True test begins now for the Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

True test begins now for the Wallabies

By Justin Chadwick 19/07/2008 09:10:15 AM Comments (0)

As far as Australia are concerned, Saturday night's Tri-Nations Test against South Africa is their first true Test of the international season.

After seeing off a gutsy Ireland outfit 18-12 and disposing of a drastically-undermanned France side 34-13 and 40-10, the Wallabies know the tough stuff begins now.

The Springboks, who claimed last year's World Cup, enter the Subiaco Oval clash as slight favourites and full of confidence following their drought-breaking 30-28 victory over New Zealand in Dunedin last week.

Wallabies winger Lote Tuqiri said although Australia had gained confidence from their three Test wins under new coach Robbie Deans, Saturday night's contest against South Africa, played under the experimental law variations, would be a whole different ball game.

"The confidence have come from the wins so far but this is three or four steps up from those other Tests in quality," Tuqiri said.

"Not bagging the other teams but this is the World Champions (we are up against) and the new ELVs are something we've got to wrap our head around."

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers believes Australia may struggle to switch back to the ELVs after playing France and Ireland under the old laws.

"I think it will be more difficult for them ... just to get used to the new laws," de Villiers said.

"We played it now for two weeks, we understand it a bit and if it's being marshalled correctly, like we believe it will be, it will be a great game."

Deans, hailed by many as the saviour for Australian rugby, is under no illusions about the task confronting his charges on Saturday night.

"This is a very good Springboks side, this is a mature Springboks side," Deans said.

"They not only have achievements behind them but they are still stacking them up, as evidenced last week.

"They have a lot of experience and they are still in their prime, they're still hungry to keep tucking away silverware so it's a pretty powerful combination."

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