Boks seek clarity from refs, says Nienaber

Kolisi and Pollard to meet match officials to chat about interpretation of rules

Marvin Orie, jumping for the ball, takes over at lock from Lood de Jager in the Springbok side for Saturday’s Test clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane
GREAT OPPORTUNITY:  Marvin Orie, jumping for the ball, takes over at lock from Lood de Jager in the Springbok side for Saturday’s Test clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane
Image: DAVID ROGERS/ GETTY IMAGES

Obtaining clarity and alignment with referees is high on the agenda for the Springboks as they prepare for Saturday’s must-win showdown against Australia, coach Jacques Nienaber says.

Bok skipper Siya Kolisi and vice-captain Handre Pollard are set to meet English referee Mathew Carley as tension builds ahead of the Rugby Championship showdown.

The stakes will be high at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium (kickoff 9.05am SA time) and Nienaber says his team are ready for a big battle.

Discipline was an issue for the Boks in the narrow 28-26 defeat on Sunday, with Kolisi and Willie le Roux being yellow-carded.

“We scored three tries to one, but we gave them 23 points off the tee and that’s the reason we lost,” Nienaber said.

“The feedback from the referees has been good and there is good alignment.

“We will have another opportunity to talk with them during the week.

“On Thursday or Friday, we will hopefully have another meeting with referees, with our vice-captain [Pollard] and captain [Kolisi] talking to them and getting a relationship going.

“So when they meet each other on the pitch it is not the first time they will have a chat about certain things.

“We have a framework that we work with now which we previously did not know.

“It is the same framework they use in the Six Nations and obviously us not playing any rugby before the Georgia Test match, we did not know what the process was.

“We made our clips that went out on Monday to World Rugby and they reviewed it and came back to us.

“The purpose of that is to get alignment from our side.”

Nienaber has made three changes as the Boks aim to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat.

Powerful Trevor Nyakane has been named at loosehead prop, with Steven Kitshoff named among the replacements in place of Ox Nche.

Marvin Orie takes over at lock from Lood de Jager.

Nyakane and Orie last ran out for the Springboks in the team’s second Rugby Championship Test against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Nienaber has again opted for a six-two split of forwards on the bench where Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith and Jasper Wiese will add impetus along with the front row of Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch.

Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse will provide cover in the backline.

“This is an experienced group of players who know what it takes to deliver under pressure, and we all know what we need to do to bounce back from last week’s defeat,” Nienaber said.

“Trevor is a Rugby World Cup-winning prop and his experience, as well as Steven’s experience off the bench, will be valuable against the Wallabies, who place a big emphasis on the scrums, much like we do.

“Marvin has also been in our system for a while.

He has been working hard at training, and this will be another great opportunity for him.

“We identified the areas in which we need to be more effective this week, and we have been working hard at training to rectify the mistakes we made.

“So the key for us will be to be as competitive as possible in every contest during the match so that we can lay a good foundation to attack from and to use our point-scoring chances.

“Australia were desperate to win last week, and it showed in the way they played.

“There is no doubt the result would have given them confidence, so we are expecting them to deliver a similarly driven performance this week.”

SA: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.

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