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Springboks captain Kolisi pinpoints Wallabies forward as key threat

By AAP

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South Africa have studied Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou and probed World Rugby in an effort to win the scrum duel in an intriguing Rugby Championship clash where their No 1 ranking is at stake.

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A loss to Australia on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium and another New Zealand win over Argentina in the second match of the doubleheader could see the All Blacks jump back into top spot.

The Wallabies beat the Boks 28-26 on the Gold Coast on Sunday, with substitute Tupou central to the decisive penalty after pushing over the Bok scrum in the final seconds.

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Springboks captain Siya Kolisi speaks to media ahead of Rugby Championship clash against Wallabies
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Springboks captain Siya Kolisi speaks to media ahead of Rugby Championship clash against Wallabies

Tupou will start on Saturday with Allan Alaalatoa leaving camp for the birth of his child, presenting the Queensland Reds’ wrecking ball a chance to establish himself in the No 3 for the rest of a busy 2021.

“He carries well, scrums well, counter rucks around the 22s, the pick-and-goes,” South African captain Siya Kolisi said.

“We don’t focus on one person, but you can see by the stuff I’m telling you we’ve done our research.

“He can step, run over you, is good with his hands and is scrumming very well.”

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A “hungry” Trevor Nyakane is back from injury at loosehead prop for South Africa while James Slipper will start in the No 1 for the Wallabies to give both packs a fresh look.

But the visitors expect more of the same tactics at scrum time and earlier this week sent clips to World Rugby to seek “alignment” with officials over what will be rewarded or penalised.

Coach Jacques Nienaber also addressed the obstruction rule with officials, claiming his men had been blocked off the ball from marking high kicks.

The correspondence is normal procedure but follows an hour-long video critique of match officials from Rassie Erasmus during the recent British and Irlsh Lions’ tour of South Africa that was leaked online.

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South Africa’s director of rugby is not with the squad as he awaits a date for his World Rugby disciplinary hearing.

Kolisi though gave credit to Australia and challenged his men to look within for a response.

“We knew exactly what went wrong and it’s very upsetting to lose like that,” he said.

“Some of the mistakes we made … it was difficult to see and I’ll say we are more determined (not desperate) this week.”

Australia will be hunting a 10th-straight win at Suncorp Stadium while the Springboks have won just one from 12 tests in Brisbane in the last 40 years.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper will break George Gregan’s record when he captains the side for the 60th time.

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Springboks captain Kolisi pinpoints Wallabies forward as key threat

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