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Springboks want to deny Israel Folau opportunities in Test

Always a threat: Wallaby fullback Israel Folau.

Always a threat: Wallaby fullback Israel Folau. Photo: Getty Images

Perth: The Springboks will look to "cut off supply" to Israel Folau to continue a remarkable 90 per cent success rate on the road for the past two years. 

The Wallabies fullback was the only bright spot in Australia's 51-20 hammering at the hands of the All Blacks in Auckland last month. 

Folau never said die, scoring a consolation try in the 61st minute and making the length-of-the-field break in the first half that was turned over a couple of phases later to end up with Julian Savea scoring in the opposite corner. 

And while South Africa sit at the top of the Rugby Championship table, with an eight-match winning streak to their name and nine wins from 10 Tests on the road, they are still wary of the Wallabies' attacking power. 

Springboks defence coach John McFarland said containing Folau was crucial to making it 10 from 11 away from home. 

"It's obvious that the All Blacks did a few things against him that worked for them and they kept him quiet," McFarland said. 

"He's a game breaker, a guy with X-factor, and the biggest thing is to cut off his supply lines, don't let him get into the game with his strengths."

The Springboks arrived in Perth on Sunday fresh off a three-day staging camp in Johannesburg and buoyed by - if not confident in - their record on the road. 

"Every Test is the same, it's a one-off," McFarland said.

"The Wallabies were rolling on well, they'd won eight or nine on the bounce and then they hit the All Blacks, who played really well that day. That's the same for us.

"I would say the one thing when you're away from home, you tend to have a lesser percentage of the ball. So you have to do more in defence. Last year in Brisbane [a 38-12 thumping] we made 220-odd tackles to win that game."

Two tight wins against Argentina have put the heat on the side's scrum, which came up short against Los Pumas in Pretoria and Salta.

Argentina matched the No.2 ranked international side try for try in Salta, taking a leaf from the All Blacks' book and punishing their rival's  mistakes with lethal counter attack off turnover ball.

But as McFarland said of his side that , unlike Australia, managed to guts out a victory: "There were mistakes made but the great thing is that it's always easier to correct them if you win than if you've lost."

The Wallabies have no such luxury, and were put on notice about their poor maul defence and the one that got away in Sydney. 

"There were tries [in Auckland] that were scored from line out drives, which is one of our strengths and one of the things we'll look to do," McFarland said. 

"And then there were two or three long-range tries from turnover ball, and it was the same with us in Salta - it's very hard to get a defensive line in place when you've got that sort of broken field and turnover ball. 

"But they could have just as easily beaten the All Blacks - and probably should have done - in Sydney."

19 comments so far

  • A message for the Wallabies - we want to see improvement across the park and a WIN against the Springboks. Don't care if you win by (1) point or (10)+ points - just win!!!

    Date and time
    September 01, 2014, 6:19PM
    • I beg to differ Georgie. Folau had a shocker. He bombed two tries and was completely outclassed.

      Wee Willy
      Deliverance County FNQ
      Date and time
      September 01, 2014, 6:50PM
      • He's due for a good game. Passing and awareness need to improve, but he has it in him. Disappointed if same locks are chosen. Thought they were the worst in a poor forward performance. Need better grunt and commitment from them.

        Date and time
        September 02, 2014, 7:11AM
        • Folau is a critical key to Walabies success - but we have to be more bold in his selection. He needs to be moved to inside centre. Beale needs to go to fullback. Toomua to the bench to compete with Foley. As soon as Genia and Cooper fit they come back in as the halves. Higginbotham must consign Fardy to the bench. Yes I can hear all the whinging but my logic is based on i) we do not have enough talent available to not select Beale - he is not a test grade 5/8, ii) Cooper and Genia when both fit and with a decent forward pack are the best combo in Oz, iii) Folau has the talent to be stretched more, offloading, stepping and more involvement, iv) Fardy technically competent but not enough mongrel thus Higgers

          Date and time
          September 02, 2014, 7:39AM
          • White has been the problem all along! if they had put phipps in with beal at 5/8 we would have done alot better (as seen both times phipps came on).
            Izzy at fullback defuses every box kick and bomb that is placed in his direction.... you would be crazy to move him!

            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 12:32PM
        • Yes we need hard, uncompromising and fearless locks and front rowers, guys that want to legally hurt at the point of impact so their opposite sneaks a little look or makes a rushed pass when they see you coming, (the likes we haven't seen for a while). Nothing too flashy, just forwards that follow through in the tackle and the pick and drive, not unlike the follow through for a goal kick, golf swing etc, not like the current crop that stutters and stops before the point of impact, keep the kinetic energy flowing boys.
          Until we get some, we may be consigned to top 4 into perpetuity.

          make `em hurt
          Date and time
          September 02, 2014, 8:07AM
          • ++1

            you win up front
            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 11:23AM
        • I don't know Georgie getting chased down by Barrett with the line open wasn't a great look. More of a "lay down sally" than a "never say die" I would have thought.

          Date and time
          September 02, 2014, 11:40AM
          • @ Masher

            I think GR's description of the 'never say die' was more in regards to Izzy surviving a leaping Corey Jane, who stiff-armed him across the throat. Thus allowing him to be run-down and caught by other ABs, who then turned the ball over and ended up scoring, as GR stated, in the opposite corner.
            Now, unless Corey Jane has been christened with a third girl's name ie 'lay down sally'...
            I can't agree with your comment.

            inner west sydney
            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 12:13PM
          • The same could be said of Corey Jane who survived a late high tackle after kicking ahead when Folau got the ball for that run. Great courage from Corey to get up from that cheap shot & back in defence.

            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 12:53PM

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