George Smith and Jim Williams have been plotting the downfall of Heinrich Brussow in the build-up to Saturday’s Test.
Brussow, who will start only his fifth Test at Newlands, will come up against centurion Smith in another enticing dual of the fetchers. Brussow outplayed Richie McCaw on consecutive weekends and now has the task of facing Smith, who will be aided by Phil Waugh and David Pocock coming off the bench.
‘Brussow is playing particularly well at the moment. He is getting turnovers all over the field at the moment and playing behind a very good pack,’ said Smith. ‘You can see how determined he is out there on the field, and the way he attacks those breakdowns and doesn’t let go of it.
‘As a back row, we are going to have to beat him into those ruck areas and minimise as much the disruption he can do to the team.’
Brussow is enjoying good form, but Smith is also content with his own recent performances. Smith lauded Brussow for repeatedly being the first man to the tackled player, but also felt isolating the ball-carrier was an area he excelled.
‘It allows you to latch onto the ball and not let go. It is a strength of my game,’ said Smith.
‘It is an opportunity for me to play some good rugby, play my game and make sure I am effective in that area.’
Williams, the former Wallaby loose forward and now assistant coach, said the Wallabies’ attacking-game would have to be spot-on in order to attempt to nullify Brussow’s threat.
‘He’s a fantastic player and certainly his ability to get up for a repeat effort is fantastic,’ said Williams. ‘He’ll get up and do it again and that’s what you want from a player of his type who can get over the ball and be strong over the ball.
‘He got a couple of good steals [against the All Blacks on Saturday] from blokes running isolated for a split second. That’s how tight it is and that’s how good you need to be at this level.’