Scots welcome Bok challenge
Tue, 13 Nov 2012 19:53
Scotland have welcomed the change of pace the Springboks’ conservative gameplan will provide on Saturday after being routed by the All Blacks.
The Scots were left with plenty to ponder following a 51-22 home loss to the All Blacks last Sunday, which exposed several shortcomings in their defence.
South Africa, who moved up to second place in the IRB World Rankings thanks to a 16-12 win over Ireland in Dublin at the weekend, will provide Scotland with another gruelling test this weekend, but loose forward David Denton believes the Springboks’ direct approach will be easier to contain than New Zealand's enterprising style.
"Facing the All Blacks could have been more physical and it was more the tempo they played at which was the tough thing," Denton told the Edinburgh Evening News.
"These Boks are a side we can definitely play well against. Their tempo is a lot slower and they are a lot more physical but we can definitely handle that.”
Denton said the focus in training this week will be plugging the holes on defence.
"Whenever New Zealand wanted to attack they had quick ball and we made it easy for them by missing first-up tackles. You can't win matches if you don't make your tackles and that is where we came unstuck.
"We have to get our defence sorted because we can't let a team score as many tries (six) as New Zealand scored against us. You'll never win games like that.
"We need to work on our systems in defence. We were sitting off a bit too much. If we do come up with a bit more pressure in offence we are going to be in a very good place.
"We were rusty in defence and there were a few times in attack when we looked like a team that hadn't been together for a while.
"On other occasions, though, particularly towards the end of the first half, we looked like a very, very dangerous team.”
Denton said they took a lot of confidence from their success with ball in hand against the All Blacks and believes the Springboks will struggle to stop their driving maul.
"Defence is a big negative for us but we scored three tries and three tries should be enough to win you a game,” he said.
"The great positive I take is that we had a powerful maul I haven't seen in Scottish rugby for a long time.
"We knew we had to take them physically and we did that well."
Scotland won the last encounter against South Africa, a surprise 21-17 win at Murrayfield two years ago, and Denton said it will serve as motivation when the teams lock horns again at the famous venue.
"A lot of our optimism does stem from having beaten South Africa as recently as 2010, but there is more to it than that," said Denton.
"They are a team our style of rugby suits playing against."
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