Flyhalf Matt Giteau believes the Wallabies will go into Saturday’s game with a great deal of confidence, despite not having won in the country since 2000.
South Africa’s poor showing at the weekend would have given the Australians some extra inspiration, but Giteau claims that belief has always been a strong-point within the squad.
“Whether the Springboks won or lost we’d still go into the game with a bit of confidence. We have a lot of confidence within our group and amongst the players that we’ve got here,” Giteau told keo.co.za. “It doesn’t matter which side we’re playing against or the results that have happened previously.
“We know this game against the Springboks is going to be tough. We’re not taking it lightly.”
However, Giteau believes the Springboks will be under a great deal of pressure following the defeat to the All Blacks and is expecting a backlash in Durban.
“Definitely they will be fired up. They’ll be looking to get a win at home and obviously there is a bit of pressure on them,” said Giteau. “It’s going to be a much harder game then what we’ve faced in the past. As much as the game in Perth was very intense and physical, I just think this game is going to be another step up.”
Giteau looked slick at training and was heavily involved in most of the attacking moves, often looping around Berrick Barnes. Giteau and Barnes have developed an outstanding 10-12 partnership this year and he expects this form to continue on Saturday.
“Berrick is a great player. He’s got a lot of skills and I think they complement the way I like to play,” said Giteau.
“As a combination I think we’re improving each week and he’s the sort of player you can easily slot into a combination with because he is a selfless player who likes to play for others and those are the type of players you need.”
Meanwhile scrumhalf Luke Burgess was a late withdrawal from the Wallabies squad and coach Robbie Deans hinted that he would start Sam Cordingley in Durban.
“It probably wouldn’t be a surprise to you that we’ll look to experience in the first instance, I’m breaking protocol by saying that, but that’s probably not surprising,” said Deans.
By Andrew Worling