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Rugby | Springboks

Wallabies expect backlash from Boks



The Springboks will be stung by their humiliating 57-0 defeat to the All Blacks and looking to prove a point when they take on Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday, Wallabies lock Adam Coleman has said.

Australia head into the clash in Bloemfontein with confidence after their 45-20 victory over Argentina in Canberra, their first win of the tournament after back-to-back losses to the All Blacks and a draw against the Springboks in Perth.

South Africa, however, returned home to a storm of criticism after their record hiding in Auckland 10 days ago.

Coleman said the hosts would be a different side on the Highveld, however, where Australia have won only once in the past 57 years.

"I feel like they're going to be a team that want to prove something," the Western Force lock said at training.

"They're a very good side. One rainy day doesn't make it winter for them.

"I know they're really going to bring it to the table at Bloemfontein ... and show the home-grown support that it means a lot to them."

The last time the teams met in Bloemfontein in 2010, Kurtley Beale famously slotted a 55-metre penalty to end Australia's 47-year winning drought against South Africa at altitude.

But the Wallabies have been unable to repeat the feat in the two matches on the Highveld since, both in Pretoria.

Coleman said set piece strength and physicality was in the South African "DNA", but his teammate Reece Hodge warned the Wallabies should not underestimate the class in the Springboks' backline, which was on display in the 23-23 draw in Perth.

"They've got threats all across the backline," said utility back Hodge.

"Excitement machines on the wings, like (Raymond) Ruhle and (Courtnall) Skosan and obviously (Andries) Coetzee at fullback can make a break from anywhere, as well as the centre pairing, who are quite physical and dominant up front.

"So we're expecting a tough test and it's up to us to defuse (the threat) as well as we can."



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