Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
10 Jun 2014
10:00 am

Mighty Bok front row raises concern

Rudolph Jacobs

Are the powerful Springbok front row of Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck Du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis suffering from fatigue?

FILE PICTURE: Jannie du Plessis of South Africa with Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa and Beast Mtawarira of South Africa during the International match between South Africa and World XV from DHL Newlands Stadium on June 07, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

The trio are not only considered as the best combo in world rugby, but also the most experienced, with Mtawarira (53 Tests), Bismarck (57) and Jannie du Plessis (51) having played over 50 Test matches.

Last weekend against the World XV they certainly looked lethargic, with the possible exception of Bismarck, as the Bok scrum struggled until fresh props Gurthro Steenkamp and Coenie Oosthuizen took over.

The addition of Trevor Nyakane will also add more competition and depth in the prop department, while lock Lood de Jager is in line for a debut from the bench.

“Last year we had the best scrum in world rugby,” said coach Heyneke Meyer. “It must also be noted that we were only able to fit in three sessions last week, while I thought our scrums improved during the second half.”

This weekend against Wales will pose a different challenge, while the Boks will also be better prepared in Durban where they have lost just eight from 29 Tests.

“Wales are a dangerous side and they seem to play better in dry conditions, but we also want to take our game to a new level,” said Meyer.

“Among the top teams it’s always a big battle and it just depends on what happens on the day, while northern hemisphere teams are always difficult to play against.”