Springbok scrum dominance only just beginning

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Sport24.co.za chief writer Rob Houwing believes the scrum dominance the Springboks showed over England will be the basis of four years of success ahead of the 2023 World Cup in France.


The Springbok scrum in the final and been an 'immense psychological' tool and went a long way toward demoralising the England pack.


"An oft-maligned aspect of modern rugby, the scrum will suddenly be much more 'in vogue' again, you can be pretty sure, as a result of events in Yokohama.


"Continuity is precious, and the Bok tight five – naturally the area most heavily responsible for scrummaging prowess – seems destined to be overwhelmingly staffed for several seasons ahead by the same personnel (both starters and the now famous bench 'bomb squad') who gave the national team such a major foothold, tournament long, in the department at RWC 2019," Houwing said.


The South African squad was still 'appealingly youngish' and few players were likely to step down in the near future with Schalk Brits and Tendai Mtawarira the most obvious candidates.


"They will still be blessed, as the most obvious and highly worthy successor in the No 1 (starting) jersey, by the presence of Steven Kitshoff, who will only be 31 – peak time for a lot of props – when the French-staged jamboree comes around, with back-up in the role from men like hefty Thomas du Toit, you'd think, and maybe Ox Nche.


"As for the tighthead side, the veritable embarrassment of riches going forward is even more apparent, with all of Frans Malherbe (presently 28), Vincent Koch (29) and a soon fit-again Trevor Nyakan (30) duelling earnestly for game-time – at very least in the year and a half leading to the keynote British & Irish Lions tour of 2021," he said.


The hooking role will be served by Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx while all four World Cup locks Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Franco Mostert and RG Snyman should also be available.


"The current Bok scrum? It's quite possibly only just begun rumbling with such menace, really, something that will be to the consternation of many foes on the path ahead," he said.


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