Boks out to stifle Pumas' scrum

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 07:31
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks will be out to nullify Argentina's strongest weapon, the scrum, when they face off in their Rugby Championship Round One match in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The Pumas are renowned for their scrummaging power on the international stage and it will be one area where they will look to get the advantage over the Springboks.

However, Springbok tighthead prop Julian Redelinghuys, who is set to get his first Test start in place of the injured Frans Malherbe, believes they have enough firepower to dominate in that area.

"I think that is one area they [Argentina] focus heavily on," Redelinghuys told reporters in Nelspruit.

"They do love their scrums, so they will obviously be a massive threat there. 

"For us, we are focussing on ourselves. As a pack, we are going to try and do everything the best we can. On the day it is going to be a massive challenge, but we are looking forward to it. We want to play against the best and measure yourself against the best and they are up there.

Redelinghuys added: "If they get ahead of you in the scrums, they will get a positive energy out of that and it is the same for us. If we dominate it is going to give us a positive attitude. 

"I think the scrum is one part of the game we can get confidence out of. It is going to be a big challenge. It is a very important part of the game so am I sure it will go well. I back the guys around us."

Meanwhile, Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee believes he has enough talent in the squad to cover the loss of No.8 Duane Vermeulen.

Vermeulen suffered a knee injury while playing for French club Toulon and was, last Saturday, withdrawn from the Springbok squad. 

"He [Duane Vermeulen] is definitely an experienced player - it is away a bit of a setback in a way," said Coetzee. "But because we are a national team we should be covered in all positions and I am happy with the cover I have in Warren Whiteley, who has played in the last two Tests in any case. I am really excited about him starting.

"This is a long competition and with Warren's load this year, you would like to think that Duane will come back at the right time of the season again. 

"Hopefully we get Duane back for the last two games of the Championship, but for now, we are well covered in that department and we are very happy with Warren stepping into that role."

Coetzee revealed that Stormers loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe will provide cover for Whiteley in the No.8 position in Vermeulen's absence.


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