The scrum battle will again be a key component of the contest when the Springboks and All Blacks clash at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon, according to Bok scrum coach Matt Proudfoot.
Meanwhile, Springbok management confirmed on Tuesday that prop Thomas du Toit, of the Cell C Sharks, has been called up to provide extra front row cover in the build-up to Saturday’s clash., while wing Raymond Rhule was released for Guinness PRO14 duty with the Toyota Cheetahs.
Proudfoot and Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff spoke to the media on Tuesday at their Waterfront hotel, with both emphasising the importance of a good performance in the set piece battle against the renowned All Black pack.
Proudfoot mentioned he is looking for a better performance against New Zealand than that of the Australian encounter.
The Bok tight five, especially, will be aiming to continue with their improvement they showed against a difficult Australian scrummaging unit.
“We are learning as a front row. I thought Ruan Dreyer was really good in Vodacom Super Rugby and finding that rhythm for him, finding that confidence for him is key for us,” said Proudfoot.
“I think Frans Malherbe was really good when he started off for us this year and Coenie Oosthuizen stepped up when he had to, so with every change in the front row, there are different body shapes, which require different approaches.
“On Saturday, Ruan learned that when the opposition presents you with a different picture, you need to adapt to it – working on our technique so that we have a plan A and plan B if the opposition does certain things to you.”
Proudfoot reiterated that the scrums between the Springboks and the All Blacks will be another hugely physical battle.
“Scrumming against the All Blacks is more on the physical side, so I think the it will be easier for the referee if he has to rule on a dominant pack,” said Proudfoot.
“Whereas with a different opposition there are different pictures to see, so I am very confident that due to the nature of what we are facing, the referee will be able to make a very accurate assessment (in the scrums).”
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee will name his match 23 on Thursday afternoon during a live SuperSport broadcast from the team hotel.