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South Africa v Australia Rugby Championship Rd.5 Preview

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The Rugby Championship returns on Saturday for Round 5 when South Africa’s Springboks host Australia’s Wallabies in Pretoria.

Australia moved up to second place in the Rugby Championship – overtaking South Africa – by beating Argentina (coupled with South Africa’s loss to New Zealand).

While the Rugby Championship title has already been won there is plenty to play for as South Africa have lost their last three matches and Australia need to prove that they are really back to winning ways.

South Africa have won 43% of their matches this year and Australia have won 29% of their matches so neither will be happy with where they are.

The last two matches between these sides have both been won by Australia but they did have home advantage in both. Overall South Africa have played Australia 82 times and they have won 45 matches or 55% of the clashes.

The average score when South Africa play Australia regardless of venue is South Africa 19 Australia 18 but when they play in South Africa the average changes to South Africa 22 Australia 11.

The Springboks have played Australia 43 times on South African soil and they have won 33 matches and lost 10. That gives the Springboks a record of winning 77% of their home matches against Australia.

In Pretoria the stats get a little ugly for Australia as they have visited the city on six occasions and have yet to win a match. The average score when they play in Pretoria is South Africa 32 Australia 16.

South Africa’s head coach Allister Coetzee has made a distinct change in his line up as he has dropped Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies and brought in two players – Frans Steyn and Rudy Paige – who have vast experience of playing at Loftus.

In addition Coetzee has dropped Johan Goosen and started Pat Lambie even though he has played less than half an hour of Currie Cup rugby in recent times. Coetzee has taken this surprising step even though he has Willie le Roux in his team for Saturday.

The forward pack that played New Zealand has been retained but Coetzee has made five changes to the bench.

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has named a more consistent side and made one injury enforced change. Rebels backrower Sean McMahon to replace David Pocock who was ruled out with a hand injury.

Rebels winger Sefa Naivalu has been named on the replacements bench and could make his Test debut if he remains there as Cheika will confirm the bench before the Test.

The Bookies have given Australia a 4 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. Australia clearly don’t like playing at Loftus but South Africa are lacking in confidence and appear to be on the decline. Coetzee’s changes look good on paper and in theory but in Test rugby it could go very differently. That said Loftus is a famously hard place for any visiting team so South Africa should edge this by three.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports Mix (407).

Average score: South Africa 19 Australia 18

Last five results
10 Sep 2016 SAF v AUS 17-23 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
18 Jul 2015 SAF v AUS 20-24 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
27 Sep 2014 SAF v AUS 28-10 Newlands, Cape Town
06 Sep 2014 SAF v AUS 23-24 Subiaco Oval, Perth
28 Sep 2013 SAF v AUS 28-8 Newlands, Cape Town

South Africa’s overall record against Australia
Played 82, Wins 45, Losses 36 , Draws 1

Match No.9:South Africa v Australia
Date : 1 Oct 2016
Venue : Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick Off local: 17.00
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Ref 1:Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Ref 2:George Clancy (Ireland)
TMO : Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Teams

South Africa

15. Pat Lambie , 14. Bryan Habana, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Juan de Jongh , 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Oupa Mohoje , 6. Francois Louw, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth , 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Adriaan Strauss (c), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Steven Kitshoff , 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Lood de Jager , 20. Willem Alberts , 21. Jaco Kriel , 22. Lionel Mapoe, 23. Willie le Roux

Australia

1. Scott Sio,2. Stephen Moore (c) ,3. Sekope Kepu ,4. Rob Simmons,5. Adam Coleman ,6. Dean Mumm ,7. Michael Hooper,8. Sean McMahon ,9. Will Genia ,10. Quade Cooper,11. Reece Hodge,12. Bernard Foley ,13. Samu Kerevi ,14. Dane Haylett-Petty ,15. Israel Folau

Replacements : (one to be omitted) James Hanson (10 Tests),James Slipper (81 Tests),Tom Robertson (1 Test),Kane Douglas (25 Tests),Scott Fardy (35 Tests),Lopeti Timani (1 Test),Nick Phipps (45 Tests),Tevita Kuridrani (38 Tests),Sefa Naivalu*

*denotes uncapped player

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