Justin Tipuric tipping Springboks scalp
JUSTIN Tipuric believes Wales can record a rare victory over South Africa at the Millennium Stadium in his country’s first clash this autumn.
The openside flanker thinks the Six Nations champions have the ability to topple the mighty Springboks who pushed New Zealand hard before finishing as runners-up to the All Blacks in the recent Rugby Championship.
The Boks gave the Kiwis an almighty scare at Ellis Park in the tournament decider earlier this month before Steve Hansen’s men emerged as 38-27 winners in a showdown regarded as one of the best encounters the modern game has seen.
Tipuric has enjoyed a great year after his man of the match display in Wales’ record 30-3 hammering of England to deny them the Grand Slam and Six Nations and his appearance as a replacement in the British and Irish Lions’ 41-16 series-winning demolition of Australia in Sydney.
And the Ospreys star has been impressed with the way Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks are playing, the clash with Wales taking place on Saturday, November 9.
"South Africa showed in the last game of the Rugby Championship against New Zealand that they are able to spread the ball, along with providing an enormous physical threat," he said.
"In terms of the back row, Francois Louw is right up there as one of the best players I've come up against. Wales have the potential to beat South Africa but we will have to be clinical in everything we do.”
Tipuric starts for the Ospreys on Sunday as they travel to Northampton with their European fortunes in the balance after last weekend’s numbing 19-9 defeat to Leinster in Swansea in their first pool game.
He admits there was a feel-good factor among the Liberty Stadium based side’s players who starred on the successful Lions tour in the summer, but they haven’t been able to rest on their laurels.
"There was a good feeling in the camp when the Lions players came back to training, but we've all had to work hard to get back in the Ospreys squad,” he said.
“Nothing is guaranteed and I honestly haven't looked beyond the Heineken Cup at the moment.”
After they play South Africa, who they’ve beaten only once in 26 encounters dating back to 1906, Wales also face Argentina, Tonga and Australia in November and they will be desperate to win their first autumn international for a staggering four years when they just managed to scrape a 17-13 victory over Samoa in 2009.
Last year they were whitewashed by Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia, in the World Cup year of 2011 – when only one match was played – they were beaten by the Aussies and in 2010 they lost to the Wallabies, South Africa, All Blacks and drew with Fiji.
Tipuric stressed they will be taking no one lightly this November: "We certainly won't be underestimating Tonga who have improved so much over the last few years. Whoever plays against them will have to be spot on to come out on top.
"Argentina will be bruised after the Rugby Championship, particularly after their heavy defeat to Australia in the final game, but they will bounce back and are always extremely competitive.
"We had a poor autumn last year so we want to put that right this year and Australia to finish will be huge. After the Lions' series win, they will have most at stake, but they have a new coaching team and showed in beating Argentina 54-17 in the last round of the Rugby Championship what they are capable of."
Tickets to see Wales in action at the Millennium Stadium in the 2013 Dove Men Series against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia on consecutive weekends from November 9 are available online at www.wru.co.uk/tickets with prices starting from £25 (£10 concession).
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