Saturday, July 18, 2015

AUSTRALIA v SOUTH AFRICA: Rugby Championship


Image thanks to

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Both these teams had less than memorable tours of the Northern Hemisphere last November. Australia’s only win was against Wales, whilst South Africa lost to both Wales and South Africa but defeated England.

In the Rugby Championship South Africa defeated the All Blacks at home whilst Australia came within one point of the World Champions on this very ground. The prospect of the outcome of this vital test are mouth watering.

Firstly both teams will be desperate to win. Really desperate! It will be the first step in erasing the pain of November and a more hopeful eye on the World Cup come September.

Australia has reintroduced two veterans in Matt Giteau and David Pocock. They join Genia and Adam Ashley-Cooper in a very experienced back line. But unless they can hold the giant South African pack they could well be back at the drawing board come Monday.

South Africa has failed to produce consistently good results for over a season. They have their veterans in the forward pack including Victor Matfield. Aged 38 and about to play his 122nd test match the fitness levels and ageing bones may well tell if Australia plays and expansive game.

Victor Matfield. Image thanks to

Can’t wait!

Last Five Encounters
06.09.2014 Australia 24-23 in Perth (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)
27.09.2014 South Africa 28-10 in Capetown (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)28.09.2013 South Africa 28-8 in Capetown (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)
07.09.2013 South Africa 38-12 in Brisbane (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)
29.09.2012 South Africa 31-8 in Pretoria (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)

Australia Last Five P 5, W 1, L 4
29.11.2014 v England L 17-26 at Twickenham (Cook Cup)
22.11.2014 v Ireland L 23-26 in Dublin
15.11.2014 v France L 26-29 in Paris
08.11.2014 v Wales W 33-28 in Cardiff
18.10.2014 v New Zealand L 28-29 in Brisbane (Bledisloe Cup)

South Africa Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2

29.11.2014 v Wales L 6-12 in Cardiff
22.11.2014 v Italy W 22-6 in Padova
15.11.2014 v England W 31-28 at Twickenham
08.11.2014 v Ireland L 15-29 in Dublin
04.10.2014 v New Zealand W 27-25 in Christchurch (Rugby Championship)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: South Africa 4th, Australia 10th

World Rugby Ranking Points
South Africa 88.23, Australia 82.95

Prediction: South Africa by 4. Score 20-16


15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matthew Giteau, 11 Robert Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 William Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Robert Simmons,
4 William Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (Capt.), 1 James Slipper.
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Gregory Holmes, 19 James Horwill,
20 David Pocock, 21 Nicholas Phipps, 22 Matthew Toomua, 23 Andrew Mitchell.

Head Coach: Michael Cheika


South Africa
15 William le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende,
11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger,
7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Patrick Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Head Coach: Heyneke Meyer


* This will be Australian coach Michael Cheika's first test on home soil.
* Matt Giteau last played a test for Australia against Samoa in 2011. That was
  a shock loss for Australia. He was playing his 92nd test match.
* Australian wing Adam Ashley-Cooper will play his 105th test for Australia 
  maintaining his place as 4th highest test player.
* David Pocock returns to the Australian test side after an absence of 18
   months due to injury. He last played a test for Australia against Wales in
   November 2012
* Jesse Kriel will be making his test debut for South Africa.

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