Wallabies target Boks' scrum
BLOEMFONTEIN SPOTLIGHT: Australia prop Sekope Kepu will be eager to nullify South Africa's scrummaging department when they face each other in Round five of the Rugby Championship in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Australia struggled against the Springboks pack in their 23-all draw in Perth, particularly in the second half, before dominating the Argentinians, who are renowned for the scrummaging power, in their last start in Canberra.
When asked about the improvement in the Wallabies scrum from Perth to Canberra, Wallabies prop Kepu, who drew level with prolific try scorer Ben Alexander for most tries scored by a Wallaby prop in crossing for the five-pointer against the Los Pumas, revealed that they are still far from where they need to be for the psychical Springboks’ scrum.
"There is still improvement to be made [when it comes to our scrum], by no means are we happy with that," Kepu said.
"We have to keep building that consistency as I have always talked about.
"South Africans have a great scrum with their big front row, and there are always boys to fill the gaps. They have used it as a weapon for the last few games so it is something that is a strength of theirs.
"Every scrum is different and every pack works technically in their own ways.
"So, the challenge is always something new, something different, each week,"
The Wallabies have also been struggling to close out games. They gave up a 10-point lead and eventually had to settle for the draw in Perth.
Their inability to play the full 80-minutes also contributed to their heart-breaking 29-35 loss to New Zealand in Round two.
Nonetheless, Kepu said the squad had dissected the issues at hand after the struggles in Perth.
"I think we took the foot off the throat, a little bit," he said.
"I think we were a bit unlucky with some of those decisions but you look a week ahead against the All Blacks, there were a lot of massive battles there.
"It just the challenge to finish off teams. However, we worked on it against Argentina and now it's back to the Boks.
"They [South Africa] showed against the All Blacks that they can disrupt the ball, muscle through and cause some havoc," Kepu said.