Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the Springboks vs. the Wallabies from Great Cbus stadium on the Gold Coast. We are in the third round of this year’s Rugby Championship with the kick off at 8:05 p.m. AEST.
A narrow victory in a three-test series against a second-chain France, followed by a treble in complete Beldisloe Cup defeats, has meant Australia’s plans for 2021 haven’t got the best of starts. From a season that started with a bullish Dave Rennie backing young combinations, he is now looking to the past for the results.
With a reinterpretation of the Giteau law to boost Rennie’s options, Samu Kerevi returned to the fold against New Zealand. Now it’s Quade Cooper’s turn to don the green and gold after a long hiatus with Rennie running out of patience with 21-year-old, five-eighth Noah Lolesio. This isn’t the first time in recent years that this has raised questions about where Australia is heading and what catching up they need to make to get back to the top of the rugby test.
One man who has surpassed the mediocrity that surrounds him is Captain Michael Hooper, and the relentless warrior tonight equals George Gregan’s record for most tests as the Wallabies captain when he leads his team for the 59th time.
Hooper will be delighted that he doesn’t have to watch another haka this week, but for his sins he instead faces the prospect of the dominant force in world rugby right now. They are a Springboks team with impressive power up front, a commitment to win that is the rival of any team in international sport, and a fierce dedication to their own cause. The recent Bledisloe streak was largely an entertaining and open affair with the All Blacks demonstrating their superior finishing prowess. Tonight we’re probably going to see a much more controlled show of force and a very different show.
I will come back with more information shortly, but if you would like to participate, you can reach me via email or Twitter (@JPHowcroft).