Veteran wing Breyton Paulse says the Springboks are still positive despite the below par performance against Scotland at the weekend.
Paulse will not play against the French at Newlands on Saturday after suffering a hamstring injury, but will definitely be used in an advisory capacity. Apart from his 58 Test caps, Paulse has an intimate knowledge of the French style and their star players.
Having spent the last Northern Hemisphere winter playing club rugby for Clermont-Ferrand in France, Paulse has seen all of Bernard Laporte’s players in action having played either with or against them.
“The French are an unpredictable team. And they will certainly study video footage of our games against Scotland,” Paulse told Die Volksblad’s Hendrik Cronje. “But there is no reason for us to start panicking.
“We just have to correct some things in our first-phase play; nothing big. If we do that, things will go well. It is important for us to beat France to score a psychological blow before next year’s World Cup tournament.”
“The French are excellent at the rolling mauls, something Gert would have seen at Toulouse. They prefer a loose game,” he said.
Tighthead prop CJ van der Linde is expecting a far sterner examination from the French tight five and loose-forwards. “They like to dominate up front. We’ll know on Saturday where we stand as a pack,” Van der Linde was quoted in Die Volksblad.
And without the ever-present Schalk Burger on Saturday – and indeed the remainder of the season – the task for the pack is made all the more difficult.