Coetzee vs Warburton

The outcome of Saturday's battle will be decided by the accuracy, not the effort, of the respective No 6s, writes BRENTON CHELIN.

Both men are known for their tireless work around the field and at the breakdown. While their commitment to the cause has never been called into question, both have been guilty at times of lacking in execution.

Marcell Coetzee has been one of the Boks' better players during this tour. One of the few to come out of the match against Ireland with an enhanced reputation, he carried his form into the victory over England with another solid contribution on defence and attack. Coetzee, however, turned in a fairly low-key performance against Italy at the weekend, where he was penalised three times and knocked the ball on twice in contact.

Sam Warburton missed the June Tests in South Africa with a dislocated shoulder and has struggled to reacquaint himself with the pace of international rugby upon his return. Usually a great source of turnover ball, he pilfered just one ball in the Tests against Australia and New Zealand, while conceding two penalties.

Both players find themselves at very different stages in their season. Warburton and Wales should be better this week thanks to the continuity provided by weekly Tests, while Coetzee will need to lift himself for one last big performance at the Millennium Stadium.

As a natural opensider, Warburton should hold the advantage at the breakdowns, but Coetzee has shown great improvement in his role as the season has progressed. If he can maintain focus for 80 minutes, his work in the other areas of the game should see him win this battle.

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