South African Rugby

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

South Africa has to work a bit of magic in Dunedin

Dunedin, New Zealand - More than just the All Blacks, it's the Carisbrook hoodoo that looms large between the Springboks and their mission to complete historic back-to-back Tri-Nations rugby series victories here on Saturday.

Carisbrook is know as the "House of Pain" with just cause - the visiting side rarely wins - and in South Africa's case they have never won here in the 84 years that teams from the republic have been coming to New Zealand.

Seven years

It's also seven years since they last won a Test anywhere in New Zealand.

"We're not coming here with any false illusions," Springbok coach Jake White said on Wednesday as he shored up the defensive qualities of his side with one enforced change for Saturday's Test against the All Blacks.

"We know we've never won in New Zealand in Dunedin ever since 1921. I think the last time we won here was in 1998 in Wellington," he said.

With Breyton Paulse suspended for three weeks, inside centre Jean de Villiers has been moved to his former position on the wing allowing the return of tough tackling DeWet Barry in midfield.

It is the only change from the starting line-up which has won all three of South Africa's Tri-Nations matches so far this season and put them one win away from consecutive Tri-Nations titles for the first time.

Defence has been the Springboks strong point this year and despite having their frontline broken 14 times in the first Test against the All Blacks they conceded only one try in the 22-16 victory.


The recall of the 27-year-old Barry, who appeared to be out of favour this season, was a horses-for-courses choice for White who said he was not prepared to risk blooding someone younger.

"With 35 Test caps his experience will be needed. It's going to be a bit slower at Carisbrook at 19:30 in the evening, it won't be as open and that obviously suits the style we're going to play."

While this South Africa team knows about rewriting history, their win over Australia last week in Perth was the first time in two years the visiting team has won a Tri-Nations match, White was not prepared to forecast a repeat against the All Blacks.

"It's got nothing to do with what happened last week and the week before. This is the last 80 minutes we have of Tri-Nations rugby (this year) and we've got to make sure we give ourselves a chance." he said.

"The All Blacks are the best side. They've got a great record. They've won the Tri-Nations more than Australia and South Africa and we're looking at it like that."

South Africa:

Percy Montgomery, Jean de Villiers, Jacque Fourie, De Wet Barry, Bryan Habana, Andre Pretorius, Enrico Januarie, Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, CJ van der Linde, John Smit (captain), Os du Randt.

Reserves: Hanyani Shimage, Eddie Andrews, Albert van den Berg, Jacques Cronje, Fourie du Preez, Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Marius Joubert.

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