What type of game will the Boks play?

2013-11-13 00:00

THE Springboks will be far more of a threat at Murrayfield on Sunday than they were at Nelspruit in June, Scotland’s defence coach Matt Taylor said yesterday.

Scotland led the rattled Boks 17-6 into the second half in Nelspruit but a penalty try and yellow card broke their rhythm and the South Africans scored 24 unanswered points for a 30-17 win.

But Taylor told the Scotsman that the Springboks now no longer relied only on their physicality for victory.

“From what I’ve seen in the Rugby Championship the Springboks can play two different styles,” said Taylor.

“They can certainly play an attacking style, keeping the ball in hand, but they can also stick it up the jumper, and drive it and kick it as well.

“So I think they have a Plan A and Plan B depending on how they want to play it.

“I think they have improved overall as a team in attack and defence from when we played them; they’re using the ball more and better than they have in the past.”

But Taylor said that the Scots knew what was coming and they would still have to match the South Africans physically.

“They are a massive rugby nation in terms of how they play the game, and the style that their players know well.

“You look at both games [with New Zealand] in the Championship and there wasn’t much in them really.

“New Zealand might be ranked one but I don’t think South Africa are far off them. They can play a more attacking game than they maybe have in the past and whether they do that this weekend may depend on the weather, but some of their attacking in the Championship was brilliant.”

What has boosted Scotland is their good record against the Springboks — they have beaten them five times in 22 Tests compared to the Welsh who have had just one win — while their four British Lions who were touring Australia in June, and missed the Nelspruit Test, will be back on Sunday.

The Springboks were badly exposed at the breakdown in Nelspruit as the fiery Scots turned over possession and slowed down their ball.

“That is why we now have a Scottish breakdown coach [Richie Gray],” a smiling assistant Springbok coach John McFarland told the media in Edinburgh this week.

“He has had a really positive impact and has given us a real insight into how the Scots play at the breakdown.”

McFarland said the Scots had “played really well” in Nelspruit.

“I think it will be more of the same from them this weekend. It will be a real battle.”

Sunday’s Test kicks off at 5 pm (SA time).

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