Louw backs southern scrums
Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:09
It is a huge part of our game
Francois Louw has said the southern hemisphere mind-set and pride in the scrum is what will contribute to a far more impressive display against Wales.
The highly rated Springbok tight-five, boasting 349 Test caps between them, came under heavy fire from the likes of Carl Hayman and Sona Taumalolo at the weekend.
Questions were soon raised about the Springbok scrum and its weaknesses but Louw is sure that this wake-up call can only be a good thing.
Louw, who plays his club rugby for English Premiership side Bath, has seen the approach teams from the North and South take towards scrumming and he believes there is a separation in mind-sets.
"It is an important facet of the game [the scrum], set pieces are an important base to attack from and obviously we want to put the oppositions set piece under pressure," the flank said.
"I think if anything it is a huge part of our game, it is something we pride ourselves on as South Africans, we want to get the result there every time.
"I think our outlook as Springboks towards scrumming is not really different in the sense of our approach but there is more certainty in out attitude in that sense.
"There are areas to work on going into the next week and the next few weeks and those are the little things we will try rectify to make sure that it is firing 100 percent."
Springbok forwards coach Johan van Graan echoed Louw's remarks with regards to fixing up the scrum.
"There were obviously one or two technical issues in the scrums, we had a good look at it," Van Graan said.
"We had to adapt pretty quickly to interpretations, I thought our engagement was quite good, not quite as good on our post engagement work, but that is something we will work on for this coming weekend."
Having paid notice to the scrum deficiencies, Van Graan was full of praise for the line-outs with the maestro Matfield pulling the strings.
"I thought the line-out functioned quite well, im pretty proud of those two maul tries," he added.
"There was a really good work rate from everybody but there was a low ball-in-play time, only 26 minutes.
"I think the opposition slowed the ball down quite a bit, but I am happy with our forwards, especially in the second half and especially when scoring four tries in one half."
The slow ball was another area the Springboks could do with having a look at, with their physical forwards it is an aspect that should keep the Bok scrumhalves on the front-foot.
Louw, as the breakdown specialist, had a few comments on this facet of the game.
"Our urgency needs to improve, perhaps a greater attitude from the players," Louw said.
"It is easily fixed and it is something we have pointed out this week, it is something we are working on and we will sort that out.
"It is important for us to get quick ball at the breakdown especially with the style of rugby we play, so emphasis has been placed on getting quick ball."
The Springboks will go up against a Welsh team that have two notable exclusions from their back-row. Specialists fetchers Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric are on the injured list.
"Sam Warburton and Tipuric aren't playing and they are two of their better loose forwards, that is not to say that do not have depth, they have guys in their squad that can do the job," Louw added.
"I think it is irrelevant if they are going to be vulnerable there or not - we are going out to play our game and attack at the breakdown where ever possible.
"We need to make accurate decisions, slow their ball down and then speed our ball up.
"Our game plan stays the same regardless of their selection in the back-row."
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