Springbok flank Schalk Burger has admitted South Africa are struggling to cope with the stricter refereeing on their European tour.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) have told referees to be much harsher at breakdowns with players going off their feet. In the Tri-Nations earlier this year, a free kick was awarded for that offence but in the European internationals the punishment is a penalty.
Rugby 365 reports that Burger conceded that the Springboks, who finish their tour against England at Twickenham on Saturday, have found it hard to adapt.
“The breakdowns have been different to what we’re used to,” Burger said. “The first game against Wales, we conceded quite a few penalties.
“Last weekend there were less, so we hope we’re improving. Every side is conceding more penalties at the breakdown, especially on the attack – so there’s a change in mindset.
“They’ve changed the way they approach the breakdown on attack. We hope we can make that mental adjustment.”
“The first week we weren’t really prepared for it. We need to try and stay on our feet, and the ball carrier’s got to try and keep the ball up longer.”
Asked whether he thought the new laws had compromised South Africa’s attacking edge, Burger added: “No, I don’t think it’s blunted us. Even if you trip over someone you’ve just got to try and stay up somehow.
“As I said, it’s just a change in mentality – and there’s nothing else you can do. You’ve just got to be on your feet, and they’re being very strict about it.”Tweet