Allister Coetzee Springboks can ill afford another lost in this years Castle Rugby Championship as they face the Aussies in Pretoria on Saturday.
With three losses out of four so far and a total of three wins from seven test, pressure is mounting on the Springbok coach and his team. The Aussies have been steadily getting better after the two huge losses against the All Blacks and will challenge the Springboks come Saturday.
They have been clinical against the Argentinians in their last outing scoring some great tries on there way to their second test win in this years Rugby Championship. It is looking that they have started to find there feet as they have been hampered by injuries this year.
When we look at Coetzee starting fifteen then we can assume that he will go into the match with a more conservative approach in his selection of Paige and Steyn with Lambie at fullback.
In sense we expected this from Coetzee as he cannot afford another loss and worse one in South Africa. With the experience of Steyn and Juan de Jongh he would hope that he has enough to organised the defense at the back.
Paige deserve a start after some poor performances from Faf De Klerk and Elton Jantjies. Both are new to test rugby and they are learning which will make them better players in the long run at test level.
One would have liked to see Lionel Mapoe get a run with the experience De Jongh as most of us felt that De Allende did not help Mapoe as a partner in the test they played together this year.
Although Coetzee have a secure plan to win this test with the players he picked we need to understand that the Aussies will know exactly what to expect from the Springbok comes Saturday and we can be assured that they would have made their counter plans for it as well.
Wallaby coach Michael Cheika is wary of their opponents and dismissed suggestions that the Boks were not a force in the world game after their recent run of defeats.
“It’s easy to say that when you haven’t played against them… they’re one of the traditional powerhouses of world rugby and that doesn’t go away,” he said.
“All that other stuff is rubbish – I don’t think that the last two games that we have played count for much and I don’t think what they’ve done in the last couple of games counts for much either.
“I’m sure we’re going to see the best Springbok team and we’ve got to bring our game as well. We’ll see where we end up.”
2016: Australia won 23-17 in Brisbane
2015: Australia won 24-20 in Brisbane
2014: South Africa won 28-10 in Cape Town
2014: Australia won 24-23 in Perth
2013: South Africa won 28-8 in Cape Town
2013: South Africa won 38-12 in Brisbane
2012: South Africa won 31-8 in Pretoria
2012: Australia won 26-19 in Perth
2011: Australia won 11-9 in Wellington
2011: Australia won 14-9 in Durban
2011: Australia won 39-20 in Sydney
2010: Australia won 41-39 in Bloemfontein
2010: South Africa won 44-31 in Pretoria
2010: Australia won 30-13 in Brisbane
2009: Australia won 21-6 in Brisbane
Prediction: Many will disagree with me but this is the best team Coetzee have picked this year. Test rugby is all about winning and can see a Springbok win by 7 points.
South Africa: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jessie Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Stephen Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Willie le Roux, 23 Lionel Mapoe
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge,10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements (one to be omitted): 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Scott Fardy, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Sefa Naivalu