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Evan Roos, with the ball, staked a claim for another Test start with his performance in Bloemfontein. Picture: CHARLE LOMBARD/ GALLO IMAGES
Evan Roos, with the ball, staked a claim for another Test start with his performance in Bloemfontein. Picture: CHARLE LOMBARD/ GALLO IMAGES

The Springboks will revert to full throttle in selection and strategy when they take on Wales in the series decider in Cape Town on Saturday.

Coach Jacques Nienaber left no doubt that it will be pedal to the metal after his team suffered a stinging first defeat on home soil to Wales in Bloemfontein.

His team selection evoked much debate, but he will revert to a more predictable line-up for the clash at the Cape Town Stadium.

We’re playing for our fans and for SA and the whole team feels that we let this phenomenal crowd down tonight by not getting a victory,” Nienaber said after the game in Bloemfontein.

“Going into the last game it’s going to be a final.”

Wales are certainly bracing themselves for the best SA has to offer. It will be an interesting selection but it will be the strongest SA team because it is the decider,”  Wales coach Wayne Pivac said.

“We go to Cape Town with that opportunity. We’ve had two really tight contests that’s come down to the last play.

“We’d like to think we’ll put up a fight next week. Like in the first two Tests. Getting into a tight contest, that’s what we’re after.”

The Boks will want to put clear distance between themselves and Wales going into the closing minutes.

Nienaber is likely to revert to a team resembling the one he deployed at Loftus Versfeld in the first Test.

On the surface it seems he has straightforward selections, but the coach will have to decide: should he go for another six-two split on the bench, who of Damian Willemse or Willie le Roux will start?

Willemse, certainly on the evidence of his performance at Loftus, should again start in the No 15 jersey, with Le Roux covering several bases off the bench.

The rest of the backline largely falls into place as will the pack, though there may be a case to be made for Malcolm Marx’s elevation to the starting group. Marx has been outstanding off the bench.

Fans in the Mother City will be keen to see Stormers star Evan Roos pressed into action from the start for the second week running. Jasper Wiese is, however, the man behind the injured Duane Vermeulen in the pecking order, while Elrigh Louw also has designs on the No 8 jersey.

Without going into detail, Nienaber spoke of insights he gained on his players in the Bloemfontein defeat. What he learnt may be reflected on the bench in Cape Town.

Deon Fourie made a telling contribution as a substitute in Bloemfontein but the Bok loose forward queue is long.

Apart from leaving the series in the balance, the defeat in the second Test has cost the Boks their place at the top of the world rankings. They will be ranked third when the new list is released this week.

On the back of their win over Japan, France are now the top-ranked team in the world, followed by Ireland, who beat the All Blacks in Dunedin.

The All Blacks now occupy fourth place, England are fifth, and the Wallabies will be sixth. 


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