Rugby Union: New laws cause Dwyer to change tactics: Terry O'Connor reports from Cape Town on how the teams shape up for the contest

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The Independent Online
Bob Dwyer, the Australian coach, would feel more confident about beating South Africa in today's one-off Test in Cape Town if his team were still playing under the laws which existed when they won the World Cup last year.

Dwyer is strongly opposed to the radical changes produced last April and thinks the game has become like a combination of Rugby League and basketball. Like most of the leading international coaches he is against the new ruck/maul law which prevents a team gaining a scrum advantage following a good forward drive.

'I find it difficult to judge even my own team these days as the game is now so different,' Dwyer said. 'I am grateful we are playing after watching the Springboks in action against the All Blacks.

'That game has forced me to make a number of changes in our tactical approach and there has been extra concentration on scrummaging this week. The Springboks certainly finished with a flourish but much of their running lacked direction while New Zealand had relaxed thinking the game had been won. We will not make that mistake.'

Both teams have prepared for the possibility of heavy rain which is forecast. This will not worry the South African captain, Naas Botha, as he excels in such conditions, in spite of learning his rugby on the dry fields of northern Transvaal.

Botha said yesterday that he was surprised his team performed so well against New Zealand and claims this has provided the confidence to win this time. However, he thinks the Wallabies are a better balanced team than last week's opposition with a strong attacking back division.

'They like to throw the ball around as we did in the second half in Johannesburg, which means both sides are liable to make mistakes,' Botha said. 'If we start at Newlands as we finished last Saturday, I am convinced we can succeed.'

Despite losing their last Test - against New Zealand a month ago - Australia have been enjoying an impressive run of success and will be strengthened by the return from injury of the No 8 Tim Gavin and flanker Willie Ofahengaue.

Ofahengaue showed some of his former explosive form in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and the tourists hope he has a chance to launch his favourite midfield runs.

One of the game's main features should be the tactical duel between Botha and Michael Lynagh, their three previous encounters coming in Italian club matches.

South Africa have won 21 of the teams' previous meetings, Australia just seven.

SOUTH AFRICA: T van Rensburg; P Hendriks (Transvaal), P Muller (Natal), D Gerber (W Province), J Small (Transvaal); N Botha (N Transvaal, capt), R du Preez (Natal); J Styger (Freestate), U Schmidt (N Transvaal) L Muller (Natal), A Geldenhuys (E Province), A Malan (N Transvaal), W Bartmann, (Natal) J Breedt, I MacDonald (Transvaal).

AUSTRALIA: M Roebuck (NSW); D Campese (NSW), T Horan, J Little, P Carozza; M Lynagh (Queensland), N Farr-Jones (capt); J Daly, P Kearns, E McKenzie (NSW), R McColl, J Eales (Queensland), W Ofahengaue, T Gavin (NSW), D Wilson (Queensland).

Referee: D Bishop (New Zealand).

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