Simon Borchardt

Matfield vs Whitelock


. .

A sold-out Ellis Park will witness a lineout battle between two of the best No 5 locks in world rugby, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.

A rib injury saw Sam Whitelock miss the match against the Springboks in Wellington, with Matfield stealing the All Blacks' lineout ball in the second minute.

Matfield was the Boks' go-to man for most of the game, winning six balls, all from four-man lineouts. One of them, in the 18th minute, led to Cornal Hendricks' try.

While Whitelock's replacement, Jeremy Thrush, improved in the second half, the All Blacks lineout wasn't up to its usual standard.

Matfield, and the Boks, will face a far greater challenge at Ellis Park with Whitelock back.

The 26-year-old played the full 80 minutes upon his return in La Plata last weekend and is looking forward to his clash with Matfield, having played off the bench in 2010 and 2011 when the Bok legend was in his prime.

Matfield may now be 37 and do less around the field than he used to, but he remains the key man in the Bok lineout. 

He secured five of his own lineouts during last Saturday's match at Newlands, taking his tally to 18 for the tournament. Only Kieran Read, with 22, has more. 

Photos: Andrew Cornaga/Anthony Au-Yeung/Photosport/Getty Images

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