Smit: ‘Scrum not the only contest’

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, In the news, Springboks on 18 Jun 2009 at 08:26
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

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.


  • John has this spot on, sure it is nice to have a pack that dominates, but to be competitive, holding your own in the scrum is good enough to win the game in other areas. This is the reason I will never rate certain props that other rate simply due to their scrumming ability (Visagie). This is also the reason I believe that PdV made the right call with Deon Carstens over JdP. While Jannie is a superior scrummer at TH, Deon will hold his own when necessary, and offers so much more around the field, especially defensively where Jannie has some flaws. I am also not sure why so many people have problems with Smit at TH, I suppose some people are going to be John Smit detractors no matter what. Even as a hooker, there were many that claimed he was 3rd best or worse in SA. There is a reason that two different coaches decided to make Smit the captain before selecting a single squad, and both took criticism for this. I’m not sure if any of these detractors have looked closely at John, he is [email protected] HUGE! Incredibly strong, obviously possesses a brilliant rugby mind, is a true leader of men, and is super around a rugby field.

    Let’s face it, PdV will never select BJ Botha, even when BJ was playing in SA, he was left out of PdV’s squads. Excuses were made that they didn’t select him because he had a contract in Europe and was leaving, yet CJ got selected and also had a contract in Europe and was leaving at the same time. For some reason PdV does not rate BJ, so tell me, after BJ, who is the best TH in SA, all around, not just in the scrums.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.06.09 12:56:34 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 1) :

    We really seem to be short of top quality tight head props in SA.

    Werner Kruger is one for the future. Who else??

    Pat Cilliers?? But he’s been injured for the last 2 seasons hasn’t he??

    Wian Du Preez?? Is he a tight head prop?? πŸ™„

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.06.09 13:05:29 by wpw Reply
  • I thought you were gonna put up BJ’s article as well…
    He reckons the game will be won upfront…

    Go JS!

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.06.09 13:17:16 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @wpw (Comment 2) : Bottom line is that right now, JdP is probably the best scrumming TH in SA, with Smit second (my opinion), but as I have said before, JdP has defensive flaws, and offers none of the additional factors Smit does. My opinion, based on what we currently have available and for the immediate future at TH, converting Smit back to a TH was a genius masterstroke by PdV. Just you watch, Smit has already held his own against the Welsh TH on the end of season tour, and Sheridan is a good scrummer, but do you really think he can make Smit go backwards?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.06.09 13:20:52 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) : Sorry held his own against the Welsh LH on the end of year tour.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.06.09 13:22:08 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 4) :

    Bru, Sheridan is overrated.

    He struggled in a few scrums against WP’s Brok Harris. 😯

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.06.09 13:36:58 by wpw Reply
  • 15. Lee Byrne (Ospreys/Wales)
    14. Tommy Bowe (Ospreys/Ireland)
    13. Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland)
    12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
    11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England)
    10. Stephen Jones (Scarlets/Wales)
    9. Mike Phillips (Ospreys/Wales)
    8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland)
    7. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland)
    6. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)
    5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland) Captain
    4. Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
    3. Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England)
    2. Lee Mears (Bath/England)
    1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues/Wales)

    16. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
    17. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
    18. Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster/Ireland)
    19. Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
    20. Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England)
    21. Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)
    22. Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland)
    Here is the lions 22

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.06.09 13:39:21 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Bring it on… 😈 😈 😈

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.06.09 13:44:44 by Charlie Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 7) :

    let me put a thread up gou gou!! πŸ™„

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.06.09 13:57:32 by wpw Reply

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.