Wallabies vs Springboks Rugby Championship preview and prediction

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    The stage is set for an intriguing battle between the Wallabies and Springboks in Perth on Saturday.

    Wallabies vs Springboks live scores and blog

    The Boks look a resurgent outfit, unbeaten this year after a low ebb in 2016. The Wallabies, meanwhile, will be desperate to notch a win after back-to-back defeats to the All Blacks.

    Crowd support may be split as the Western Force saga lurches on, with many fans urged to create a #SeaOfBlue in protest against the ARU.

    The form guide
    Well, the Springboks have started their campaign strongly, easing past the Pumas twice, including a 23-41 victory last week in Salta.

    The Wallabies will have gained confidence from their improved showing in Dunedin, but they remain winless in the Rugby Championship.

    Michael Cheika’s men have played two decent halves against the rampant All Blacks, but unfortunately not in the same game.

    All-time record Wallabies vs Springboks
    2016 – Springboks won 18-10 in Pretoria
    2016 – Wallabies won 23-17 in Brisbane
    2015 – Wallabies won 24-20 in Brisbane
    2014 – Springboks won 28-10 in Cape Town
    2014 – Wallabies won 24-23 in Perth
    2013 – Springboks won 28-8 in Cape Town
    2013 – Springboks won 38-12 in Brisbane
    2012 – Springboks won 31-8 in Pretoria
    2012 – Wallabies won 26-19 in Perth
    2011 – Wallabies won 11-9 in Wellington
    2011 – Wallabies won 14-9 in Durban
    2011 – Wallabies won 39-20 in Sydney
    2010 – Wallabies won 41-39 in Bloemfontein
    2010 – Springboks won 44-31 in Pretoria
    2010 – Wallabies won 30-13 in Brisbane
    2009 – Wallabies won 21-6 in Brisbane

    Adam Coleman wins a lineout for the Wallabies

    Team news
    For the Wallabies, Tatafu Polota-Nau starts at hooker to shore up the scrum while Stephen Moore is on fatherly duty.

    Rookie Jordan Uelese is a surprise inclusion on the bench ahead of Tolu Latu, despite just 28 minutes of Super Rugby with the Rebels.

    Adam Coleman returns alongside the impressive Rory Arnold in the second row.

    In the backline, Dane Haylett-Petty is ruled out for bicep surgery, missing the chance to delight his home fans. Reece Hodge starts in his place. Samu Kerevi will be on the bench.

    For the Springboks, halfback Ross Cronje has overcome an ankle complaint to return in the No.9 jersey.

    In the pack, Pieter-Steph du Toit starts at lock for Franco Mostert. Francois Hougaard, Handre Pollard, and Lood de Jager make the bench.

    Wallabies
    15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.

    Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona.

    South Africa
    15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (c), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

    Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende.

    Eben Etzebeth South Africa Springboks Rugby Union 2017 tall

    Prediction
    Really tough one to call. It’s crucial to win your home games and the Wallabies are already playing catch-up.

    The supporters will be out to prove a point, but may turn on the locals if they start slowly. Perth always brings a strong African contingent too.

    The visitors won’t afford any respite. The Springboks are in fine fettle, winning five from five this year, each by a minimum of 18 points.

    Their blend of grit, physicality, and speed will be tough to match. Keep an eye out for the dynamic stylings of Siya Kolisi in the back row.

    The Wallabies feel like they’ve steadied the ship somewhat with last week’s valiant defeat, but there’s also a risk that it knocked the wind out of them to fall at the final hurdle.

    Cheika will be hell bent on getting back to winning ways.

    Can the Wallabies string together a complete 80-minute performance? Gee, you’d hope so. Expect a fiery encounter, a bit of blood spilled and ‒ I hate to say it ‒ a probable Springbok victory.

    Springboks by 8.

    Where: nib Stadium, Perth
    When: 8pm AEST (6pm local) Saturday 9 September
    TV: Ten, live, Fox Sports, live
    Betting: Wallabies $1.75, Springboks $2.10

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