‘Attack key against Scots’

2012-11-14 00:00

COACH Heyneke Meyer will look to new centre Juan de Jongh and a more settled Pat Lambie at flyhalf to add an attacking edge to the Springbok backline when they face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Meyer is committed to continuity and consistency in selection, and changes to his line-up for Saturday will be kept to a minimum.

The Bok coach, who attributed the 16-12 weekend win over Ireland to the resolute defence, has been critical of the Boks’ attacking sharpness and their inability to turn pressure into points.

He said that the Boks were “getting in the right [attacking] areas, but were not converting territory into tries”.

He spoke on Monday of possibly resting centre Jean de Villiers against Scotland to create an opening for De Jongh. However, there are strong indications that he has now had a change of heart and that De Jongh will dislodge Jaco Taute at outside centre, joining captain De Villiers in the midfield.

The move of Taute from centre to his specialist position of fullback would be popular with the South African rugby public, but Meyer has remained faithful to the workmanlike Zane Kirchner all year and a change at the back is highly unlikely.

This means that Taute will drop to the bench in the only change to the backline which started against the Irish.

Meyer said on Monday that he was backing Lambie to improve on his Dublin form and the young Shark is certain to again be at flyhalf against the Scots.

There will also be one change at forward with the French-based prop Gurthrö Steenkamp taking over from CJ van der Linde at loosehead.

Van der Linde was a late replacement for Beast Mtawarira in Dublin, but Steenkamp would have started against the Irish had he not failed a late fitness test.

The Boks lost to Scotland on their last trip to Murrayfield and Meyer is not taking them lightly in spite of their heavy defeat against New Zealand at the weekend.

“This might sound like me doing a PR job, but I really do think the Scots are a quality side,” said Meyer.

“There was about 10 minutes of brilliance from the All Blacks in the match on Sunday which took them clear, but otherwise I thought Scotland were very competitive.

“They impressed me with their ability to carry the ball and they scored three tries against the All Blacks. That is something that neither the Boks nor Australia have come close to managing this year.”

Meyer said he would like to use a number of the younger players at the end of a long year of rugby to increase the depth.

“But because we are a young side it is also important for us to build continuity. I don’t want to give away Springbok caps, and we are expecting a tough fight from Scotland. If I am going to experiment, it will be off the bench,” he added.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 4.30 pm (SA time).

Probable South Africa team: 15-Zane Kirchner, 14-JP Pietersen, 13- Juan de Jongh, 12- Jean de Villiers (capt), 11- Francois Hougaard, 10-Patrick Lambie, 9- Ruan Pienaar, 8- Duane Vermeulen, 7. Willem Alberts, 6- Francois Louw, 5- Juandre Kruger, 4- Eben Etzebeth, 3- Jannie du Plessis, 2- Adriaan Strauss, 1- Gurthrö Steenkamp.

Replacements: 16- Schalk Brits, 17- Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Pat Cilliers/ CJ van der Linde, 19- Flip van der Merwe, 20- Marcell Coetzee, 21- Morné Steyn, 22- Jaco Taute, 23- Lwazi Mvovo.

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