Nothing wrong with Matfield: Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nothing wrong with Matfield: Wallabies

By David Beniuk 24/08/2010 07:48:14 PM Comments (0)

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers may think there is "something wrong" with Victor Matfield, but the Wallabies have no doubt the champion lock will be primed for his 100th Test on his home ground.

De Villiers on Monday conceded he needed to speak with Matfield regarding his form as the South Africans search for a first victory in this year's Tri-Nations series at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (0100 Sunday AEST).

The admission came as South African commentators also questioned the future of Springboks captain John Smit, who took responsibility for the weekend loss to New Zealand in his 100th Test.

"There's definitely something wrong with Victor. I have to speak to him," de Villiers told South African website

That's not a view shared by Australian opposite Dean Mumm, who expects lineout guru Matfield to produce his best in Pretoria.

"Absolutely, you can't say too much more, it's been an unbelievable career and it's certainly not finished," Mumm told a press conference on Monday.

"He's picked up most of, if not all, the prizes and treasures you can get along the way and he's done that with distinction and form all the way throughout.

"His form of late has been very, very good and so we don't expect anything less.

"It's nice for him to be able to play his 100th Test on his home ground and I'm sure the people up there at Loftus love Victor."

De Villiers, whose side will play under referee Alain Rolland for the first time since an outburst from the coach resulted in a disciplinary hearing, said he was wary of Australia, who haven't won on the South African high veldt since 1963.

"They bring a different mindset to the game than the All Blacks. They don't have the same physical presence," he said.

"Quade Cooper will pose a threat with his creativity and energy, and we'll have to counter David Pocock on the ground. We have a plan for him up our sleeves."

South Africa have been bolstered by the availability of long-range kick specialist Francois Steyn, who has arrived after a wrangle with his French club, and centre Jaque Fourie.

Flanker Juan Smith is confident of being fit after suffering an abdominal strain in the weekend's 29-22 loss to New Zealand.

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