International Rugby, Springboks

Breakdowns and exits are where Boks must improve for England clash, says Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen, returning eighthman and star of the June series against England, believes that the Boks need to be on top of their game at the breakdown and set piece come Saturday’s clash at Twickenham.

In speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vermeulen said that the Boks need to be ready for much of the same from England as was seen in their defeat to them at a wet and cold Newlands in the third test of the June series.

England won that last test 25-10 in conditions that will most likely be similar come Saturday.

“The weather played a big part in how the game unfolded at Newlands. England are used to playing in those conditions and they made things very hard for us,” Vermeulen elaborated.

“They put us under a lot of pressure at the breakdown. Our exits weren’t great. That’s some of the stuff we’ve worked on. If you don’t win your set piece, you’re going to struggle. That’s definitely one of the things we struggled with in the last Test in Cape Town.”

Missing the Rugby Championship, which saw a famous victory over New Zealand and a loss in the final minutes to them a few weeks later, Vermeulen alluded to the structures and tactics that did work for the team in the tournament.

“We will stick to a few things that worked in the recent Rugby Championship. We will also have to make adjustments and take the conditions and how the game is played up here into consideration.”

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