Lukhanyo Am says the Springboks aren’t underestimating the Australians. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Lukhanyo Am says the Springboks aren’t underestimating the Australians. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Australia are playing really good rugby despite not getting the results, says Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Sep 10, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am says they aren’t reading too much into Australia’s recent performances as they prepare to face the Wallabies in a Rugby Championship clash at Robina Stadium in Gold Coast on Sunday.

While the Boks boast a superb season so far, having won the British & Irish Lions series and both their Rugby Championship fixtures against Argentina, Australia have suffered three straight defeats to New Zealand.

But that doesn’t mean the Boks are underestimating them, Am said.

“Australia are playing really good rugby. It’s just unfortunate that they haven’t been getting the results,” Am said.

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“From our side, we are preparing as much as we can to come out on tops this weekend.

“With Australia, I think they have a fairly balanced side. There are guys with experience and there are a couple of new guys in the group.

“But it means nothing in a way, because you can never underestimate your opponents or use that against them.”

Am’s centre partnership with Damian de Allende has been widely hailed as the best in the world, and for good reason.

The pair have partnered up in midfield the third most times, and they have not only fired as a combination, but also individually.

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But there is always room for growth, and it’s something Am is striving towards.

“As a new player coming into

Test match rugby, there is definitely a huge step compared to local competitions or franchise rugby,” he explained.

“For me, it was really nice coming into a group where there were so many experienced players.

“It made my job relatively easy and I gained as much experience as I could going from the playing camps into Tests.

“The shared responsibility in the group gave me the little bits of experience that I have learned so far,” he added.

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“In South Africa, we are blessed with having had great players, especially in the centres and backline. Our generation is taking over that responsibility. I feel we are doing a good job and we definitely strive to do better and improve at all times.

“I’ve played with Doogz (De Allende) now for just over two years and I think over the years and over the Test matches that we have played together, I have gained some experience.

“We have been able to learn and feed off each other.

“It’s really working well because you know what you are good at and you know what you need to work on. We are always keeping each other on our toes.”

While the Wallabies have had a poor run recently, the South Africans will be wary of the fact that they have not been able to win Down Under for seven years.

Am is a World Cup winner, but he is one of the players who has never faced the Australians in a Test match. He made his Bok debut in 2018 and has proven to be a vital cog in SA’s recent success.

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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