Boks wary of Murrayfield banana peel

Sat, 16 Nov 2013 18:06
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We know that this is an easy one to slip on if we don't play well - as happened in 2010

Having battled against Scotland in the past Springbok captain Jean de Villiers is adamant his team will take nothing for granted at Murrayfield on Sunday.

De Villiers was part of the team that lost to Scotland in Edinburgh in 2010, and having been pushed all the way by Scott Johnson's side in Nelspruit earlier this year he is well-aware of their capabilities.

The Boks received a boost on Saturday when both flank Willem Alberts and flyhalf Morne Steyn were declared fit for the clash, and De Villiers said that they will be leaving nothing to chance as they look to back up their victory over Six Nations champions Wales last week.

"It is about us progressing and moving forward, I was part of the team that lost here in 2010 and they will find inspiration in Nelspruit this year in the same way that we know that this is an easy one to slip on if we don't play well - as happened in 2010.

"We have got two games left this year and we want to end on a high so it is a vital game for us," he said.

The Bok skipper said that to underestimate Scotland at their home ground would be a huge mistake, as they showed just how tough they can be  in a combative display in Nelspruit.

"We are expecting anything and everything. I remember the build-up to that game in Nelspruit when a lot of the South African media wrote them off after their performance against Samoa and maybe on the day they caught us with our pants down. This time we'll expect anything.

"Certain teams have certain plans and they like to approach the game differently. We know what to expect from Scotland and we know that we have struggled against them in the past.

"We won't underestimate them, apparently the Murrayfield pitch is not looking too great but it is the same for both teams," he said.

A major talking point in the build-up to this match has been the significance of the breakdown, where Scotland were able to disrupt the Boks in June, and De Villiers admitted that it has been a focus for his side.

"The breakdown will be a massive challenge for us tomorrow in the way that they challenged us in Nelspruit. It is an area where we feel we have made a lot of progress but you get challenged in that area of the game in the northern hemisphere and tomorrow will be no different," he said.

The experienced centre said that the team has adjusted their training schedule this week given the extra day to prepare, and added that the biggest test will come next week when they face France after just six days.

"We only started training on Tuesday, we had a good week preparation-wise and it is weird to think that it is Saturday, it feels like Friday.

"The test will come next week when we have a much shorter week and we will have to adapt our training schedule," he said.