Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
6 Sep 2017
8:42 am

Springboks scrums ditches machines for people

Rudolph Jacobs

Veteran prop Beast Mtawarira raves about the idea of the national players having to scrum against each other in training.

The Springboks very much still need Beast Mtawarira. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Veteran Springboks prop Beast Mtawarira has welcomed the use of live scrum preparation for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Perth.

Also in a boost for the side, tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen came through the session yesterday, shaking off the rib injury he endured prior to departure.

Also read: Aussie media accuses Allister Coetzee of trolling Wallabies

Shedding the conventional use of the scrum machine in a sign of how seriously they treat the Wallaby challenge, the Springboks have left no stone unturned.

“I think live scrumming has really benefited us as a pack and I think it’s the best way to prepare for a Test,” said Mtawarira.

“You know you are not going up against a scrum machine on Saturday so it’s best to have a pack in front of you.” Mtawarira, 32, who will play his 93rd Test, said there are always different scenarios and they wanted to make sure they work on those and it’s all “muscle memory”, saying it’s really a good thing and they must just keep at it.

“It has gone well in the first two days but we are a work in progress and the Wallabies present quite a tough challenge up front,” he said.

“For us it’s just a case of getting those one-percenters right and getting better.”

Springboks forwards coach Matt Proudfoot said the Wallaby lineout is good and said they have a fantastic attacking game.

“So we know we have to be on par as a team and as a pack as well just to confront that.

“We were good in the first Argentina Test, but I don’t think we were quite as good at scrumtime in Salta. As a pack we need improvement and this for us is a challenge and we are going to take that challenge on,” he said.

Proudfoot said they have all heard coach Allister Coetzee talk about phase one and two in preparation.

“And phase two involved a lot more travel and we had to put in a lot more work because if you travel you lose crucial training days,” he said.

“We did some hard work in Johannesburg before we left and a player only reverts back to the highest form of preparation.”