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Springboks expect scrum to be targeted

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    05 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Springboks scrum coach Matt Proudfoot said the All Blacks would bring 'brutality rather than tricks', when talking to media on Wednesday.

"The All Blacks tend to take you on physically, they have a very settled scrum system, and they tend to present you with more brutality than tricks.



"We've also learnt from the Aussie game and we've adapted where our technique wasn't good enough. Technically, there are things we could have done better, things that we needed to adapt to, and we've worked hard on them.

"We need to adapt quicker. It's going to be a different challenge this week," he said.

The pressure was being felt by prop Ruan Dreyer, who came into the side after Coenie Oosthuizen broke his arm in South Africa's Perth Test against Australia.

Proudfoot said Dreyer needed to reproduce the rhythm and confidence of his Super Rugby form and they had been working to make him feel more comfortable.

"The problem on Saturday [against Australia in Bloemfontein], and where he learnt, was the opposition will present you with different pictures and you have to adapt, you have to have a plan B that suits us.

"With every change in the front row, you need different approaches and there are different aspects we need to adjust in our own technique," he said.

The front row was all about experience and Proudfoot pointed to the way Tendai Mtawarira's work ethic was an inspiration to the side.



"I think Beast [Mtawarira] is really focused on what he wants to achieve. And the parameters Allister [coach Coetzee] has set in terms of work rate and conditioning – he's taken that on board as a 32-year-old.

"And if a senior guy with 95 caps sets that type of work environment, it's very easy for the guys to follow – and that's leadership," he said.

Meanwhile, assistant Hurricanes coach John Plumtree, who correctly predicted the Springboks defence would not cope with the All Blacks in their Albany Test last month, said in sarugbymag.co.za that the decision-making of the South Africans would be crucial in Cape Town.

"Allister Coetzee said the Boks would continue with their ball-in-hand approach. If I was him, I wouldn't be talking to the team about an attacking or expansive game this week, I would be emphasising the need to make good on-field decisions and play the situation.

"The Boks will rely on their main drivers – Ross Cronje, Elton Jantjies and Andries Coetzee – in this regard. If the Boks are in the 22 and there's space out wide, then attack that space – Beauden Barrett often does it for the All Blacks when it's on. But if there's not, then kicking is the better option.

"Barrett has kicked more than any other player in this year's Rugby Championship, and the All Blacks generally kick more than any other team. The key is that they know when to use contestable, attacking or clearance kicks," he said.

In relation to defence, Plumtree believed it was wrong to expect the Springboks to employ the sort of rush defence the British & Irish Lions had used.

"You cannot change a team's defensive system in a short space of time. With a rush defence, every player has to be on the same page, because if someone gets his timing wrong, you're in trouble. It takes a lot of practice," he said.