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Fri, 07 Aug 2009 07:50

Springbok lock Victor Matfield believes the Australian line-out will pose a much bigger threat than the All Blacks’, when they face the Wallabies in a Tri-Nations clash at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

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Kevin McCallum
August 07 2009 at 07:10AM

They are the sorcerer and the enforcer of Springbok rugby, the yin and yang of a tight five that is the envy of world rugby, and on Saturday at Newlands in the Tri-Nations match against Australia, Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha will rattle up the 50th celebration of their partnership in the green and gold.

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Tense Wallabies reach boiling point as Robbie Deans arrives in town

By Iain Payten

Robbie Deans arrived in Cape Town on Thursday to find his Australia team armed with a promising pre-Test mindset – close to knocking each other’s blocks off. Continue reading

Cape Town – Wallabies forwards have laughed off the complaints of Springboks coach Peter de Villiers that they deliberately cheat by collapsing scrums in the hope of ‘‘milking’’ penalties.

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Article By:

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 08:11

There will be intriguing head-to-head showdowns all over the field when South Africa face Australia in a Tri-Nations crunch match in Cape Town on Saturday, but top of that list may well be the breakdown battle.

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Article By: Jan de Koning Tue, 04 Aug 2009 09:54 Jan de Koning goes back into the archives to find a team that compares with John Smit’s class of 2009. He has to go back a few decades to find it. Continue reading

Having spent last week getting his conditioning up, Juan Martin Hernandez, the latest recruit to The Sharks camp, is now looking to bring his special brand of magic to his new side. We caught up with him and found out a little more about him.

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By Iain Payten, Former Australian Captain August 05, 2009

George Smith for most of his career had only to survive the onslaught of giant Springboks forwards to work his magic at the breakdown.

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Hey All,

I am, to say the least, absolutely PISSED OFF this morning!!! I watched the News last night and saw that at club level there were deliberate racial ‘attacks’ on the rugby field, at first when it was mentioned in the headlines I thought, “it is just another ploy to make rugby look bad”, but to my dismay it was shown that people go onto the field with “weapons”!!

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So, so chuffed to see that Div has gone with the same side that took out the Kiwi’s last Saturday. There was a lot of talk about him perhaps reverting to Pienaar at flyhalf, but sanity has prevailed, and the man has gone with the side that must be on the biggest legal high in the world …

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‘Shadow’ kan hakskene vir blitsige Jongi wys

J.J. Harmse
PretoriaTerwyl die son dreig om vinniger as ooit oor die Cheetahs se drome in die Curriebeker-reeks te sak, hoop die Blou Bulle om Vrydag op Vodacompark in Bloemfontein ’n verdere skaduwee daarop te gooi wanneer hulle teen die Vrystaat speel.

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From Jan de Koning on

Veteran Wallaby loose forward George Smith, one of a handful of celebrated players with 100 Test caps, believes the set pieces will be the key when Australia tackle South Africa in a Tri-Nations crunch match in Cape Town on Saturday.

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Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says players who were in the driving seat for starting positions at the start of the international season, will struggle to get back in the Bok team as they head into the business-end of the Tri-Nations. Continue reading


Springboks – 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Andries Bekker, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Wynand Olivier.

All Blacks — 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Cory Jane.



Last updated 05:00 01/08/2009


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SHARK ATTACK: The All Blacks face a hungry Springbok side at Durban's Absa Stadium, known as the Shark Tank, early tomorrow.

SHARK ATTACK: The All Blacks face a hungry Springbok side at Durban’s Absa Stadium, known as the Shark Tank, early tomorrow.


This is one result Graham Henry does not want blotting his coaching CV.

History is speckled with tales of All Blacks coaches who have travelled to South Africa buoyed at the prospect of beating the Springboks on their own soil, only to be sent scuttling back to Aotearoa disillusioned and disappointed.

Alex MacDonald’s lot got spanked 4-0 in 1949, Jack Sullivan’s crew went down 2-1 one test was drawn in Bloemfontein in 1960, the 1970 vintage under Ivan Vodanovich were done 3-1 and JJ Stewart’s 1976 side were left hurt and bewildered following their 3-1 series defeat.

Before those tours, All Blacks teams were largely self-coached by the manager and players.

He might be the most successful coach in All Blacks history but tomorrow morning Henry is in grave danger of joining that infamous list.

Many would argue this is not a real series because it comprises just two tests. But with the way the international programme is, the two Tri-Nations fixtures will have to suffice.

Before he left New Zealand, Henry said the coaches were viewing these matches as a series but last weekend’s defeat in Bloemfontein has torpedoed those hopes, sinking his opportunity to join 1996 coach John Hart as the only other All Blacks gaffer to return home triumphant from the Republic with a series win.

Now Henry is fighting to prevent being the first Kiwi coach to lose in South Africa since Stewart.

The arrival of professionalism has brought greed and cynicism hence tests that are now a dime a dozen but it cannot wipe away the mystique of battles between the All Blacks and the Springboks in South Africa.

When filled to the gills, their magnificent stadiums are a hotbed of parochialis
m, noise and banter. Lifted by their rabid fans, the Springboks explode into action as if they have had TNT shoved down their gullets.

Tomorrow’s stoush at Durban’s Absa Stadium, known as the “Shark Tank”, promises plenty although forecast rain could subdue the running game as these two sides go at it like a couple of angry bears in a pit.

Although the Springboks have tried to avoid the hype about beating the All Blacks twice within eight days on their own soil, they will take a massive dose of satisfaction from the achievement.

Morne Steyn’s selection at first five-eighth shows the Boks’ game plan will be uncomplicated; the Bulls pivot will kick the shine off his boots as he looks to set up his forwards inside the All Blacks half and if there is a chance for him and fullback Frans Steyn to kick long-range drop goals they will.

Steyn banged over a record four drop goals in the Super 14 semifinal in Pretoria against the Crusaders. Despite this, the All Blacks say they have no plan in place to counter this danger.

“No, we haven’t thought too much about that. I think a lot of our week has been about sorting out our own game,” centre Conrad Smith said. “We are aware that he can drop goal and if we give penalties away he can kick them.

“Hopefully we can spend a lot more time in their half than they do in ours. That was the problem last week and that’s more what we have concentrated on this week.”


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