The West

Wallabies prepare for Springbok battering
Michael Hooper. Picture: Getty Images

There is no great secret about the Springboks. There never really has been.

Big bruising forwards take a direct route to the line looking to destroy anything in their way. Throw in a strong kicking game and there you have it.

It's not rocket science and Wallabies forwards coach Andrew Blades is certainly not expecting anything different in the Nelson Mandela Plate Challenge at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

"We know what their mentality is. If they get the momentum going they will make you pay. We don't expect anything else," Blades said.

"They are bringing a massive pack into the game and we expect pressure in that area. We have got to get consistency at the scrum."

Coaching co-ordinator Tony McGahan echoed Blades' views.

"We're well aware of the physical aspect they bring to the game," he said. "They've got a high kicking game, play off the back of the set piece. Very simplistic, suits the psyche, suits the player group."

The Boks still remember openside flanker David Pocock's match-winning performance in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal but won't have a traditional No.7, choosing Willem Alberts to start.

Michael Hooper, who replaces the injured Pocock, is expecting a battering but believes the Wallabies have ways of combating the Boks pack.

"The contact will be massive but we can work to avoid those big contacts and get some pay out of it," he said.

"They are going to use force rather than an on-the-ball player. There are areas where they will come at us very strongly with that type of back row, but conversely we can attack the breakdown differently.

"Because they are bigger blokes they probably will be a step or two off, so there are opportunities there, but you've got to be prepared to get belted."

Boks coach Heyneke Meyer has told his back row he wants a higher work rate, more ball carries and the line broken.

"We've got quite a big back row. The one thing that we don't have in our back row, which is a bit of a concern, is out-and-out pace," he said.

"What we lose in speed we gain in muscle. You must be able to make 80-plus tackles. You have to have a great defence, a great hitting game."

Meyer has picked two scrum-halves, with Ruan Pienaar wearing No 9 and Francois Hougaard on the left wing.

South Africa: Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen, Ruan Pienaar, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Frans Steyn, Jean de Villiers (capt), Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner. Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Francois Louw, Johan Goosen, Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo.

The West Australian

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