Proudfoot: formidable Scots will test improving Springboks
Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot has described Scotland as a formidable side who will present the improving Springboks with a difficult contest on Saturday at BT Murrayfield. The match in Edinburgh kicks off at 17h20 (19h20 SA time).
South Africa managed to defeat France in Paris last Saturday following their one point loss to England in the 2018 Castle Lager Outgoing Tour opener in London two weeks ago.
“We are improving as a pack and up here in the northern hemisphere it is important to gain ascendency from where we can launch attacks and put the opposition under pressure,” said Proudfoot on Tuesday.
The Scots have built a formidable record at BT Murrayfield in the past two seasons, with their only loss from nine home Tests coming against New Zealand last November.
“They are a very good side and Gregor (Townsend, Scottish coach) has done a fantastic job with the team since he took over,” said Proudfoot.
“The challenge at the breakdown and the contact point is always crucial in Test match rugby. The difference (compared to the French game) is that Scotland are probably a lot better technically in the defensive contact situations, while the French were very physical.”
Proudfoot also lauded some of the other Scottish strengths: “Their continuity play and their ability to apply a kicking game, which allow them to counter off the back of that, are some other strong points.
“They are also a very disciplined side who are able to defend for long phases, so you don’t get to break them down easily. That means you must have a lot of patience against them,” said Proudfoot.
Meanwhile, the Springboks confirmed that a decision on whether to recall Faf de Klerk for next Saturday’s final Test of the tour against Wales in Cardiff, will only be made after the Scotland match. The scrumhalf was released back to his English club, Sale Sharks, for this weekend’ English Premiership action.
Furthermore, a call on the fitness of Eben Etzebeth will only be made later in the week. The experienced lock picked up a foot injury against England two weeks ago, which forced him to miss the game in Paris.
The Springbok side to face Scotland on Saturday will be named on Thursday.