Young tighthead Brock Harris looks forward to his battle with former Springbok Ollie le Roux tonight, and has ignored Le Roux’s allegations of foul play.
Earlier this week, Le Roux accused the Vodacom Western Province prop of scrumming illegally as a result of pressure applied by the opposition. Kobus van der Merwe told this website that he felt that the Vodacom Cheetahs were up to their usual pre-match psychological antics, and it seems that Harris feels the same way.
“He is probably trying to unnerve us, but I’m a peaceful guy who does not take much notice of such things,” he told superrugby’s Gavin Rich. “What happens on the field on Friday night is what matters.”
Addressing the legality of his scrumming technique, Harris feels that he has not been under as much pressure as Le Roux suggests, and has faired well this season.
“It’s strange that Ollie should say that,” Harris said. “In nine Currie Cup matches this year, I have not been penalised once for an offence in the scrum. I don’t know where he got this story.”
At 23, Harris is 10 years Le Roux’s junior, and so desite his form in the Absa Currie Cup he will face a huge challenge in Bloemfontein tonight. Harris has been a key man in holding up the WP scrum, which was flagellated for their inadequacy ahead of the domestic competition. Le Roux has played 313 first class games, and is likely to be mindful of a few tricks of his own.
Both teams depend on a good hit in the front row to ensure decent first phase possession, which contributes to momentum and an open and expansive game. Although it may not be the all-determining factor in Bloemfontein tonight, gaining the ascendancy at scrum time is going to be very important to the outcome of the game.