Wallabies take on Springboks in the first clash of Tri-Nations Cup - Rugby Match Preview

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Wallabies take on Springboks in the first clash of Tri-Nations Cup - Rugby Match Preview
Tri-Nations Cup 2011 is kicking off on July 23 as World Number 2, Wallabies, take on the World Numbers 3, Springboks in Sydney.
The highly anticipated clash has both sides pumped up to claim an early victory in the tournament before facing the All Blacks, who played a very positive game against the Fijians on July 22. The All Blacks defeated the visitors by a monstrous total of 60-14,
in Carisbrook Stadium, Dunedin. They scored eight tires despite the absence of six first-choice players including Sonny Bill Williams and Kieran Read.
The sides will face each other for the first time this year as their previous match was played in 2010 and was won by the Wallabies after a nerve wracking contest at 41-39. The two best sides of the world were seen head to head on three occasions during
last year as the Wallabies won two games played at home venues. The Springboks clinched their only victory in the match that was played in South Africa. Overall, the Wallabies have got a slight lead over the South Africans in their last nine meetings as Australia has
won five times and South Africa has walked away winners on four occasions.
The opener will be the real test for the Springboks as they have been deprived of a number of key players due to various injuries. The Springboks have rested as many as 22 players from the first two games of the tournament and have sent a comparatively inexperienced
side for the event. The South African skipper, John Smit, has expressed his mixed expectations from the young side.
Talking to the reporters on July 22, John Smit said that, “I'm looking for a win, that's why we're here. There's four games before the World Cup. It's important to get some kind of momentum, some kind of confidence, make sure that the combinations you are
playing are functioning ...”
The Wallabies are coming off from a rusty game against the Samoans and will be tested against the Springboks. They lost their season opener test against the low profile Samoa team by a comprehensive margin of 32-23, on Sunday, July 17. The Wallabies’ selectors
were slammed by local media after their worst defeat in history and were labelled as arrogant for resting several key players unnecessarily.
They will be required to sweat hard on the field and win back the support of the local media. The Wallabies will depend largely on their forward packs in the match as Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Digby Ioane and David Pocock will be the key players for Australia.
Rocky Elsom, who had failed to handle the Samoan attack, is again given charge of the team for the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Springboks will be expecting contributions by Lwazi Mvovo,Morné Steyn, Danie Rossouw and their skipper John Smit to grab an early win in the event.
It is difficult to declare any of the teams as favourites for the fixture because of their past record, however, the Wallabies have definitely got an edge over the Springboks for their experience and off course home crowd support.  
The sides will enter the field with following players:
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen
Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.

Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Pekahou Cowan, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Anthony Fainga'a.
South Africa: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger,
2 John Smit (c), 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Ryan Kankowski , 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Patrick Lambie



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