De Villiers and Deans as one

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and his opposite number at the Wallabies, Robbie Deans, have both emphasised the size of the challenge facing their respective sides when they go head to head in Perth this Saturday. [more]

De Villiers and Deans as one

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and his opposite number at the Wallabies, Robbie Deans, have both emphasised the size of the challenge facing their respective sides when they go head to head in Perth this Saturday.

Both teams arrive at the Subiaco Oval in impressive form, with South Africa having beaten the All Blacks in Dunedin last weekend and Australia coming off the back of successive wins over World Cup semi-finalists France.

“Australia is extremely good in putting phases together,” said de Villiers, who will be hoping to lead South Africa to just their second win in Australia since 1998.

“They are a very organised unit and I am sure that the appointment of the Robbie Deans as coach will add an extra dimension to their play.

“We played much better against the All Blacks in Dunedin and are obviously delighted with the win. However, we have already identified a few areas of concern and we will work very hard this week to improve on those errors.”

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For his part, former Canterbury Crusaders coach Deans, who took over as Wallabies coach from John Connelly in December 2007, believes the Springboks will be far from complacent despite their stunning victory in New Zealand.

“If you had an inexperienced group, you might have been able to suggest that they may fluctuate, but experienced groups just get hungrier with every feed they have,” Deans told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“They’ve made a bit of progress in terms of their combinations. They hung in the game well, because for a stretch they looked like they were gone. But they never relented.

“That was most evident when Victor Matfield was sin-binned. For most teams, that would have been the death knell. But the courage they showed to get up and get home, and that they kept looking for opportunities, is a trait which is invaluable.

“They were also prepared to use the width of the ground, which is a bit of a growth for them. They also have capabilities across the park, and it’s only because they threatened those outside channels that the inside one opened up ultimately. And they kept attacking.

“In the past, when they went in at half-time, they probably would have just come out with a conservative approach, and attempt to squeeze the life out of it.

“What is so evident is that we have to play for 80 [minutes]. There will be no scope to relax. They are the world champions, and you don’t achieve that lightly.

Australia versus South Africa is live on Sky Sports this Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 11.05 BST.

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