South Africa v Australia, Tri-Nations, Bloemfontein, September 4
Boks waiting on injured trio
August 30, 2010
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers casts an eye over training, Springboks training session, Fourways High School, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 20, 2010
The pressure has eased on South Africa boss Peter de Villiers after Saturday's win over the Wallabies © Getty Images

South Africa could be deprived of the services of Butch James, Jannie du Plessis and Flip van der Merwe for Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with Australia in Bloemfontein.

All three players missed training on Monday and while the exact nature of their respective injuries have yet to be revealed, it is thought that Bath fly-half James, who came on for the final 15 minutes of last weekend's win over the Wallabies in Pretoria, is a major doubt for the Springboks' final game in this year's tournament.

Meanwhile, South Africa head coach Peter de Villiers has admitted that the whole squad has been lifted by their thrilling 44-31 victory at Loftus, a result which arrested a run of four straight Tri-Nations defeats.

"The win has changed the mood in the camp and the guys need to build on this from a mental and physical point of view," he said. "This is where a positive attitude towards the match will be very important. The Wallabies are world class and we will have to have the right attitude to beat them again, especially on attack."

De Villiers also conceded that the Springboks will have to tighten up defensively if they are to beat their opponents to second place in the final Tri-Nations standings.

"We have yet to achieve anything," he said. "It was nice to get the win because it changed the mood in the changing room and also put smiles on the faces of our fans again. But we still have a lot of work to do.

"We have a brilliant defensive system in place. When we analyse defensive lapses we have to look further than missed tackles or mistakes that are made by individuals.

"We have to look at what events in the play led to that situation. It could be that the opposition was quicker on attack than we anticipated or that a player was out of line in the defensive pattern. The Wallabies put us under pressure and forced us into mistakes. We have to go back and look at what we can do to better deal with that pressure.

"But to come back from 7-21 (on Saturday) down showed the character of this team. I am pleased that we did not go into defensive mode towards the end of the match and showed a willingness to attack until the end."


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