Bryan Habana’s leg injury is probably not too serious but South Africa have bigger problems to solve before the Springboks play Australia in a Tri-Nations rugby Test in Durban on Saturday.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the 0-19 defeat against New Zealand here on Saturday reopened old problems in the Springbok camp.
All Black flyhalf Dan Carter had an off day with his goal kicking but tactically he towered above his opposite number, Butch James.
The New Zealand kingpin played cleverly and sealed the victory with a try under the posts.
James failed to stamp his mark on the match at Newlands.
The selection of the loose forwards will be most interesting when the teams for this week’s match are announced.
The South Africans were humiliated at the breakdown points on Saturday, when All Black captain Richie McCaw was in a class of his own.
When the Wallabies beat the Springboks 16-9 in Perth last month, they also dominated exchanges on the ground.
The Australians have two outstanding open-side flanks, George Smith and Phil Waugh, who can also be utilised in tandem.
More competitive at breakdown points
Luke Watson was sent on to replace Springbok star Schalk Burger on the hour mark on Saturday. Coach Peter de Villiers said later it had been done to manage Burger’s game time after his recovery from an injury.
It is possible that Watson will be more involved this week to ensure the Springboks will be more competitive at breakdown points.
“There are more opportunities for fetchers now because the game opens up and players are isolated,” Waugh said on Sunday. He added that South Africa had conceded possession at critical times against the All Blacks.
Habana was replaced in the 48th minute when Conrad Jantjes took over on the wing. Habana’s place against Australia could go to anyone of Jantjes, Jongi Nokwe or Frans Steyn.
The Springboks are under pressure now to retain their chance of winning the Tri-Nations this season. They have to beat the Australians and must score four tries to ad a bonus point.
De Villiers feels Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau is unlikely to match Carter’s ability to play a kicking game.
“Australia have a lot of speed and they will be out to retain possession,” he said at the weekend.Tweet