Wallabies need to get physical in Rugby World Cup
Despite losing yet another key player to injury with the hamstrung Drew Mitchell out of the tournament, the Wallabies will move into their titanic quarter final battle with the Springboks this Sunday in good heart after a largely dominant display over the ‘Bears’ of Russia.
DESPITE losing yet another key player to injury with the hamstrung Drew Mitchell out of the tournament, the Wallabies will move into their titanic quarter final battle with the Springboks this Sunday in good heart after a largely dominant display over the ‘Bears’ of Russia.
The news that the booming boot of Springbok centre Frans Steyn will be missing from the match will come as a relief to Robbie Deans as he looks forward to having most of his first team available to take on the might of South Africa. Digby Ioane is poised to take the unlucky Drew Mitchell’s position on the wing, having recovered from a broken thumb and Kurtley Beale will also be back in contention.
With a bonus point win against Russia wrapped up in the first thirty minutes it was ‘job done’ for the Wallabies but the return of David Pocock showed why he is so vital to Deans’ plans with a barnstorming return from injury, capped off with two tries. Australia were outstanding in the first half with the forwards and backs linking well, resulting in some superb tries. Granted that Russia’s defence at times was non-existent to say the least but the Wallabies back- line seemed to be in rude health despite the on-going disruptions with injuries. Adam Ashley Cooper continued his try scoring form in this World Cup and Berrick Barnes showed a welcome return in the centres with a brace. The sight of Radike Samo thundering down the wing to great effect in the lead up to Berrick’s first try would have also put a smile on Deans’s face.
The Wallabies lost their way in the second half but will take enough positives from the match to look forward to the quarter finals with confidence. The Wallabies will know that the step-up in intensity and physicality levels against the South Africans will be huge given that Australia’s last two games have been against the USA and Russia.
There are some mouth-watering clashes to look forward to, not least the battle of the half-backs. The title of the best scrum-half on the planet debate between Fourie du Preez and Will Genia should be answered on Sunday and the mercurial Quade Cooper will look to dominate the more pedestrian but lethal kicker in Morne Styen. The back row, as ever, will be keenly contested and Pocock will have his work cut out against a quality scavenger like Heinrich Broussow. Discipline will be crucial for the Australians as Steyn is having a wonderful World Cup with the boot but with Beale, Ioane and Cooper poised to unleash their skills, surely the Wallabies have the edge out wide. However will they get enough quality possession?
Opportunities will be few and far between these two great rugby heavyweights and the side which comes to terms with the intensity and taking that half chance when it presents itself will win the game.
Clashes between South Africa and Australia have been notoriously tight in World Cup encounters and expect nothing less this weekend.