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‘Still stinging’: Smarting Springboks out to hit back

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16th September, 2021
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Still stinging from being shown up at scrum time last time out, South Africa are banking on their vaunted set piece to restore order with a bounce-back Rugby Championship win over Australia on Saturday night.

The Springboks say they took it personally when the Wallabies scrum piled over them at the end of the first half and second half, ultimately costing the world champions six points – and the match – in the last-gasp 28-26 loss on the Gold Coast on Sunday night.

Returning prop Trevor Nyakane, who is back in the side after suffering an ankle injury against Argentina, insists it won’t happen again in the return battle at Suncorp Stadium.

“Definitely it hurts for us as a pack,” said Nyakane, one of South Africa’s standouts in this year’s series with the British and Irish Lions.

“It doesn’t matter when and how it happens. For us, we always want to be dominant.

South Africa prepare to take on the Wallabies

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“We strive to be dominant and try to get 100 per cent scrums we go in, so it was tough to see that and we as a team knew we’d have to go back, look at those pictures and try to understand what happened.

“We did that and it’s buried in the back of our minds; we know what they’re capable of and know they’ll come much harder than they did last week.

“It will start and end with momentum, same in the set piece so we’ll do all we can to salvage that.”

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South Africa will face a new-look Australian front row for the early scrum exchanges.

With Allan Alaalatoa leaving camp for the birth of his first child, destructive prop Taniela Tupou will have his first start of the tournament for the Wallabies. James Slipper also returns to the starting front row, with Angus Bell and Tom Robertson on the bench.

The Boks did have some success at the set piece last outing, with three tries coming from driving mauls at Cbus Super Stadium.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said the Australians had plans to rectify their lineout problems, but just wouldn’t publicly reveal them at Thursday’s team naming.

South Africa will likely have to win their remaining three games in the Rugby Championship to retain the title they won in 2019.

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That means winning on Saturday night, then defeating the All Blacks in back-to-back Tests. That’s no easy feat. The Springboks haven’t won in Australia in eight years, while the Wallabies have won their past eight Tests at Suncorp Stadium.

© AAP

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