Duane Vermeulen of South Africa is tackled by Tevita Kuridrani during the rugby championship match between the South African Springboks and the Australian Wallabies at Newlands Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers / Getty Images) Wallaby trainer Dave Rennie didn’t say so publicly, but Finn Russell’s performance for Britain’s & Irish Lions last month against the Springboks must have influenced the decision to pick Quade Cooper for Flyhalf .
Now 33, Cooper, a 70 Test veteran, hasn’t played for the Wallabies in more than four years. But like Russell, he brings attack flair and vision to the Flyhalf Channel. And as Russell showed in his third bench test against the Boks, this unpredictability can cause some problems.
Cooper will certainly be unpredictable, but unlike Russell, he’s unlikely to be playing behind a pack that co-owns The eight of the Boks was drawn level as the strikers of the Lions did. The wallaby pack just doesn’t look like it will have the power to keep up with the world champions and their « bomb squad ».
This looks like a panicked call from Rennie, who is quick to deny it. Cooper replaces Noah Lolesio, who has worn the number 10 jersey in six Australian Tests this year without much success.
« We make choices based on what we see, » Rennie told the Wallabies base media in Queensland. « There is certainly no panic, we are trying to expand our game and we think he is the right man to get us through the park. »
The phrase « Get us through the park » is certainly a clue how the wallabies will approach the game. They understand that when you play against the Boks at Standard and in a kick game, there is only one winner. You have to find other ways to win and in Cooper they believe they have found the panacea.
It’s a brave, some even like ruthless call from Rennie, but its options are limited. Lolesio was unsuccessful and needs a break while James O’Connor is returning from a serious injury. Rennie doesn’t see Matt Toomua as a flyhalf option, so despite his 1,571 days in the international wilderness, Cooper is currently the only viable option.
« We’re under no illusions about what a great team the Wallabies are », said Bok Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk earlier this week with raised eyebrows. The Wallabies collected 128 points in three games against the All Blacks in 2021. These wallabies may not be as bad as some experts have claimed, but they are far from a « great » team.
« After seeing their games and how close they are to winning some of them, I think if a few things had gone and a couple of passes got stuck, the results could have been different, « said De Klerk.
» From my personal experience playing in Australia it’s incredibly tough and it is always a great physical challenge. On top of that, the way they play these days, where they’re almost trying to get you off your feet, is going to test us defensively, so it’s going to be a tough game.
« They’re a bunch proud boys from a proud country so I think they will come out with whatever they have. We know we’re going to get the best out of them, and we know that if we don’t do our best, we’ll probably hide in this game.
« We’ve talked a lot about this this week and the guys are ready for what lies ahead. We know it won’t be easy. ”
Although the Boks are world champions and youngest winners of the Lions series as well as the reigning rugby championship, the Boks have not won a test in Australia since 2013.
During this time the Boks lost to some mediocre Wallaby teams in Australia and while they start as favorites on paper there is no guarantee this will be an easy competition.
Pace and pace on the ball is the Wallaby mantra. With Cooper pulling the strings alongside promising new halfback Tate McDermott, they’ll try to attract dangerous attackers like winger Marika Koroibete.
Although the Boks only conceded five attempts in six tests this year, they became quite a few Times stretched. The Lions haven’t been able to capitalize on the infrequent line breaks, but Koroibete and center Samu Kerevi will squander fewer chances Forcing mistakes.
If the wallaby shows had one theme this year, it was that they undo a lot of good work with bad mistakes. The Boks punish mistakes better than most teams.
« Australia is playing at speed and speed, » said Bok coach Jacques Nienaber, explaining the choice of three loose strikers on the bench. “They have tremendous continuity and have a great ability to stretch you from sideline to sideline. It’s going to be a fast, high-paced game.
“But we’ve been together for quite a while now and we’re much better coordinated. We were also fortunate that we only lost three players after 2019. There is good continuity. ”
The return of Duane Vermeulen easily compensates for Cheslin Kolbe’s injury-related loss. Vermeulen’s return to test rugby for the first time in 680 days since the 2019 World Cup final is good news, but he’ll be rusty after a two-month ankle injury Seems to find top form. But with three back rowers on the bench, Nienaber has covered the unlikely possibility that Vermeulen will have a day off.
With the presence of Kwagga Smith and Marco van Staden in the forest as well as the whore Malcolm Marx, the Boks’ breakdown chamber is well filled to wreak havoc for 80 minutes.
The Wallabies could win, but it would be a big surprise if they did it against a near-full boks brimming with the confidence of four straight wins.
Australia: 15-Tom Banks, 14-Andrew Kellaway, 13-Len Ikitau, 12-Samu Kerevi, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Tate McDermott, 8-Rob Valetini, 7-Michael Hooper, 6- Lachie Swinton, 5-Matt Philip, 4-Izack Rodda, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Folau Fainga’a, 1-Angus Bell
Replacement: 16-Feleti Kaitu’u, 17-James Slipper, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Rob Leota, 20-Pete Samu, 21-Nic White, 22-Reece Hodge, 23-Jordan Petaia
15-Willie le Roux, 14-Sbu Nkosi, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Franco Mostert, 6- Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Steven Kitshoff
Deputy: 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Ox Nche, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Marco van Staden, 20-Kwagga Smith, 21-Jasper Wiese, 22-Herschel Jantjies , 23-Damian Willemse. DM
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