Jake backs Boks to go all the way

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    World Cup-winning coach Jake White believes only a fool would rate Australia favourites to beat South Africa in Sunday’s quarter-final blockbuster.

    Four years on from guiding the Springboks to the Webb Ellis Cup, White says his former team have the Wallabies covered for form, experience, bench impact and fully-fit personnel.

    The new Brumbies coach also believes South Africa have the game best suited to handle Wellington’s wet and wild weather conditions, and should go all the way.

    Springboks skipper John Smit this week claimed Australia had the mental edge through winning their two Tri Nations Tests, while Australian bookmakers have the Wallabies slight $1.85 favourites.

    But White said Smit, under selection pressure from Bismarck du Plessis, was playing mind games in order to benefit from underdog status.

    “They play a lot better with the underdog tag,” he told AAP.

    “They have the feeling it will bring out the best of the group.

    “The reality is Australia have a lot of players who are coming back from injury and they lost a game at the World Cup already.

    “Anyone who understands rugby will know the Boks must be favourites.

    “They are second in the world, they have winning momentum and have got 16 or 17 players who have won a World Cup playing in the tournament knowing exactly what is expected of them.

    “Experience is a massive factor. When we look at the history of World Cups it’s the teams that have been there and done that that gives you that added value.”

    Australia, the youngest squad at the tournament, have yet to produce a strong 80-minute pool performance and were upset 15-6 by Ireland, while the Boks have closed out two tense affairs against Wales and Samoa and smashed Fiji and Namibia.

    The inconsistent Wallabies also have been disrupted through injuries, especially to key men David Pocock, Digby Ioane and Kurtley Beale, and are less dangerous in the wet.

    With New Zealand battling the loss of playmaker Dan Carter, White, controversially replaced by Peter de Villiers after the 2007 World Cup, felt the Boks were in the best shape to defend their crown.

    “South Africa, as world champions, with the most experienced group of players and having 29 of their 30 players fit and available must be favourites to win all three games going home,” he said.

    Adding to the pressure on de Villiers, who will name his team on Thursday morning, he is faced with a huge decision on whether to keep Smit as run-on hooker.

    South African journalists are quietly predicting the colourful coach will drop a bombshell by dumping his captain in favour of in-form Bismarck du Plessis.

    White indicated the timing of a decision which could potentially derail the campaign could not be worse after de Villiers kept Smit in the job all season despite his Sharks teammate’s superior form.

    “I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do at the moment and I don’t want to help him make that decision,” he said. “I would like him to have this decision on his own.

    “There’s no easy way out.”

    If Smit is dropped, lock Victor Matfield would assume the captaincy but fellow veteran Schalk Burger on Wednesday expected the “status quo” would remain.

    Burger, though, downplayed the Boks greater experience as a factor.

    “If we win on Sunday it will probably be put down to ‘experience’, and if we lose it will probably come down to ‘age’ – it doesn’t matter,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (81)

    • October 6th 2011 @ 7:08am
      johnny-boy said | October 6th 2011 @ 7:08am | ! Report

      Jake Jake Jake – I could swear you were positioning yourself for the Springbok job once PDV fails yeah ๐Ÿ™‚

    • October 6th 2011 @ 7:43am
      ny ben said | October 6th 2011 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      I hope the wallabies have this story on their chane room wall. It looks like it’s going to be dry. They have smit starting Whig means the wallabies will have parity in the scrum to start the match and the boks played terrible against Wales and Samoa. If it is remotely dry and the forecast says it will be the wallabies know how to play this big old bok forwards and that is side to side width an speed.

      Wallabies by 15

      • October 6th 2011 @ 7:56am
        johnny-boy said | October 6th 2011 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        But Ben dont be surprised if the Boks come out and play width, just to surprise the Wallabies

      • Roar Guru

        October 6th 2011 @ 8:51am
        Seiran said | October 6th 2011 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        I highly doubt their will be parity. The boks scrum is looking strong and the wallabies scrum hasn’t improved at all this year.

        The game will go one of two ways. Either it will be very, very close with the Boks drop goaling their way to a win, or the wallabies will make some breaks early in the first half and run away with a try fest.

        Should be the best match of the tournament.

        • October 6th 2011 @ 9:11am
          mike said | October 6th 2011 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          “Should be the best match of the tournament.”

          I wouldn’t go that far.

