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All to play for - Connolly

Photosport

Sportal.co.nz     04 Aug 2006     Photosport

New Zealand is on top of the table with 13 points from three games, Australia has six points and South Africa is on zero from two games, so tomorrow's game against the Springboks is a must-win for the Wallabies should they wish to still be in the hunt for the Tri Nations title.

"If we get away with maximum points here, there's a belief here that we can run New Zealand very close (in Auckland on August 19), and New Zealand have got to play South Africa twice at altitude," Connolly told AAP.

"History shows they've found that difficult over the years, so it's still all to play for."

Flanker Phil Waugh, who will play his 50th Test match for Australia when he runs out against the Springboks in Sydney, also feels the Wallabies still have a strong chance to win the Tri Nations series and believes New Zealand's rotational policy may backfire on it when it travels to South Africa.

"Our main focus is this Saturday, but the South Africans are very hard to beat over there and the Kiwis have got two games against them and we're hoping that things go our way," Waugh said.

"If we can come away with a win here, then we've got two games to go – one in New Zealand and one in South Africa – and hopefully we can bring home the Tri Nations."

The Wallabies have made two changes to their starting line-up for Saturday night's clash with South Africa; bringing back hooker Tai McIsaac for Jeremy Paul and naming flanker Wycliff Palu for his debut run-on appearance.

Connolly believes the 120 kilogram Palu, who has been sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries this season, can provide the Australians with extra size and ball-running ability in the pack.

"(Palu) is a huge man and he gives us another strong ball-carrying option," he said.