Pote doffs his cap to scrum stars
Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:52
Critics will see Adriaanse in a different light
It was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who famously said: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
That encapsulates what Griquas coach Pote Human believes will bring success under the new scrum engagement sequence.
The two teams that best, and quickest, adapted to the new 'crouch-bind-set' sequence - the Blue Bulls and Griquas - will go head-to-head in a Round Two Currie Cup showdown at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
And as was the key in last week's opening round, the scrums will again be crucial in the outcome of the match.
Griquas, spearheaded by discarded Springbok Lourens Adriaanse, dismantled the Sharks scrum in Durban and through their set-piece dominance came from behind to sneak a 32-30 victory.
The Bulls, despite being penalised a couple of times in the scrums, also gained the upperhand against Western Province in Cape Town. It was this set-piece platform from which they launched a late raid that earned them a 24-all draw.
Now the two most impressive packs from the opening weekend get to test their skills and powers against each other in Pretoria.
"We have paid a lot of attention to our scrums, especially with the new laws [scrum engagement sequence]," Human told this website, when asked about his showdown with the Bulls scrum at Loftus.
"All eight forward have to work together, they have to work as a unit. If some guys slack off and do not pull their weight in the scrums you will come off second best.
"I must say I doff my cap to the players, they did really well."
The Griquas mentor also praised Adriaanse, saying the 25-year-old - an uncapped member of the Bok squad for the June series - had silenced his critics.
"So many people questioned Lourens Adriaanse, suggesting he won't cope with the new laws [scrum sequence], but he did very well," Human told this website.
"He would certainly have earned a tick from [Springbok coach] Heyneke [Meyer].
"People will now start seeing him in a different light, as a tighthead that can play at a higher level."
Bulls counterpart Pine Pienaar also had high praise for the Griquas scrum, but felt that his team will be up for the challenge on Friday.
"They have in [hooker] Ryno Barnes and [prop Lourens] Adriaanse two very experienced players," Pienaar said of the Griquas scrum, adding: "Then there is also Steph Roberts, who has over 50 Currie Cup games [to his credit].
"They scrummed really well against the Sharks."
Pienaar told this website that the scrums will be a focal point for them this coming weekend.
"We must ensure we also scrum well against them [Griquas] and do not concede penalties," the Bulls mentor said.
"We did scrum well against Western Province, but we were also penalised twice at scrum time.
"We have to ensure that doesn't happen again.
"It [scrums] is an aspect we have focussed on, but which we are certainly not happy with."
Pienaar also revealed why he opted to leave his two Bok props - Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling - out of the matchday squad in the early stages of the competition.
The Bulls were forced into making a late change - when Frik Kirsten failed to recover from an ankle strain and his place taken by Kruger.
However, had it not been for the injury, Kruger would have sat another week on the sidelines.
Pienaar said the reason behind this decision is twofold.
Firstly, they were both involved in the Super Rugby semifinal a few weeks ago and have played a lot of rugby in recent times. It has resulted in a few minor niggles, which meant they were given extra time to recover.
"It is more a case of getting them fresh again and put them on rehabilitation programme to get the up to speed," Pienaar told this website.
"They returned to training this week."
However, the performances of Frik Kirsten and Morné Mellett may well keep the Boks sidelined a little longer.
"Obviously we will also look at players' performance on the field," Pienaar said, adding: "I feel Morné Mellet, Frik Kirsten and Marcell van der Merwe did very well.
"Werner [Kruger] and Dean [Greyling] will get their chances in the team and I am sure they will do well with the opportunities presented to them.
"We are working on the principle that we will reward good performance - that means if you are in [the team] and you do well, you will be rewarded for that.
"Those players will get their chances in the weeks coming up - no player is out of the picture.
"We are blessed with very good [front row] players.
"We know that when presented with a challenge they will show how good they are and why they became Springboks."
By Jan de Koning
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