Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield anticipates a big battle between South Africa and Australia when the Rugby Championship resumes in Queensland this weekend. But he has backed the South Africans to overcome their hosts.
The Boks will be looking to break an eight-year hoodoo against the Wallabies Down Under. Matfield says that coach Jacques Nienaber must focus on exploiting the mistakes of the Wallabies that were evident in their last two matches against the All Blacks.
Matfield acknowledged the quality in the Australian team, despite it being a young team that was overpowered by the All Blacks in the opening two matches of the competition.
The Wallabies will be mentally inspired by the fact that the Boks have not won a match in Australia since 2013. But that will also be motivation for the Boks. They will look to go into the 100th Test against the All Blacks with another couple of wins behind them.
The Wallabies were completely exposed in the two previous matches, and that is what the Boks should capitalise on this weekend.
“It’s important for us to do very well against Australia. We saw how New Zealand played against them, they beat them quite comfortably I think the Australian team is not a bad team, just making too many mistakes. With the team we have we will use those opportunities when they give us opportunities when they make mistakes so I think it will go very well against Australia, ” says Matfield.
Matfield says the selection of the team by Nienaber was what he expected, although the bench raised eyebrows with no less than three loose forwards included.
“We have so much depth in the team and so many good players and you can rotate them use them in different roles sometimes off the bench sometimes starting them so it’s going to be interesting who he is going to play. I think he will go for this Test but close as possible to his strongest team,” Matfield added.
The Boks go into the fixture boasting an excellent campaign thus far. But they face one of the best teams in the professional era, and that will be enough reason not to underestimate them.