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Williams downplays Pocock influence


David Pocock

David Pocock

David Pocock

Australia assistant Jim Williams does not expect David Pocock to have as big an impact as he had against South Africa last month when the two countries meet in the Tri Nations on Saturday.

The Force flanker has seen his reputation enhanced in recent weeks following his displays in the competition thus far. During the Wallabies' 30-13 victory in Brisbane he dominated the breakdowns, with his ability to steal and slow down the Springboks playing a key role in the result.

"The Boks were a little bit off their game at the breakdown during the first three matches of the Tri Nations," he said. "But on Saturday they came out firing and kept their intensity up."

He added: "Their work at the breakdown was excellent and their ability to turn over ball was evident.

"They created some good opportunities from the ball they won, but the standout feature of the breakdown was their intensity.

"David did well in Brisbane and I'd like it to happen again, but I doubt he'll get the same leeway from the Boks in Pretoria."

South Africa and Australia are both competing for second place now after the All Blacks clinched the title at the weekend.

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Williams believes that, despite De Villiers' praise of Zimbabwe-born flanker Pocock, South Africa's game plan will still be the same.

He continued: "They are not the first team to do that. Last year on tour every team focused on him and it just shows how far he has come in a short space of time and the incredible impact he has at the breakdowns.

"We have a great tradition of fetching flanks going back to the days of David Wilson. Pocock is well on his way to continue that tradition. It's important in the modern era to have a good fetcher so that you can compete for turnover possession."