Over-enthusiastic Boks reined in

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 13:24

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With wholesale changes imminent, some Springboks decided to 'make a point' on the training field.

As a result of the overenthusiastic actions, management was forced to 'rein in' the players, according to Bok assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot.

Speaking ahead of their final year-end tour match - when Wales host South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday - Proudfoot said there was a lot of intensity in training on Tuesday.

"You could see the players really wanted to make a statement," Proudfoot said of the first full-on training session since last week's embarrassing loss to Italy.

"We had to temper that enthusiasm and really focus on the execution of certain aspects of our game.

"One of the major aspects we focussed on was the breakdown and our continuity.

"We need to be more effective and efficient at the breakdown in order to generate quick ball. The Italians really stunted our game and stopped our momentum."

With both teams going through rough patches, the Boks more so than the Welsh, Proudfoot felt the home team will look to put South Africa under pressure up front.

"They have a good pack, with experience in the backline," he said, adding: They attack with a lot of width and use a smart kicking game.

"We want a good physical performance from our pack.

"[However,] we have to be smart, not just physical against the Welsh."

Head coach Allister Coetzee has indicated that there are likely to be a number of changes to the team this week, as he looks to provide some new players with an opportunity to make an impression.

At least one of those 'opportunities' could come as a result of an injury.

Veteran loose forward Willem Alberts is in doubt for the Boks' year-ending Test.

Proudfoot said Alberts suffered a blow to his neck against Italy.

"We are giving him till Thursday to be reassessed before deciding on his availability," the assistant coach said, adding: "We felt it was prudent to give him a bit more time before making that decision."

Sharks loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez is one of those in the running to replace Alberts, while Cheetahs firebrand Uzair Cassiem is another option.

It would be expected that Cheetahs loose forward Teboho Mohoje - who played off the bench against the Azzurri last week - will start at blindside flank, but Proudfoot suggested Du Preez could be a viable consideration at No 7.

"We actually have some great options [if Alberts is unavailable] and Jean-Luc is definitely someone we are looking at in that position," Proudfoot said.

Cassiem, the other option, could feature at openside on Cardiff.

The Bok team will be announced on Thursday.