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Springbok Assistant coaches Gary Gold and Dick Muir expect Australia to play with a different approach when the two sides meet in a Vodacom Tri-Nations clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Vodacom Park fixture follows last week’s 44-31 win by the Boks in Pretoria and will decide the outcome of the 2010 Nelson Mandela Plate, which is contested between the two countries during the Tri-Nations tournament. The teams have a win apiece to date after Australia’s 30-13 win in Brisbane earlier in the tournament.
“We are expecting the Aussies to be more direct,” said backline coach Muir. “If you look at the selection changes that they have made they want to muscle up and be a little more physical,” Muir added.
The Wallabies have made three changes to their pack – at hooker Stephen Moore replaces Saia Fainga’a, Mark Chisholm replaces Dean Mumm in the second row, and Ben McCalman starts in place of Richard Brown at number eight.
“I think Ben (McCalman) is a better lineout option, which gives them an extra jumper,” said Gold. “I believe they are also slightly worried about Sharpy (Nathan Sharpe) and that’s the reason they have put Chisholm in because they found that there was less cohesion when Sharpy was off the field.
“They also want the experience of Stephen to come back at hooker. Obviously with him playing his 50th test they want to try and match our experience up front and use guys who are tried and tested,” Gold added.
Victory for the Boks on Saturday will bring a positive conclusion to a disappointing campaign in 2010.After suffering four losses in a row, they turned things around with a come-from-behind triumph last week.
Asked what the mood in the Bok camp was in the wake of the win last week, Muir replied: “We want to see steady improvement and certainly from where we started to where we are at now there has been an improvement.
“When you eventually get a result there is a sense of relief but it is about performance and we are all working very hard towards the World Cup and that’s the ultimate goal for us”.
Gold said it was “very important” for the Boks to get a win at the weekend.
“We felt from a performance point of view we had done enough to win in Joburg. We put a lot of focus on the 10 days before our home leg. We wanted to restore pride in many aspects of the game and show that we can compete with the best in the world and hopefully beat them.
“From our point of view we need to put in a couple of good performances. I think we played well for 70 minutes in Pretoria and we need to repeat that this weekend whilst also eliminating the errors we made last week,” Gold said.
Source: SA Rugby Online
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