Wallabies turn their attentions to Johannesburg

The Wallabies could be forced to face a seriously bruised Springbok team this weekend without without Berrick Barnes, Dan Vickerman and Rocky Elsom due to injuries and a possible suspension.


The Wallabies lost Barnes after just twenty minutes and then Vickerman was forced from the field a minute before the halftime break.


Rocky Elsom faces a disciplinary hearing on Monday for dangerous play after he man-handled Springboks captain Victor Matfield while jumping in a lineout.


“We’ve got a couple of shoulders that look like they will impact on next week in Berrick Barnes and Daniel Vickerman, they’re unlikely to be available,” coach Robbie Deans told AAP.


Nathan Sharpe has been called to join the squad and will meet up with them on Monday night South African time.


Deans is said to be considering a Test start for league convert Timana Tahu, who played the final 20 minutes in Barnes’ position, inside centre, and impressed Deans in the process.


“He (Tahu) did superbly,” the coach said.


“It wasn’t an easy situation to go into but he certainly relished the opportunity, he’s been waiting for it. He’ll be much better for it.”


The Wallabies broke an eight year drought by beating the Springboks for the first time since 2000 but as the victory has put them just a point behind New Zealand the Tri Nations title is there for the taking.


This weekend’s match against the Springboks is at altitude at Coca – Cola Park where the Wallabies have not won since 1963.


A number of factors such as altitude have been blamed for the run of losses but Deans says that it is vital the Wallabies took another step forward.


“The key now is can we back up and there’ll be many who would suggest we can’t,” he said.


“The history would suggest that also but we’ll get a great opportunity to do that this week and that’s what we’ll concentrate on.


“We know that we have to better next week but we want to be better and we want to back up because it’s something that we haven’t done.”


There is little sense in risking Barnes or Vickerman if they are not fully fit as the Tri-Nations title will now be decided by the September 13 clash between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane.


Australia could pick up five points this weekend which would put them on 19 points but as the All Blacks are on 14 they too could pick up a five pointer against Australia in the final match so the tournament could come down to points difference or a bonus point.


A win or even a bonus point for four tries or for losing within seven points could prove crucial later in the tournament though so Australia still have it all to play for.


The Wallabies were a lot more composed than the Springboks on Saturday and only when they had the match won did they let in two Springbok tries.


Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock immediately stepped up and scored a try under the posts to put the game out of reach for the South African world champions.


The Wallabies had scored the only try of the first half through prop Benn Robinson before Lote Tuqiri crossed in the 62nd minute before Mortlock grabbed the clincher in the 68th minute.


Coincedentally it was Mortlock who kicked Australia to victory the last time they won in South Africa, also in Durban but both captain and coach said that there were no flamboyant celebrations at full time as they still have a job to do.


“I think it’s a reflection on how much they guys gave to secure that victory and then also that our feet hopefully are planted on the ground,” Mortlock told AAP.


“We know that this is a two-match tour and (we’re) very happy with what we achieved today, and rightly so, but another challenge awaits us in seven days.”


Mortlock added that the Wallabies had benefited from an influx of new blood, with eight of the team’s 22 never having played a Test in So

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