Brian Mujati or BJ Botha should partner CJ van der Linde and John Smit in the South African front row against Wales on Saturday, says former Springbok prop Robbie Kempson.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that even though Mujati was criticised for his performance in the first Test last week, Kempson feels Gurthrö Steenkamp is the one who, judged on his form in Super 14 rugby this season, should not be in the SA team.
“Scrums are largely about combinations and last week was the first time that our front row played together,” Kempson said on Wednesday.
“A front row must play together in Test matches. Gurthrö’s form in the Super 14 was also not great.”
Kempson pointed out that Os du Randt’s retirement had left a large gap in the SA team.
“What worries me about Gurthrö is that he seems happy to keep up his side of the scrum and play with the ball. I don’t see him attacking the tighthead in the scrum.
“I’d have Beast Mtawarira on the bench because he showed in the Super 14 what he could do for the Sharks.
“Mujati did rather well last week, especially if one takes into account all the rubbish that was written about his father in the newspapers.
Intensity would have shocked Wales
“His immediate opponent, Gethin Jenkins, is one of the best loose-head props in world rugby,” Kempson said.
He expects the Springboks to do better in the scrums in Pretoria on Saturday, irrespective of which combination they field.
“They would have worked at their scrumming this week. Why they did not do so before the first Test no one knows. Wales have one of the best scrums in the world.
“It’s no good spending all your time on lineout work. Lineouts don’t win matches. The scrums, I believe, are the most important tight facet.
All in all, Kempson was impressed by the Springboks in their 43-17 victory last week.
However, he believes it would be wrong to expect a run-away victory at Loftus Versfeld.
“The Springboks were good but they should expect a more physical onslaught on Saturday.
“The SA loose forwards dominated the Welsh at breakdown points in Bloemfontein. The intensity with which they played would have shocked Wales.
“Now the Welsh know what it means to be on tour in the southern hemisphere. They will try to pull themselves together.”
- It seems, according to information received this week, that it is only a matter of time before Botha joins the Irish regional team Ulster.
Botha, who played in the World Cup tournament last year, is one of South Africa’s most experienced prop forwards. He is contracted to the Sharks until the end of this year and is likely to move to Ulster immediately afterwards.
Western Province eighthman Robbie Diack has already signed a three-year contract with Ulster and intends qualifying to play for Ireland.
Diack was second choice to Luke Watson at the Stormers and the national selectors favour Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski and Duanne Vermeulen.Tweet