Dreyer still learning to 'adapt' at scrum time
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Prop Ruan Dreyer is still learning to adapt to different situations at scrum time, according to Springbok scrum coach Matthew Proudfoot.
Dreyer gave a few penalties away in the scrums in his side's 27-all draw with Australia in Bloemfontein last weekend and he also struggled in that aspect of the game against the All Blacks in Albany a few weeks ago.
To increase the pressure on Dreyer, Sharks prop Thomas du Toit has been called up to provide extra front row cover in the build-up to Saturday's clash. Wing Raymond Rhule was once again released for Pro14 duty with the Cheetahs.
Proudfoot said the Test against Wallabies was a lesson for the 27-year-old Dreyer on how to combat different techniques the opposition throws at you in the scrums.
"The myth about the Australian scrum has long been dead and buried. I mean these guys play week in and week out against New Zealand, South African and Argentinian franchises and they have developed," said Proudfoot. "They got a very good Argentinian scrum coach and that front row of theirs is very experienced, so they have adapted.
"What impressed me about them on the weekend was that their body position was good. They were comfortable scrummaging low and that is something we needed to adapt to.
"We are leaning as a front row. I thought Ruan [Dreyer] was really good in Super Rugby and finding that rhythm for him, finding that confidence for him is key for us.
"It's for me to take on board and find out what he is feeling and how I can promote him and make him feel as comfortable as he was in Super Rugby because the Lions really did do well as an eight and that is what we are striving for.
"I think Frans [Malherbe] was really good when he started off for us this year and Coenie [Coenraad Oosthuizen] came to the party and he stepped up, so with every change in the front row, there are different body shapes, which require different approaches.
"On Saturday he [Dreyer] learned that when the opposition presents you with a different picture, you need to adapt to it - working on our technique so that we have a plan A and plan B if the opposition does certain things to you."
While what goes on in the scrums is open to interpretation, Proudfoot believes that aspect of the game will be a lot easier to officiate for French referee Jérôme Garcès when the Boks take on the All Blacks at Newlands.
"Allister [Coetzee] and I will have a regular Friday meeting with the referees.
"Obviously they do a lot of work and they present us with certain aspects they want to look at and the same with us - we want them to look at certain things, but I think the nature of the beast [All Blacks] we are playing this week will present a very particular challenge.
"It [scrums against NZ] is more on the physical side of it, so I think the decision for the referee will be an easier one about dominance. Whereas with a different opposition there are different pictures to see, so I am very confident that due to the nature of what we are facing, Jerome will be able to make a very accurate assessment [in the scrums]," Proudfoot added.
By Warren Fortune