Wallabies Shoot For Six Straight v Boks

Image courtesy of au.eurosport.com
Kurtley Beale is likely to regain his starting spot against the Springboks. Image courtesy of au.eurosport.com
After snatching victory from the Springboks in Perth earlier this month, the Wallabies head to the Rainbow Nation having put together a five-game winning streak against South Africa.

The ‘Boks are every chance of bringing that run to a shuddering halt on Sunday morning (AEST), with the teams clashing at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria in the penultimate round of the Rugby Championship. South Africa’s Highveld hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for past Australian teams. The Wallabies hadn’t won at altitude for 47 years before Kurtley Beale’s penalty goal after the fulltime siren clinched an epic 41-39 win in Bloemfontein in 2010. Australia is yet to win on any of its five previous visits to Pretoria.

Beale is proving to be Robbie Deans’ biggest selection headache at the moment. A world-class player when in form, the utility was dropped to the bench after his meltdown against the All Blacks in Sydney. The Melbourne Rebels star is likely to replace the injured Quade Cooper in the number 10 jersey in Pretoria, with Berrick Barnes to remain at fullback.

Recent history suggests this should be a high-scoring affair, given the scoreboard has ticked over with alarming regularity when these teams have met at altitude. In 2010, prior to the Wallabies win in the shootout in Bloemfontein, the ‘Boks prevailed 44-31 at Loftus, and in 2008 they dismissed the visitors 53-8 in Johannesburg. Australia is yet to win any of the five Tests played in Pretoria. Both of these teams have been criticised for their conservative play throughout the Rugby Championship, though, which means they may fall under those lofty total scores of late.

In the other match on Sunday morning, the unbeaten All Blacks head across the Pacific to take on the Pumas in La Plata.

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