Springbok captain John Smit, clearly getting tired with the constant references to his supposed ‘lack of experience’ at tighthead prop, has downplayed the importance of the scrum in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.
Jan de Koning reports for rugby365 that fronting up to a media gathering in Durban, ahead of the opening encounter of the three-match series, Smit said he felt No.3 can no longer be regarded as a “new” position to him – in reference to the constant queries about him converting from hooker to prop at Test level last year.
“I’ve been playing there [tighthead prop] for [almost] a year now,” Smit said, adding that he feels he has enough back-up in the other forwards to ensure the Bok scrum is rock steady.
“It is very comforting to have Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] and Bizzy [Bismarck du Plessis] on my left, Bakkies [Botha] behind me and Juan Smith on the outside,” Smit said.
However, he pointed out there will be other equally important aspects of the game on Saturday.
“It is a really big part of the game,” the Bok captain said of the scrums, adding: “But [it is] only one of many areas that it is going to take to win a Test match.”
* Meanwhile Bok backline coach Dick Muir has stoke the emotional fires ahead of the opening international by suggesting that the Lions scrum illegally and they [the Boks] will point this out to referee Bryce Lawrence.
The head coach from each side, plus an assistant, will meet the New Zealander, Lawrence, before Saturday’s big game for some “clarity” on certain issues.
According to Muir the scrum is one issue that will be on the agenda.
“We will be talking about the breakdown area, because it is such an important part of the game and we need to know his interpretations,” Muir said.
“However, we will also be raising the issue of the scrum. We have seen things from the Lions this tour that have been of concern to us and we will point them out.”
The Lions have been penalised quite often at scrum time on this tour, but Muir feels there is a need to put this issue on the billboard anyway.Tweet