Australia have yet again lost the Bledisloe Cup after succumbing to a 12-40 defeat to New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland. It has been 16 years since they last won the Bledisloe Cup as their poor run against New Zealand continued. It would take a miracle to stop the Kiwis from winning the Rugby Championship yet again but the Wallabies can salvage some pride by beating the Springboks in Perth on 8th September.
The Boks also lost their previous match against Argentina in Mendoza and would look to regain some lost ground by beating the Wallabies. A win against Australia in Perth would be a lifeline for the Boks as they would retain a slim chance of winning the championship. Therefore, it should be an absorbing match and a very important one, too. Australian coach Michael Cheika’s job is also under the scanner and he would find it very difficult to sustain it if his team loses against the Boks.
We look at the 3 things which could help Australia beat the South Africans:
1. Coping with set-pieces
The Springboks are a fearsome proposition from set-pieces. Their front-row is probably the strongest in the world as the likes of Malcolm Marx and Tendai Mtawrira would fancy their chances against a weaker Australian front-row. Australia have not managed to replace their ex-captain Stephen Moore in their front-row yet.
Still, their forwards came up with a much-improved performance at the scrums against the All Blacks in their last test as Michael Cheika made 2 changes in the front-row. However, Marx is one of the form players in world rugby now after his stupendous performance in the recently concluded Super Rugby. He also scored 2 tries against Argentina in South Africa’s first test against them. The Wallabies’ defence might find him very difficult to handle. Marx and his teammates would be looking to score tries from the scrums inside the opposition 22.
Australia also lost 6 of the 7 line-outs against the All Blacks in the first test but performed better at Eden Park. South Africa would pose a threat from the line-outs too as they tend to employ the rolling maul very well from the offensive line-outs.