Thursday, 3 September 2009

Australia v South Africa (Sat)


South Africa will secure their first Tri-Nations title since 2004 should they beat Australia on Saturday.
The unbeaten Springboks are nine points clear of New Zealand and will seal the trophy with victory over a Wallabies side who they beat 32-25 last week.
The under-fire Wallabies are winless in this year's competition and have made five changes for the Brisbane Test with centre Berrick Barnes back from injury.
South Africa have made one change - wing Odwa Ndungane in for JP Pietersen.
Danie Rossouw, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury, replaces injured lock Andries Bekker on the bench.
Lock Bakkies Botha and wing Bryan Habana are both included despite minor injury concerns.
South Africa have been the stand-out side in this year's Tri-Nations and coach Peter de Villiers says his side can get even better if they tightened up their game.
"It's frightening to know, the amount of mistakes on a weekend when you have played so well, the amount of mistakes they made and how good they can be if clinical in their execution," he said.

"So yes, we trust each other, we know where we can be and we know where we want to be, but we're not taking anything for granted."
South Africa's victory last week was only the second in their past 13 matches in Australia and they have not won in Brisbane since 1971.
The Springboks have lost all their five Tests at Lang Park and have been held try-less in their past three Tests at the venue.
But they are overwhelming favourites to claim their fifth win of the competition against a side that have lost their past six Tri-Nations matches - stretching back to last year - which equals their record for most consecutive losses in the tournament.
Under-pressure coach Robbie Deans has made a host of changes, with four players who were on the bench for last week's loss included in the team.
George Smith moves to number eight so David Pocock can replace Richard Brown.
Drew Mitchell replaces Peter Hynes on the wing, with Tatafu Polota-Nau in for Stephen Moore in the front row, and scrum-half Will Genia makes his debut.
Barnes replaces Ryan Cross in the 12 shirt.
"We tend to approach it from a squad perspective," said Deans. "This is by no means tokenism nor is it wielding a stick.
"Some of these blokes getting their first start have earned their right, it's not something out of the ordinary, they have shown already they are capable.
"It also shows there are no guarantees for the future."
Deans's team have come in for huge criticism, but he said his side would not lack motivation despite it being a dead rubber.
"It's a Test match and against the world's best team at one of the premier venues in world rugby," he said.
"That's not a prospect any of our blokes would take lightly. Every time you put on your national jumper you want to, and expect to, do your best."

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