Boks not reading anything into Australia’s Pumas loss: ‘We got a proper hiding in 2018’ | Sport

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The Rugby Championship is shaping up to be a cracking
competition this year, and going into this weekend’s third round of fixtures,
all four sides have won one and lost one.

The Springboks beat the All Blacks and then lost to their
‘old foe’ on consecutive weekends, while the Wallabies had the same fate
against Argentina on their South American travels.

South Africa now meet Australia this weekend, and while both
sides are coming off a defeat, the 48-17 hammering the Wallabies took in San
Juan was more shocking than the Boks’ 35-23 defeat to the All Blacks in
Johannesburg.

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber, however, will not be reading
anything into that result. He knows too well how a trip to Argentina can go
awry, and on Monday, he pointed to 2018’s 32-19 loss to the Pumas in Mendoza.

“In 2018 we probably had one of our biggest losses
against Argentina in Argentina,” he said.

“We know how tough it is to go play there and get a
victory. We can relate to what happened with Australia. We got a proper hiding
in 2018. They are a passionate group and they can make it tough for you. We
know exactly how Australia feels because we have been there before.”

Springbok team

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Warrick Gelant, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

Also counting against the Springboks heading into this
weekend is their dismal record in Australia. They have not won a Test there
since 2013, while their win percentage hovers at below 15% since 1996.

“If you represent your country, and I’m sure Australia
will say the same, you represent your country the same whether it’s against New
Zealand, Fiji, Australia or Namibia. You want to produce a performance that
your country would be proud of,” Nienaber said when asked if the Boks simply
get up for their games against the All Blacks more than they do against the
Wallabies.

“It’s not that we have an eye on New Zealand and that
we take a lesser stance against Australia. I just think Australia is tough.

“I can’t talk about 1996 and after that, all I know is
that as a coaching group since we’ve been together since 2018, we have played
them three times in Australia and we’ve lost all three.

“Our group is 0% and it’s a big challenge for us. It
shows the passion that Australia have when they play in front of their home
crowd. It’s a massive challenge and we will prepare as best we can to try get a
result.”

Kick-off on Saturday is at 07:30 (SA time).



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