South Africa v Australia in Wellington (World Cup, Quarter final 3)
Venue: Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
This will be another pulsating, enthralling encounter.
There are no two sides at this level with such contrasting styles of play. It will be the might of the South African pack against the skill of the Australian backs.
South Africa has the better record at this World Cup. They have conceded fewer points than any other side. Their defence is second to none. Their forward pack is brutal and has yet to be mastered in this tournament. They may have lost two key players (Steyn and Botha) but their replacements (de Villiers and Rossouw) are experienced players. South Africa showed against Fiji that they can run the ball with skill and showed against Samoa just how good their defence is. They are a team without weaknesses.
Australia has won 5 of their last 6 encounters against the Springbox. These tow teams have a long history but recently Australia has gained the better of their old rivals. If the forwards can hold the in the tight five, their loose forwards may gain an advantage now that David Pocock is back in the side. If Australia can gain quick ball at the break downs they will be dangerous.
In 1999 South Africa and Australia met at the quarter finals stage. Australia won and went on to lift the Rugby World Cup. I’m going for the underdog Australia to repeat history-at the quarter finals stage at least.
Last Five Encounters
13.08.2011 Australia 14-9 in Durban (Mandela Cup; Tri Nations)
23.07.2011 Australia 39-20 in Sydney (Mandela Cup; Tri Nations)
04.09.2010 Australia 41-39 in Bloemfontein (Mandela Cup; Tri Nations)
28.08.2010 South Africa 44-31 in Pretoria (Mandela Cup; Tri Nations)
24.07.2010 Australia 30-13 in Brisbane (Mandela Cup; Tri Nations)
South Africa This World Cup (Pool D)
11.09.2011 v Wales W 17-16 in Wellington
17.09.2011 v Fiji W 49-3 in Wellington
22.09.2011 v Namibia W 87-0 in Albany
30.09.2011 v Samoa W 13-5 in Albany
Australia This World Cup (Pool C)
11.09.2011 v Italy W 32-6 in Albany
17.09.2011 v Ireland L 6-15 in Auckland
23.09.2011 v USA W 67-5 in Wellington
01.10.2011 v Russia W 68-22 in Nelson
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-South Africa 1st, Australia 4th
IRB Ranking Points
South Africa 86.71, Australia 84.84
Prediction: Australia by 5 points
15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit, Capt. 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Willem Alberts, 19 François Louw, 20 François Hougaard, 21 Butch James, 22 Gio Aplon.
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Patrick McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 William Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock,
6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill, Capt. 4 Daniel Vickerman, 3 Benjamon Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Benjamin McCalman, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Anthony Fainga'a.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans