Rugby Championship – Week 3 – Wallabies vs. Springboks Preview

The following is a preview with betting tips for the Rugby Championship Week 3 clash between the Wallabies and Springboks. The game kicks off at 8:05 PM AEST (6:05 PM AWST) on Saturday the 6th of September. The venue is Patersons Stadium in Perth and the referee is George Clancy from Ireland.


Starters Australia South Africa
15 – Fullback Israel Folau Willie le Roux
14 – Right Wing Adam Ashley-Cooper Cornal Hendricks
13 – Outside Centre Tevita Kuridrani Jan Serfontein
12 – Inside Centre Matt Toomua Jean de Villiers (c)
11 – Left Wing Rob Horne Bryan Habana
10 – Fly-half Bernard Foley Morne Steyn
9 – Scrum Half Nick Phipps Ruan Pienaar
8 – Number Eight Wycliff Palu Duane Vermeulen
7 – Openside Flanker Michael Hooper (c) Marcell Coetzee
6 – Blindside Flanker Scott Fardy Francois Louw
5 – Right Lock Sam Carter Victor Matfield
4 – Left Lock Rob Simmons Eben Etzebeth
3 – Tighthead Prop Sekope Kepu Jannie du Plessis
2 – Hooker James Hanson Adriaan Strauss
1 – Loosehead Prop James Slipper Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements Australia South Africa
16 Saia Fainga’a Bismarck du Plessis
17 Pekahou Cowan Trevor Nyakane
18 Ben Alexander Marcel van der Merwe
19 James Horwill Lood de Jager
20 Scott Higginbotham Warren Whiteley
21 Matt Hodgson Francois Hougaard
22 Nic White Pat Lambie
23 Kurtley Beale Damien de Allande



After opting for the same 23-man squad in Weeks 1 and 2, Ewen McKenzie has made a number of changes for this clash. In a new 9-10 combination, Nic White and Kurtley Beale make way for the Waratahs duo of Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley. Adam Ashley Cooper shifts from outside centre to the wing to cover for Pat McCabe, who has been forced to retire with a neck injury, with Tevita Kuridrani getting the No. 13 jersey. In one other change to the starting line-up, James Hanson will start at hooker after a season-ending injury to Nathan Charles. In the anticipation of a forwards-dominated clash, the Wallabies have opted for a forward-heavy 6-2 split on the bench. Will Skelton makes way for James Horwill while Matt Hodgson and Reds hooker Saia Fainga’a have been added.

The Wallabies pack was dominated by the All Blacks in Auckland and they continue to struggle with injuries at the hooker position, however they stand a decent chance against what appears to be a jaded Springboks pack that was dominated by Argentina two weeks ago.


The Springboks have made six changes to the starting line up that only just saw off Argentina two weeks ago. In the forwards, veteran lock Victor Matfield gets the start with Lood de Jager dropping to the bench, while Marcell Coetzee comes in for Juan Smith. Two other changes see hooker Adriaan Strauss start to give Bismarck du Plessis a rest, while Tendai Mtawarira will start at loosehead prop with Guthro Steenkamp dropping out of the squad. In the backs, Morne Steyn comes in at fly-half for Handré Pollard while Jan Serfontein comes in at outside centre for Damian de Allende. Lions captain Warren Whiteley could make his international debut after being named on the bench.

Traditionally the Springboks take a forward-oriented approach, using their power and strength at the set-piece to put the opposition under pressure, however the Springboks forwards were dominated in virtually all aspects of the game against Los Pumas. Like the Australian pack, the South African forwards will have a point to prove on Saturday.

Head-to-head History

After enjoying a five-game winning streak over the Springboks spanning 2010 to 2012, the Wallabies have lost their last three Tests against the South African side. All three of those losses were by 20 points or more. The Wallabies have a strong record against the Springboks on home soil, where they have won eight of the last ten clashes. Below are the most recent results for Tests played in Australia:

2013: Wallabies 12 – 38 Springboks (Brisbane)
2012: Wallabies 26 – 19 Springboks (Perth)
2011: Wallabies 39 – 20 Springboks (Sydney)
2010: Wallabies 30 – 13 Springboks (Brisbane)
2009: Wallabies 21 – 6 Springboks (Brisbane)
2009: Wallabies 25 – 32 Springboks (Perth)
2008: Wallabies 16 – 9 Springboks (Perth)
2007: Wallabies 20 – 18 Springboks (Sydney)
2006: Wallabies 20 – 18 Springboks (Sydney)
2006: Wallabies 49 – 0 Springboks (Brisbane)


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Due to their strong record at home the Wallabies have been installed as the favourites for this clash. At the time of writing the best available head-to-head odds are 1.73 for the Wallabies and 2.50 for the Springboks (Betfair).

Conservative betting

In both Weeks 1 & 2 the Wallabies looked better structured once Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley came on in the second half, so I expect an improved backline performance this week with the personnel changes. The Wallabies forwards were dominated by the All Blacks two weeks ago but the Springboks pack looked out of sorts against Argentina. Given the 8-2 record the Wallabies enjoy over the Springboks in their last 10 home games, I would back the Wallabies in the head-to-head at 1.73 (Betfair).

Aggressive betting

Of the last 8 Wallabies home wins over the Springboks, 4 were by 1-12 points and 4 were by 13+. Of those two selections I think 1-12 at 2.60 is more likely to get up, however 13+ at 4.00 is arguably better value. Looking at the weather forecasts for Perth, various websites project between a 60% and 90% chance of rain on Saturday. I would hold out and if conditions are dry on Saturday I would back the Wallabies 13+ at 4.00 (Palmerbet / Sportsbet) and if conditions are wet I would back the Wallabies 1-12 at 2.60 (Palmerbet).

If you were dropped on your head as a baby

In the two Tests in 2013, when the Wallabies played the Springboks, the first tryscorer was a Springboks hooker in one game and a Springboks prop in the other. Last year in the Rugby Championship the Springboks hookers (Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss) scored 2 tries each over the course of the tournament. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the South African forwards try to assert themselves early with a rolling maul so the first try scorer could well be wearing a low number on Saturday. With Adriaan Strauss getting the start at hooker this week, in the ‘First tryscorer & match winner double’ market I would back “Adriaan Strauss & Australia” at 50.00 (Sportingbet).

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