need to take place only a year or so away from the major event in world rugby.
The pressure is on Australia as well. Very much the poor cousin of the Tri Nations over the last few seasons the rebuilding of the Australian rugby team is still in progress. They are at a promising stage and hopefully the rebuilding will be completed just in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals. The problem is Australia, with all its promise, is just not delivering the goods.
Brisbane has not been a happy haunting ground for the Springbox since 1971. Surely today is the day to put all the angst of the past two weeks behind them and deliver.
Last Five Encounters
05.09.2009 Australia 21-6 in Brisbane (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
29.08.2009 South Africa 32-25 in Perth (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
08.08.2009 South Africa 29-17 in Capetown (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
30.08.2008 South Africa 53-8 in Johannesburg (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
23.08.2008 Australia 27-15 in Durban (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
Last Five in Brisbane
05.09.2009 Australia 21-6 (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
15.07.2006 Australia 49-0 (Tri Nations, Mandela Cup)
02.08.2003 Australia 29-9 (Tri Nations)
27.07.2002 Australia 38-27 (Tri Nations)
17.07.1999 Australia 32-6 (Tri Nations)
South Africa has never won a Tri Nations test match in Brisbane. The stretch goes back to 1996 when the Tri Nations was instigated. South African memories must go back as far as the notorious 1971 South African tour of Australia. The Springbox won 14-6 in the Brisbane test that year.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-South Africa 2nd, Australia 5th
IRB Rankings-South Africa 2nd (88.41), Australia 3rd (84.41)
Prediction: South Africa by 8 points
15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (capt), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 Benn Robinson.
16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Kurtley Beale.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wynand Oliver, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Ryan Kankowski, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (capt), 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Butch James, 22 Juan de Jongh.
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers