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Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa

25 Setembro 2018 17:53

Reece Hodge hopes South Africa will buckle under the pressure of repeating their victory over New Zealand when they host Australia on Saturday.

The Springboks caused an almighty upset in the Rugby Championship last time out as they snatched a 36-34 win over the All Blacks in Wellington.

It came as a boost for Rassie Erasmus' side after back-to-back defeats against Australia and Argentina and sets them up nicely for the final two matches of the competition.

Port Elizabeth hosts the first of those games against the Wallabies this weekend and Hodge hopes the raised expectations will prove heavy on South Africa's shoulders.

"They are going to be a lot more confident but there is also going to be a fair amount of pressure on them," he told a media conference.

"They've had a great win over the All Blacks but their fans - like ours - are going to want to see some consistency. It's a huge game for them, as it is for us.

"Both teams are kind of on the verge of building some serious momentum going into the end-of-the-year Tests, and we cannot afford to let another opportunity slip.

"There is a lot stacked up against us this weekend. It's up to us to just go about our business and just focus on ourselves."

Australia go into the contest bottom of the table with five points from four matches, Michael Cheika's team having only tasted success once – against the Springboks in Brisbane.

A 23-19 reverse against Argentina on September 15 piled more pressure on the Wallabies squad, and Hodge says the trip to South Africa has helped them re-establish some focus.

He added: "It has given us the chance to go away and figure out, both individually and as a squad, what we want to get out of this tour, what we need to bring individually and as a collective to get those results.

"I think both teams would've enjoyed the week off in their own way and it will be all systems go on Saturday."

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