Japan connection now settled
Jaque Fourie still adds plenty of value to the Springbok backline, despite the appetite among some pundits to write him off.
There may have been the rare statistic of two linebreaks against a Jaque Fourie-commanded defensive line, but the World Cup-winning veteran has already plugged the leak.
Springbok assistant coach and defensive guru John McFarland suggested critics may be jumping the gun if they suggest the 30-year-old centre has lost his organisational skills.
Despite the Boks keeping Wales tryless in their 24-15 win in Cardiff at the weekend, detractors were quick to pounce on two early linebreaks and use those as reasoning for their skepticism.
Fourie, who played his first game for the Boks since the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal loss to Australia, only joined up with the national team in the fortnight before the year-end tour.
And, according to McFarland, the lack of time with the team was a contributing factor to those early lapses.
"If you look at the game flow defensively and where we were [against Wales], it obviously took the guys time to settle," the defence mentor told a media scrum in Edinburgh at the start of the build-up to this coming Sunday's encounter with Scotland.
McFarland said the entire Bok team struggled in the early staged of the clash in Cardiff because they haven't been together for a month.
"New Zealand played two Test before France," McFarland said of the All Blacks' additional Bledisloe Cup encounter with Australia and a game against Japan.
"They [New Zealand] have been continually on the go [since the end of the Rugby Championship].
"Our guys have obviously been away so it takes a little bit of time to settle and get used to the system."
He said the two linebreaks in the first 10 minutes at the Millennium Stadium can be forgiven.
"There was the one where [Jonathan] Davies cut through and the second one [there] was a little bit of obstruction," the Bok mentor said.
"There was nothing [no linebreaks] in the second half and there was nothing in the back-end 70 minutes of the game.
"I have been impressed with Jaque Fourie in terms of his organisation, communication, his talking, everything. It takes time for guys to get back in at any level."
McFarland said he expected Scotland to employ the same spoiling tactics they used to such great effect in the mid-year Test against the Boks in June.
"Nelspruit was a really tough Test for us, they really played well," he said of the 30-17 win, adding: "At one point we were 6-17 down and we came back to win so it will be a hard Test match on Sunday.
"They tried that [those tactics] in that game and it worked for them for 40 or 50 minutes so I think they will come with much of the same."