Can Boks outmuscle All Blacks?
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Establishing a platform for victory in Test-match rugby always starts up front and it will be no different when the Springboks take on the mighty All Backs at Kings Park.
Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira will play an important role in this regard and he is under no illusions about the task he and his fellow teammates face in the set-piece battle.
"Set Pieces are vital when you play the All Blacks," Mtawarira told reporters at the team's base in Durban.
"They are very clinical when it comes to set-piece time, so you have to be at your best. For me, they got the best pack in the world, so you really have to be on top of your game and make sure that you do everything as a pack
"We have to make sure that we continue putting the pressure on at set-piece time for 80 minutes."
The Springboks gave the Wallabies a few problems in the scrums during their 18-10 win last week and Mtawarira believes that have to build on that to get the upper hand over the All Blacks.
"There is a lot of confidence we can take from that [Wallabies match].
"I think we've got a really strong pack, but even the guys on the bench added a lot of value and made a difference when they came on.
"It is something that Matt Proudfoot has been teaching us the whole season, that we have to make sure that we scrummage to the best of our abilities and that is what we are looking forward to doing against the All Blacks," Mtawarira added.
Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee also stressed the importance of having dominance in the set pieces in international rugby.
"It is always key to the outcome of any Test match," said Coetzee. "It is not about having the best game plan in the world - there won't be a game plan if there is no set-piece dominance.
I am happy with the strides that we have made. Our line-out success rate is really high and it is really pleasing. You will come up against a guy like Sam Whitelock whose defensive line-out is superb and it is really going to be a test for us this weekend."
By Warren Fortune