Rugby Championship: Australia vs South Africa Preview

Written by @QuintenLetcher for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Australia vs South Africa | Saturday 07 September | Suncorp Stadium | 12:05

The Wallabies are still searching for their first win under Ewen McKenzie, but their performances over the last two rounds haven’t really given any indication things are going to get better anytime soon. While they did put the All Blacks under pressure at times in Wellington, the Aussies still seem unsure of what to do with opportunities when given them. The Springboks should be grateful for the wakeup call they received in Mendoza in round two, especially after the unfathomable sixty point victory over the Pumas in Soweto had lulled them into a false sense of security. This is something you definitely don’t want to be taking with you when you head over to Australasia.

To Win (80mins)
Australia 6/10
South Africa 27/20
Draw 29/1

Australia (-3.5) 9/10
South Africa (+3.5) 9/10

Australia have some amazing talent at their disposal, but for some or other reason fail to find a method to gain full advantage of their players. Israel Folau is a prime example of this, being left out of the action for much of the game in Wellington, only for his lethality on attack to be highlighted by a 75 metre intercept try in the second half. Wallaby captain James Horwill has been ruled out for the next two weeks with a strained hamstring. Will Genia takes over the skipper duties this week, with Ben Mowen serving as vice-captain. Kane Douglas will join Rob Simmons in the second row of the scrum, with Ben McCalman taking over from Douglas on the bench.

South Africa
Heyneke Meyer has beefed up the South African front row with the inclusion of powerhouse Bismarck du Plessis. Flip van der Merwe has also made the move from the bench into the starting XV, taking over from Juandre Kruger in the engine room. The unpopular Zane Kirchner makes his first test appearance of the year to the horror of Springbok fans around the globe. Willie le Roux has been shifted to wing to accommodate Kirchner at fullback, with Bjorn Basson dropping out of the match day squad completely. The Springboks haven’t really been tested this year. Not to take anything away from their 100% win record, but having only played the likes of Italy, Scotland, Samoa and Argentina while the All Blacks have taken on the French and the Aussies, and the Wallabies have taken on the Lions and the Kiwis, it seems like they’re slightly underprepared. We’ll know for sure this Saturday.

VERDICT: South Africa 27/20
The Springboks have never won a match at Suncorp Stadium, but if the Wallabies continue playing the style of rugby they have been so far this year I think the Boks might just pull it off. While I think the Aussies have the talent to take down the current Springbok side, they just don’t seem to have that cohesion between their players that allows for the quick flowing game best suited for their dynamic backline. I think it is going to be a close one, but I think with their more settled, clinical, even boring game, the Springboks will hold out for the win. The Springboks by 5.

Think we've got it wrong? Well leave your comments below and tell us how you think this is going to play out.

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