Saturday, September 29, 2012


Australia v South Africa in Pretoria (Rugby Championship, Mandela Cup)

Venue: Loftus Versfeld

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

This test match will be an interesting one. Both sides appear to be striving to play an open, expansive game with some interesting selections.

Australia has won the last five test matches against South Africa but will be up against History on Saturday. They have never won a test match in Pretoria.

Kurtley Beale comes into the pivot position for Australia. Beale has had confidence problems this season and has not been at his best. Although seen as a gamble from Robbie Deans it could well open up the game and create more opportunities for the Australian backline.

Australia has gone for a five-two forwards-back mix on the bench so will be expecting a rough time from the Springbox up front.

Springbox coach has been listening to critics and has dumped Mornie Steyn. This class player will be back but at present his game is not right. His replacement is young Johaan Goosen, a very exciting player. A concern is the injury to Frans Steyn. His replacement is one of two new caps in the side, Jaco Taute.

South Africa will be looking to dominate the Australians up front and create the platform for their backs to excel, something that has been lacking so far this season.

Last Five Encounters
08.09.2012 Australia 26-19 in Perth (Rugby Championship)
09.10.2011 Australia 11-9 in Wellington (World Cup, Quarter-final)
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)

South Africa Last Five P 5, W 1, D 2, L 2
15.09.2012 v New Zealand L 11-21 in Dunedin (Rugby Championship)08.09.2012 v Australia L 19-26 in Perth (Rugby Championship)
25.08.2012 v Argentina D 16-16 in Mendoza (Rugby Championship)
18.08.2012 v Argentina W 27-6 in Capetown (Rugby Championship)
23.06.2012 v England D 14-14 in Port Elizabeth

Australia Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2
15.09.2012 v Argentina W 23-19 in Gold Coast (Rugby Championship)08.09.2012 v South Africa W 26-19 in Perth (Mandela Cup, Rugby Ch.)
25.08.2012 v New Zealand L 0-22 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup; Rugby Ch.)
18.08.2012 v New Zealand L 19-27 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Rugby Ch.)23.06.2012 v Wales W 20-19 in Sydney

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 3rd, South Africa 4th

IRB Ranking Points
Australia 86.62, South Africa 84.20

Prediction: South Africa by 7 points



South Africa

15   Zane Kirchner  Blue Bulls
14   Bryan Habana  Western Province Stormers
13   Jaco Taute * Golden Lions
12   Jean de Villiers (capt.) Western Province Stormers
11   Francois Hougaard  Blue Bulls
10   Johaan Goosen  Free State Cheetahs
9   Ruan Pienaar  Ulster, Ireland
8   Duane Vermeulen  Western Province Stormers
7   Willem Alberts Natal Sharks
6   Francoise Louw  Bath, England
5   Andries Bekker Western Province Stormers
4   Eben Etzebeth  Western Province Stormers
3   Jannie du Plessis  Natal Sharks
2   Adriaan Strauss  Freee State Cheetahs
1   Tendai Mtawarira  Natal Sharks
16   Tiaan Liebenburg  Western Province Stormers
17   Patrick Cilliers  Golden Lions
18   Flip van der Merwe  Blue Bulls
19   Marcell Coetzee  Natal Sharks
20   Elton Jantjies * Golden Lions
21   Juan de Jong Western Province Stormers
22   Patrick Lambie  Natal Sharks
    HEAD COACH: Heyneke Meyer

* Test debut



15   Berrick Barnes  NSW Waratahs
14   Dominic Shipperley  Queensland Reds
13   Adam Ashley-Cooper  NSW Waratahs
12   Patrick McCabe ACT Brumbies
11   Digby Ioane  Queensland Reds
10   Kurtley Beale  Queensland Reds
9   Nicholas Phipps  Melbourne Rebels
8   Radiki Samo  NSW Waratahs
7   Michael Hooper  ACT Brumbies
6   David Dennis  NSW Waratahs
5   Nathan Sharpe (Capt.) WA Western Force
4   Kane Douglas NSW Waratahs
3   Benjamin Alexander  ACT Brumbies
2   Tatafu Polota-Nau  NSW Waratahs
1   Ben Robinson  NSW Waratahs
16   Saia Fainga’a  Queensland Reds
17   James Slipper Queensland Reds
18   Robert Simmons Queensland Reds
19   Scott Higginbotham  Queensland Reds
20   Liam Gill  Queensland Reds
21   Brett Sheehan WA Western Force
22   Anthony Fainga'a  Queensland Reds
    HEAD COACH: Robbie Deans

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