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‘Brutal’ Boks await Wallabies

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The Australian media, who enjoys portraying South Africans as the villains in the script, wasted no time in hanging a “brutal” tag on the Springboks ahead of their Tri-Nations/Mandela Challenge Plate encounter with the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

Quoting Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock, reports said that the Aussies are bracing themselves for a “brutal onslaught” from the Boks at the Telstra Stadium.

“They’ve got a massive forward pack and it’s going to be a huge physical battle and, above and beyond that, they’re going to be pumped up to play well,” Mortlock told AAP.

“The Springboks are always dominant, massive forward packs, but this one in particular is the biggest and most confronting forward pack we’ve faced for a number of years.

“So there’s no doubt that they will be trying to utilise that to their advantage.”

The article goes on to refer to veteran Bok lock Johan Ackermann as a “hulking” lock and “former drug cheat” who lists “meat” as his favourite dish – as if eating meat is a crime and no Australian ever eats meat.

“He’s a veteran but he certainly is a guy that brings a lot of physical domination to the front when he plays, and I’m sure that’s what he’s going to be looking to bring out tomorrow [Saturday],” Mortlock told the Australian news agency.

“But at 37, hopefully late in the halves we might be able to expose a lack of match fitness. He’s obviously not going to have young legs.

“That being considered, we’ve got no doubt they’re going to try to play to their strengths and it’s up to us that we work the Bok pack really hard and make sure that at the end of the match – and the end of the halves – they’re really pushing themselves.”

The South Africans are also accused of having “a history of using foul play to unsettle teams”, including Australia.

However, Mortlock said he wasn’t expecting dirty tricks – just a bruising contest.

“With the amount of coverage there is of international rugby, you just can’t get away with being dirty on the paddock,” he said.

“We don’t anticipate that to be happening tomorrow night.”
 
365 Digital

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