          • October 6th 2011 @ 9:22am
            stillmatic1 said | October 6th 2011 @ 9:22am | ! Report

            werent you criticising Jerry in another thread for shooting down other peoples posts, whilst not commenting on the rugby!? just checking. and whilst your at it being a hypocrite, could you say why it shouldnt be the best match of the tournament?

            or wouldnt you go that far?

            and yes, i am Jerry’s roar bodyguard!!

            and there have been many reasons posted why this game “should” be the best match of the tournament. the other that i am looking for is the passion and atmosphere of the england/france match. irrespective of the points scored.

            • October 6th 2011 @ 10:52am
              peterlala said | October 6th 2011 @ 10:52am | ! Report

              Australia has already played the match of the tournament — against Ireland.

            • October 6th 2011 @ 11:35am
              ohtani's jacket said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:35am | ! Report

              There are two mikes around here and neither is willing to relinquish the title.

              • October 6th 2011 @ 1:35pm
                Mike said | October 6th 2011 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                True.

                I think there may actually be three. There is ‘mike’ above, and I am ‘Mike’ but I have seen some posts by another Mike also.

              • October 6th 2011 @ 1:36pm
                TembaVJ said | October 6th 2011 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                How do you know 3rd Mike is not 2nd Mike… Mike?

              • October 6th 2011 @ 1:42pm
                Mike said | October 6th 2011 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                *LOL* Fair question Temba!

                On another note, are you feeling confident for Sunday? Not meaning to start an argument, just curious. I note the lads and girls on Keo.co.za are hopeful, but not 100% sure (which is probably wise, for both teams).

            • October 6th 2011 @ 4:51pm
              Kuruki said | October 6th 2011 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

              Shyt reff and shyt weather. This aint going to be anything close to the best match of the tournament.

          • October 7th 2011 @ 12:16am
            Ivan said | October 7th 2011 @ 12:16am | ! Report

            i would. This is going to be brutal. I dont expect the Wallaby scrum to hold up well. If the Wallabie cant compete with the lineout king, and Brussow is on form on the ground – the attack ball becomes quite limited.

            But the Wallabies might just spring us a massive surprise and roll over the bok pack. Ive seen it happen, so im not going to call any wins for either side here – too many ifs, what ifs, and buts.

            Entertainment wise – it becomes knockout Rugby, so its not going to be a try fest. But for the rest of the World (outside of NZ and Aus) who like to see the old arm wrestle, it may provide some entertainment worth the paid subscription.

      • October 6th 2011 @ 11:49am
        AC said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        I believe Smit is a better scrummager than du Plessis. He and his front row colleagues will make sure that the Wallabies front row are forced into errors early on, earning the ire of the referee and sealing their fate.

        • October 6th 2011 @ 12:58pm
          Pillock said | October 6th 2011 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          I reckon you are right on the money.
          SA will kick there way to a win on the back of the ref who will frustrate the hell out of the wallabies.
          Unfortunately it will be like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
          Hope I am wrong.

    • October 6th 2011 @ 8:58am
      Brett McKay said | October 6th 2011 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      I’m calling ‘shenanigans’ here, did Jake White really say “..only a fool would rate Australia favourites to beat South Africa…”?? There’s probably not much argument that the ‘Boks are favourites, but I doubt White is silly enough to label the very people whose support he needs next year as ‘fools’…

      • October 6th 2011 @ 9:48am
        Ben S said | October 6th 2011 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        So we’re presuming that Jake White isn’t actually Jake White, Brett… i.e. a tired old coach who hasn’t been offered a serious job since 2007?! I wonder why the bookies disagree with him? He’s just another Mallett… Too much chat and no actual gimme.

        • October 6th 2011 @ 10:31am
          Brett McKay said | October 6th 2011 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Ben I don’t particularly mind or even care if he thinks South Africa a favourites, or even that he wants them to win. He is only human, after all. I would just be very surprised if he labelled Australian supporters as fools…

          • October 6th 2011 @ 10:50am
            Bunratty said | October 6th 2011 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            then a ‘fool’ you be ๐Ÿ™‚

          • October 6th 2011 @ 11:23am
            Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            Brett I tend to agree with you about JW.

            Lord all mighty how many times has a headline indicated something only to find that it was never said or it was taken out of context? I expect this is similar.

            HOWEVER……….if it’s true as reported that he said this about PDV โ€œI donโ€™t think he knows what heโ€™s going to do at the moment and I donโ€™t want to help him make that decision,โ€ ….then who could but agree? ๐Ÿ™‚

            See what I mean about context?

    • Roar Guru

      October 6th 2011 @ 11:12am
      Jiggles said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:12am | ! Report

      I can’t get my head around this idea that the boks will be too strong in the scrum. They haven’t been too strong for 3 seasons and with Smit likely to start I can’t see them putting the wallabies under pressure there. Journalists and fans alike really need to watch the bok scrum in action, it’s far from the dominant force it’s made out to be.

