Lood de Jager says South Africa expect a better lineout performance by Australia in the crucial Rugby Championship Test in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Wallabies have lost their last six matches. They are under pressure to win at the Suncorp Stadium this weekend, and may fancy their chances against a Bok side that recently lost 26-24 to Argentina in Salta.
The Wallabies may be susceptible at the lineout, though. According to SARugbymag.co.za’s Opta-powered stats, the Wallabies are ranked last in the Rugby Championship for lineout wins with a success rate of 69%. Meanwhile, the Boks boast a 95.5% success rate on their own ball, and are second only to the All Blacks for lineout steals.
And yet, the Boks are taking nothing for granted. On Tuesday in Brisbane, De Jager said that the visitors have worked hard over the past few days to maintain their accuracy in this department.
‘They’re under pressure and the media’s made a big thing about it, so in the week they would have probably rectified it and come up with new plans,’ the Bok lock said. ‘We’ll see on Saturday what they come with.’
De Jager pointed out that the All Blacks are leading the way in terms of lineout play at present. The New Zealanders did well to disrupt Australia at this set piece in the matches played in Sydney and Wellington recently.
‘The All Blacks are a very good man-watching side in lineouts. If you have an off day, they can punish you for it,’ he said. ‘But in the series against England, Australia won lineout ball pretty easily.
‘It’s not a big concern for them but we’ve done our homework as well and hopefully we can put them under pressure at lineout time.’
Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said he is expecting the Wallabies to be very competitive in all set-piece departments.
‘Australian lineouts have been exceptional throughout the years and their scrums and defensive breakdowns are very good, so we know upfront it’s going to be a tough challenge,’ said Proudfoot.
‘Test matches are determined by small margins so we therefore have to ensure that we are accurate in our execution, in all departments.’
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