The Boks will win in Sydney. The bones have spoken. If your score is the correct one you will win a year’s subscription to SA Rugby Magazine.
The Boks have everything in their favour and the Wallabies have everything to lose. If the Wallabies win, so what? They’ve knocked over a South African squad missing 20 players.
All week the Aussies have bleated about the disrespect of South Africa sending a second rate team. They’ve done nothing but complain. All their administration has done is increase the pressure on the Wallabies. How do you lose now if you are an Aussie player?
If Bob Skinstad’s Boks get knocked over, there are no surprises. As Skinstad could rightly claim, the A team is in Cape Town on rehabilitation. His parting message could be, there’s 20 other boys who’ll see you in Paris.
But that’s not the Skinstad way and he is the ideal captain for this kind of situation. He will inspire players to believe they can beat Australia. As he said in the build-up to the test this is one that will be won on simplicity, passion and enthusiasm. The Aussies have ridiculed the make-up of the Boks line-up. But those who have hurled the insults don’t have to face the 15 insulted Boks on Saturday evening. The Australian media and administration don’t have to take the tackle, get stuck at the bottom of a ruck or engage in the scrum.
A Bok team has never been better positioned before a test in Australia. There is absolutely no expectation on them and while it is a depleted line-up of what is available to Bok coach Jake White it is by no means a poor side. The pack, it could be argued, is even more physical than the one that started against the All Blacks in Durban.
And if this pack gets any form of dominance, then Ruan Pienaar’s kicking game will determine the outcome of the test. Pienaar is the most important link to the test, more so than Derick Hougaard. It is to Pienaar who the Boks will look to create uncertainty in the Australian defence.
Australia are a good side, but they’re not as good as their 20-15 result against New Zealand suggests. The back three is average, the pack is good without being imposing and Australia invariably have been troubled by the Boks aggressive defence.
New Zealand, well below par in Melbourne, would have won had Marius Jonker not been so intimidated by George Gregan or so charitable to the home team. Jonker’s sin-binning of Carl Hayman for supposedly infringing in the danger zone (45 metres from the tryline) is something the Aussies won’t get from New Zealander Paul Honiss.
Backing the Boks to beat Australia is not a patriotic call. It is one based on a gut feeling that these Boks are not so bad and the Aussies are not so good.
Boks to win by five – 22-17. The bones have been rolled and they’ve spoken.