We break down the main talking points and team news ahead of Saturday’s rugby championship test between Australia and South Africa, live on Sky sports.
Kolisi promises improved performance
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said it was “difficult to see” her review of last weekend’s loss to Australia, but the world champions were determined to make amends in the Rugby Championship rematch in Brisbane on Saturday. .
The Springboks were poor in their execution on both defense and offense in the 28-26 loss at Gold Coast, with Wallabies midfielder Quade Cooper kicking the winning penalty after the siren.
Australia secured a remarkable 28-26 victory over South Africa in their Rugby Championship clash
Kolisi said they had identified their mistakes and promised a much more polished display this weekend.
“We know where we went wrong and it was very upsetting to lose like this, with the mistakes we made. It was hard to see,” he told the media on Friday.
“So we are more determined this week. We have worked very hard on what we need to do. We made such simple mistakes. We can be so much better this weekend, and we will be.”
The Boks were left struggling on defense and while they only conceded one shot, they were forced to take numerous offside penalties that cost them on the scoreboard.
“You can see for yourself, 21 missed tackles and we also had less dominant tackles,” Kolisi said. “It is one of the lowest defensive games we have ever had. Australia played very well, they dominated the blows when they had the ball in their hand.”
Woodward: Springboks lack of style is ending the game
Rugby will be dead in five years if more teams copy South Africa’s approach to the game, said England coach, 2003 World Cup winner Clive Woodward, criticizing the world champions’ reluctance to run with the ball and their great dependence on set pieces.
South Africa, which plays Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday, lost 28-26 to the Wallabies last week after the Australians beat the Springboks following South Africa’s determination not to run the ball.
“Positive, imaginative, attacking rugby is the way to go overall,” Woodward said at the Daily mail.
“I watched with horror last weekend the poverty and boredom of the South African team against Australia.
“Rugby was not and is not meant to be played like this and I am happy that Australia won.
“It should be of concern to everyone involved in the sport that rugby is going down that path. It will be dead in five years if it does.”
Woodward doubted that even the South African players were happy with the way they played the game.
“The ball should always be your friend, not a time bomb,” he added. “What’s the point of neutralizing your best players, kicking the leather off the ball all day?
“I would love to sit down with the South African team and ask them, ‘Do you really enjoy playing this way?'”
Rugby Championship Live
September 18, 2021, 7:15 a.m. M.
Stick: SA won’t play this champagne rugby
In addition to Woodward, South Africa has been more widely criticized this week for its style of play, which relies on strong kicking and mastery of the set piece, but assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said players on the line of background they can play more with the ball in hand style if they choose.
“If the space is there for them to take it, they always have the freedom to do so. I would not say that we are not looking for (attacking) opportunities,” he added.
“But we are not going to try to force things and play this champagne rugby that everyone is talking about. It is not in us.”
“The most important thing for us is to play the game of pressure, through the boot, from set pieces or with the ball in hand.”
‘Wallabies great Hooper sets the standard for leadership’
Michael Hooper will be captain of his country for the record sixtieth time when he runs out of the Wallabies against the Springboks in Brisbane, and he will do so with the loud endorsement of his coach in his ears.
The open-sided wing, still a month before its 30th birthday, has led Australia on the proving ground for most of the last decade, during which it has almost always been present on the side.
Dave Rennie, who did not hesitate to reappoint Hooper to the position when he took over as coach in 2020, said this week that he would be “stunned” if anyone questioned his playing qualities.
“You talk to players from all over the world and he is highly respected,” the New Zealander told the media.
“He’s a great Wallaby. If he played in a different era when you had a team full of very seasoned and seasoned players and you are dominating the world, he would be considered one of the best players in the world and one of the greats.
“He’s so tough. Even the other day against the All Blacks, Brodie Retallick opens it up, gets 20 stitches, puts on a hat and pops up again and gives the same intensity.”
Despite playing in the 2015 World Cup final, Hooper’s nine-year Test career has spanned a mostly disappointing era for Australian rugby.
Hooper, however, was unwilling to join his coach in speculation about his status had he played in Australia’s golden age.
“That is not even something to consider, I am here, I am now,” he told the media on Friday.
“I’ve been luckier to be around some of the teams and players I’ve been to. I loved it.”
Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White; 1 James Slipper, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 Taniela Tupou, 4 Izack Rodda, 5 Matt Philip, 6 Lachie Swinton, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Rob Valetini.
Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Marvin Orie, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Franco Mostert, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.