      • October 6th 2011 @ 4:54pm
        Kuruki said | October 6th 2011 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

        Amen and without Bakkies it’s just got weaker.

    • October 6th 2011 @ 11:26am
      Bob Templeton said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      Oh well, this is the real reason why this family is not renewing its Brumbies membership for next season.

    • October 6th 2011 @ 11:34am
      AussieKiwi said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:34am | ! Report

      To me Australia are favourites. South Africa are overrated and looked unimpressive against Wales and Samoa. The mercurial Wallabies had their bad game against Ireland and if the past is any guide, will come back and have a blinder (pretty much like Eden Park followed by Suncorp).

      • October 6th 2011 @ 11:38am
        ohtani's jacket said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        The mercurial Wallabies? More like the “we’ve sucked so far at the World Cup” Wallabies. Maybe they’ll turn it on this weekend, or maybe they’ll keep passing the ball into touch and putting up box kicks.

        • Roar Guru

          October 6th 2011 @ 11:42am
          Jiggles said | October 6th 2011 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Box kicks aren’t the problem, it’s trying to do box kicks on back foot ball that is.

          • October 6th 2011 @ 1:36pm
            Mike said | October 6th 2011 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            V. good point

        • October 6th 2011 @ 4:37pm
          Sage said | October 6th 2011 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          No, I actually prefer “mercurial”

      • October 6th 2011 @ 1:35pm
        TembaVJ said | October 6th 2011 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        Maybe SA had their bad games against Wales and Samoa but still won and will switch it on this weekend?

        • October 6th 2011 @ 4:55pm
          Kuruki said | October 6th 2011 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

          They havent switched on for a few years now.

          • October 6th 2011 @ 8:22pm
            Mike said | October 6th 2011 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

            Kuruki, I don’t know that “a few years” is fair. I grant you Boks have been playing below their potential for the past 18 months. But prior to that they were well and truly on top. Some highlights:

            2008:
            Won at Dunedin for first time in 100 years

            2009:
            Won series against the Lions
            Won the Tri-Nations (beating ABs in every game)
            Beat 6N grand slam winners (Ireland)

            Anyway, past achievements or lack thereof won’t be much guide as to how they will perform in their next couple of matches.

            • October 7th 2011 @ 1:17am
              Ben S said | October 7th 2011 @ 1:17am | ! Report

              Is this the same 2008 3N where SA came last?

              South Africa lost to Ireland in 2009.

              • October 7th 2011 @ 8:24am
                Mike said | October 7th 2011 @ 8:24am | ! Report

                No Ben S, you must have been reading the wrong post. I referred to the 2009 3N. The one where the ABs lost to the Boks every time.

                My point was that it is inaccurate to say that the Boks “haven’t switched on for a few years now”. Given my respect for the ABs, I think that the Boks beating them 3 times in a row is a pretty good sign of being “switched on” at that time.

                Would you disagree?

                And yes, you are right re Ireland, it was 2010 when the Boks beat them.

              • October 7th 2011 @ 8:59pm
                Ben S said | October 7th 2011 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

                No, I wasn’t reading the wrong post, hence my reference to 2008. I don’t think coming last in the 3N is part of a period where SA were ‘well and truly on top’. Likewise in 2010: SA beating Ireland was basically a single impressive note in an otherwise crapulent season, so basically you should be referring solely to 2009.

              • October 8th 2011 @ 7:31pm
                Mike said | October 8th 2011 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

                Yes Ben S, you failed to read my post before putting fingers to keyboard. I referred to the 3N in 2009.

                2009, not 2008.

                You then responded: “Is this the same 2008 3N where SA came last?”

                When I write 2009 3N, I mean 2009 3N. Its not difficult!

              • October 20th 2011 @ 11:23pm
                Ben S said | October 20th 2011 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

                ‘Yes Ben S, you failed to read my post before putting fingers to keyboard. I referred to the 3N in 2009.

                2009, not 2008.

                You then responded: โ€œIs this the same 2008 3N where SA came last?โ€

                When I write 2009 3N, I mean 2009 3N. Its not difficult!’

                {sigh}

                ‘I grant you Boks have been playing below their potential for the past 18 months. But prior to that they were well and truly on top. Some highlights’

                You included a 2008 result as a highlight. That’s plain silly. A one-off result in a terrible year hardly deserved mention when compared to the successes of 2009. Likewise with your beating Ireland comment. You’re all over the place. Again.

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