We back Dreyer as a tighthead - Coetzee

Ruan Dreyer (Gallo Images)
Ruan Dreyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has faith in tighthead prop Ruan Dreyer as his side prepares to battle the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship Test at Newlands on Saturday.

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Dreyer had an indifferent game in last Saturday’s 27-all draw with Australia in Bloemfontein, with Kiwi referee Ben O’Keeffe twice penalised the Bok No 3 at scrum time.

Dreyer was the Boks’ third-choice tighthead behind the Frans Malherbe and Coenie Oosthuizen, who are currently sidelined with injuries.

Coetzee addressed the scrum issue at a press conference at the team’s hotel in Cape Town on Monday when he confirmed his faith in Dreyer.

“We always pride ourselves on the set piece and especially scrummaging. And we have scrummed well since the French series. Subsequently a lot of players were injured, we lost Frans Malherbe and Coenie Oosthuizen, but Ruan Dreyer needs a bit of time out there. And we still back Ruan Dreyer as a tighthead,” Coetzee insisted.

Coetzee also hinted that his management team wasn’t overly pleased with the way in which the scrums were officiated in Bloemfontein.

“I just think the picture differs from referee to referee a bit. It’s also an area the Aussies must have worked a lot at. But from our point of view there were a lot of things that wasn’t picked up at scrum time. But we know we have to come with a better scrummaging performance this weekend against the All Blacks.”

Coetzee rued the fact that there were some tightheads plying their trade abroad, but remained confident with the players at his disposal.

“We do have a shortage of tightheads at the moment. But I’m happy with the way Trevor (Nyakane) has developed there. Ruan is still young as a Test match player at tighthead and that comes with maturity. And then we’ve got a young and exciting tighthead in Wilco Louw. So those are the guys that will have to do the job this weekend.”

Coetzee will name his side at 15:00 on Thursday.

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