Pained Springboks pack on the prowl for Wallabies
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DURBAN – The Springbok forward pack is “hurting” and will attack the Wallabies harder than ever in Saturday’s return match between the teams at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (9am SA time kick-off).
That is the word from loosehead prop Trevor Nyakane, who has replaced Steven Kitshoff in one of just two changes to the starting line-up that narrowly lost 28-26 to the Australians last Sunday.
The significant change is in the second row where Lood de Jager suffered a concussion last week and is replaced by Marvin Orie.
The Springbok scrum had mixed fortunes against the Wallabies in that a fairly dominant display was bookmarked by two implosions at vital times.
A minute before half-time, the Wallabies had a scrum in front of the South African posts and they smashed the Boks backwards to earn a simple penalty for Quade Cooper to push his team into a comfortable eight-point lead at the break.
Then with less than a minute to go at the end of the game, when all the Boks had to do was win their put-in and then kick the ball into touch to secure a 26-25 win, the Australians forced a scrum disintegration which resulted in Cooper’s match-clinching penalty.
“Look, the set-piece is always something we are trying to improve on,” Nyakane said.
“Obviously there were a few technical things that happened and we are working on fixing them. We will never be happy that they went wrong but I think we have managed to tick those boxes.
“We can’t point out any single person for what went wrong; it’s the whole group, it’s the whole pack that’s on the field,” he added.
“We have worked really hard this week, so we are looking forward to this challenge. It’s going to be a battle, but we like it tough. We will go hard at them but we know they will also do the same.”
Nyakane admitted that the Bok forwards have taken those penalties against them personally and are hurting.
“It hurts us as a pack. It doesn’t matter where or how it happens … We always scrum to be dominant. Whether that’s a scrum on the halfway line or our own five-metre line, we always strive to be dominant and get 100% scrums. It was tough to see that happen to us.
“We as a team know we have to come back, look at those pictures and try to understand what happened. We have looked at those images and it’s deep in our hearts; it’s sore, it’s buried in the back of our minds.
“We know what they are capable of. We know that they will come at us much harder than they did last week, so we are prepared for that. We know it’s not just going to be a walkover. We always say we need to start with momentum and end with momentum. That applies to the setpiece. We will be doing all we can to be as dominant as we can.”