Jake plays mind games

Bok coach Jake White has warned the Wallabies that defeat in Saturday’s Vodacom Tri-Nations could send them on another downward spiral.

The Wallabies lost eight consecutive Tests last year, but restored their credibility with three wins this season (against England and Ireland) before losing 32-12 to the All Blacks last weekend.

However another defeat, to the Springboks in Brisbane, could destroy the progress the Wallabies have made under coach John Connolly.

“I think any team that suffers back-to-back defeats can start getting into a downward spiral,” White told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s happened to us, it happened to the All Blacks in 1998 when they lost five Tests in a row which was unheard of for them. It’s very difficult to get out of that rut. They’ve come off a loss and they know if they lose this one too they’ve still got the All Blacks and us to play again.

“It will be interesting to see who’s more desperate. We want to win our first game and go to New Zealand with that under our belts. There’s the same desperation for the Wallabies camp.”

Of course, White didn’t mention that if the Boks lose to Australia, it will be their second consecutive defeat of the season, with two more away matches to come. By the time the Boks get home, they could have lost four in a row.