Australia v South Africa, Rugby Championship
Springboks eye Suncorp boilover
September 5, 2013
Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray tackles his South African opposite number Ruan Pienaar, Ireland v South Africa, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, November 10, 2012
Springboks scrum-half Ruan Pienaar says victory would be important for the growth of his side © PA Photos
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They boast the best current winning streak in world rugby but a drought-breaking win at Suncorp Stadium would mean much more to a Springboks outfit that can't explain their terrible record in eastern Australia.

South Africa are No.2 in the world and coming off nine straight victories dating back to November. But they are underdogs with the bookmakers against the Wallabies, who have won just one of their five Tests this year.

The main reason for that is their winless record at Brisbane's former Lang Park, where Australia have been a 20-point better side an average over seven meetings. The Wallabies' love for the ground was highlighted by their 2009 upset of the then world champion Boks when they scored a resounding 21-9 win at Suncorp. It was Australia's only Tri-Nations' win that season and top-ranked South Africa's only loss.

Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar played in that boilover, as well as the 30-13 thumping a year later, and knows the difficulty of winning in Brisbane, but can't fathom exactly why.

"I don't think you can put your finger on that," 68-Test Pienaar said. "For us, we take a lot of pride in playing back home and I think it's the same for Australia - they want to put in a big performance before their home crowd."

Wallabies players rate Suncorp their favourite place to play because of the atmosphere and energy they get from the 52,500-seat rectangular stadium. Pienaar said a hoodoo-busting victory on Saturday night would be a massive confidence-booster for the Boks in their second season under coach Heyneke Meyer.

"I know the record isn't great but I think that's the exciting thing for this group now," he said. "If you want to grow as a group and go forward you would like to get a result here."

South Africa's record is no better in Sydney, either, with the Boks losing all 13 of their Tests against the Wallabies played on the east coast since the code went professional in 1996.


Follow live text commentary of the Mandela Challenge Plate Test between Australia and South Africa on Saturday, September 7, from 730pm (AEST), 1130am (SAST), 930am (GMT)

Greg Growden and Russell Barwick review and preview the rugby weeks past, present and future
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