The real Bok 'beast' revealed

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 12:37

POWER PLAY DOWN UNDER: Have you wondered why veteran Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira's form has taken such a massive upwards curve this year? Look no further than the man on his inside.

The 32-year-old, 92-times capped loosehead prop was full of praise for hooker Malcolm Marx - a young man almost 10 years his junior and with just seven caps.

The Bok scrum have accounted for both the French and Argentinian packs this year - traditionally two of the most powerful scrums in the game.

While some cynics have suggested it was due to a decline in the power of Les Bleus and Los Pumas, Mtawarira was happy to look closer to home.

"It is great to scrum with a guy like Malcolm Marx," he said from Perth, where South Africa are preparing for their Rugby Championship Round Three showdown with Australia in Saturday.

"He is a very strong hooker," Mtawarira said of Marx, adding: "He reminds me a lot of Bismarck [du Plessis].

"He is really dominant up front and I obviously try to feed off him."

Mtawarira, who carries the moniker of 'Beast', said as a front row the Boks are still "young" and still growing.

"Every weekend is an opportunity to get better," he said, adding: "I am definitely looking forward to more improvement."

Before and after their arrival in Perth, the Bok pack has put in a number of 'live' scrums to ensure they stay on top of their game.

"[The] live scrumming is something that I personally enjoy," Mtawarira said.
"On match day you are not going up against a scrum machine, and I think that is the best way to prepare for a Test.

"You actually have a pack in front of you and we make it difficult for each other.

"On a Saturday it's all muscle memory, it is a good thing and we must keep at it and continue with our processes.

"I think our scrum has performed well in the first two games against Argentina, but it's a work in progress.

"We are working hard to continue to improve every weekend."
Meanwhile the Bok team for Saturday's Test against the Wallabies is set to show a few changes.

Ross Cronje looks set to return to the starting XV at scrumhalf in place of Francois Hougaard, who will most likely drop down to the replacement bench - with Rudy Paige out of the matchday 23.

Handré Pollard will come onto the bench in place of Curwin Bosch as utility cover. Bosch, who was axed from the Bok squad, will be playing for the Sharks this week.

Dillyn Leyds is also likely to come onto the bench in place of Damian de Allende.


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