Keo.co.za brings you the latest from the Springboks’ Grand Slam tour.
Late blow for Scots – Centre Max Evans has failed to recover sufficiently from a shoulder injury and will be replaced by the uncapped Joe Ansbro this Saturday.
The Scotland medical staff say Evans will be available for next week’s game against Samoa, but is not ready to play the Springboks.
Ansbro wasn’t selected in the initial match 22.
‘Possession key to defence’ – Bok assistant coach Gary Gold says the Boks need to respect their own possession to avoid making so many tackles, and ultimately slipping several that lead to linebreaks and tries. Defence has been a problem area for the Boks in 2010, and Gold wants a better showing against Scotland.
‘I think the main areas we need to look at are our ball retention, we need to hold onto the ball more, and our defence. Of course, if we hold onto the ball longer, then we will need to make fewer tackles, so that would help our defensive game. We have made it clear to the guys that we cannot keep landing ourselves in a situation where we have to make 200 tackles in a game, like we did last week.’
Gold, who also manages the forwards, said the Boks will be tested in this area at Murrayfield. He singled out the selection of Scotland lock Nathan Hines, who has been picked on the flank for this fixture.
‘Nathan has played 65 games for Scotland, if you have that sort of experience available to you it would be stupid not to use it. He will bring some physicality to their game, he will also add something to their lineout. We are expecting them to go all out both on their own ball and our ball. We are expecting them to come at us.’
Hines relishing loosie switch – Nathan Hines says the Boks play the game the way he likes it, and is looking forward to his new role on the flank. ‘I’m fine with it and I think it can make our lineout more potent,’ he said. ‘South Africa have a good lineout and we will now have more options.
‘Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield are guys I like to play against. They play the game the way I like it – hard with a bit of niggle, but shake hands and share a beer afterwards. Bakkies and Victor have played together for a long time. The reason for that is that they are good and complement one another.’
Hines added that the Boks’ pack would be more difficult to beat than that of the All Blacks.
‘They are very direct and physical. That has been the recipe for the past 10 years – big guys that run directly at you. You have to be able to front up to the collisions. It’s a difficult thing to do.
‘I don’t think the All Blacks are as physical. They don’t commit a lot of players to the rucks and look to create space for their backs. South Africa look to their forwards to lead the way.’