Scots brace for bruiser

Scotland hooker Ross Ford is expecting a completely different challenge from the Springboks to what he experienced against the All Blacks.

He conceded that the pace at which the All Blacks played at Murrayfield in their 32-6 defeat left some of the Scotland players breathless, but predicted that Saturday’s Test would be more about fronting in the physical stakes than chasing speedsters.

“There was a real pace to the game last weekend,” Ford said. “In fact it was probably one of the quickest games I’ve played in. It was quite hard to keep up the intensity, and at half-time a lot of the boys needed the ten minutes to recover.

“This weekend will still be tiring, but in a different way. I think it will be a lot more direct. The South Africans are a very physical team and they’ll be looking to muscle us out of the game.”

Scotland were competitive at the set pieces but diaboical at the breakdown against the All Blacks. Ford identified both facets of play as being crucial to success, but was wary of the threat the Springboks pose here.

“They’ll put a lot of pressure on us and try to disrupt our set piece,” he said. “They’ve got a great lineout – Victor Matfield is one of the best in the world – and their scrum is pretty good too. We’ll just have to match them. Everybody is quite confident in our ability and physicality now. But it’s about being technically good as well.”