The Springboks and the Wallabies are preparing for their third and final match in the Tri Nations tournament. Scheduled for this Saturday, September 4, it should prove to be an explosive showdown as both teams have plenty on the line.
While the All Blacks have already secured the Tri Nations title, these two teams are deadlocked in the battle for the Mandela Challenge Plate. With one win apiece, it comes down to match number three to decide who will take the silverware this year. The Aussies haven’t claimed the plate since 2008 and are hoping they have what it takes to get it back. But the Boks have already surrendered one title already, keeping this one will be high on their priority list.
On the heels of a crushing loss to the Boks last week, the Wallabies are looking to shift focus. It seems they’ve learned from their mistakes and are confident that they can grab their first win at altitude in nearly 50 years. Besides planning on a full 80 minutes of strong, physical play, the team is going to focus on winning possession and solving their lineout problems. It will be no easy task especially when you consider all of the missing players. With six starters on the injury list, coach Robbie Deans will have to dig deep to put together a winning team.
Once piece of good news is the return of Nathan Sharpe. After riding the bench with an ankle injury, the all important lock will definitely help in solving those lineout problems. Deans has also overhauled the forward line by dropping Saia Faingaa, Dean Mumm, and Richard Brown. Stephen Moore, Mark Chisholm and Ben McCalman will step in. The shake-up is expected to further improve their lineout strategy.
The Springboks are also going into this one with some confidence. Not only will they have the support of the home crowd and 50 years worth of wins on the home grounds on their side, but it also looks like they’ve righted the ship after a disappointing start to the tournament. They gave the All Blacks a run for their money in their third and final match, and went on to grab a come from behind victory over the Wallabies. If they can put on another strong performance for the entire run of the game, their chances are looking very good. Coach Peter de Villiers has only made one change to the named squad. Danie Rossouw will step in for Flip van der Merwe. Otherwise, things will remain the same for the team.
This is anyone’s game. The Wallabies will put up a strong effort as they’re desperate to improve on last year’s 1 from 6 record. In addition, with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, many of these guys need to prove they’re worth keeping on the team. It’s going to be a close one. Don’t forget to get to Ladbrokes.com.au to put down your wagers before things kick off on Saturday. They’re currently offering the following odds:
Head to Head
South Africa: 1.33
South Africa: 1.91 (-8.5)
Australia: 1.91 (+8.5)
South Africa: 2.10 (-10.5)
Australia: 2.10 (+6.5)
South Africa: 2.30
South Africa: 2.88