Elsom wary of 'Boks

Photosport     05 Aug 2006     Photosport

Elsom, who is playing his sixth Test against the Springboks, indicated Australia must get on top early to assert its dominance over the South Africans to avoid giving the visitors any form of momentum.

"The biggest problem they pose is when they get a roll on they get very difficult to stop," Elsom said in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"They seem to feed off each other. When things are going well, they tend to talk things up. It is like a big steamroller getting going."

"We had a game at Ellis Park last year when they caught us on the hop. It was phenomenal the difference between that team and the one we played in Brisbane."

Elsom said the South Africans performance against New Zealand a week after the 49-0 shellacking in Brisbane was much more indicative of the Springboks outfit.

"I don't think they played to their strengths against the All Blacks in Wellington [when they lost]," said Elsom.

"They could have probably kicked out a bit more, and if they can play to their strengths, they can be four times the side they were against us."

Elsom is also hoping to improve his own performance after saying this week his natural game is being stifled by the referee's whistle.

The blindside flanker is hoping to avoid giving away any penalties in this weekend's match after being penalised repeatedly in Australia's three Test matches so far this season.

After receiving a yellow card for three consecutive ruck infringements in the first Bledisloe Cup game against New Zealand, Elsom has said he is in two minds when he goes into a breakdown.

He gave the example of the most recent Test match against the All Blacks in Brisbane last weekend when he had already been penalised twice and deliberately eased off at the breakdown rather than risk another costly trip to the sin bin.

"When you're getting pinged, you've got to really watch what you're doing," Elsom said in The Australian.

"It's very difficult to know where the line is."

"You've got no option but to pull back from the breakdown from then on. Probably all you can do is lay low till you stop getting attention from the referees."

"I guess whether you're right or wrong, if you keep giving away penalties, you won't be out there."