Tune calls for heroic effort

Australia winger Ben Tune believes the Wallabies will need to overcome tough conditions in South Africa if they are to beat the Springboks in their final Tri-Nations clash. [more]

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Australia winger Ben Tune believes the Wallabies will need to overcome tough conditions in South Africa if they are to beat the Springboks in their final Tri-Nations clash.

The local fans are renowned for their passion and great love of the sport, and Tune is aware his team-mates will have to overcome that obstacle if they are to record a win in the Republic on September 9.

"South Africa is by far the hardest place in world rugby to tour and come home with a win from," he said.

"The difficulties stem from the hostility encountered due to the South Africans’ fanaticism about their national game."

While 20-hour flights, jet lag and altitude issues make life hard, Tune believes it is the mental demands that pose the biggest barrier in one of the harshest rugby environments in the world.

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"These physical demands, however, are nothing compared to the mental demands the South Africans themselves place on a touring international rugby team," he continued.

"The South Africans’ main arsenal is mental and emotional intimidation. It’s considered a national sport in a society dominated by alpha males.

"On Test match day, the bus trip from the hotel to the game is arguably one of the most intimidating experiences you have the pleasure of witnessing.

"For about the last kilometre of the journey the streets are lined with fanatical South Africans who seem to enjoy thumping the team bus with their fists and yelling abuse at the occupants."

The World Cup-winning Tune rates the atmosphere in South Africa’s rugby union cauldrons as more intimidating than anything he has experienced in his distinguished career.

"I have played in a Rugby World Cup final and watched live AFL and NRL grand finals as well as a State of Origin at the old Lang Park, and none of these arenas compare to the noise and fervour generated by a packed Ellis Park, Loftus, Kings Park or Newlands when the Springboks are playing," Tune said.

Tune believes Australia will not only have to overcome these hurdles, but also some downfalls that are closer to home.

"Consistency in rugby comes from planning your work (game strategy and training) and then working your plan (execution of your game plan under pressure).

"In my humble opinion the Wallabies are all over the first part of this equation but are still trying to master the second half.

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