Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Boks hopeful of getting ‘better rewards’ in scrums, mauls against France

Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids also highlighted the danger of the French pack.

A massive forward battle is on the cards when the Springboks take on France in their end-of-year-tour match at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday night.

The Boks are smarting after their usually powerful forward play was blunted by Ireland in their tight loss in Dublin over the past weekend.

ALSO READ: Ireland clash was good preparation for 2023 World Cup rematch

The scrum battle was won by Ireland, although a number of the refereeing calls that went against the Boks at scrum time were a bit perplexing, while their maul was completely negated by a well drilled Irish performance.

The Boks will thus be hoping that two of their most potent weapons fire once again when they take on France.

“Obviously the French are a different team (to the Irish). From my perspective and my role as a prop there will be a big emphasis on the scrum and the set phases. So I think that’s probably the bottom line for me and that’s something we need to get right,” explained Bok prop Frans Malherbe.

“I don’t think we got the dominance that we wanted (against Ireland). We have had a review (of the game) and I think it’s our goal now to put in some hard work this week leading up to the France game. We need to get our plans in place so that we can get better rewards, especially at scrum time.”

Dangerous pack

Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids also highlighted the danger of the French pack, explaining that a big part of their game was forward driven and the Boks would have to stand up and meet that challenge head on.

“France has a very big and strong pack of forwards and I think that is a big part of their game. For us the set pieces are important. So it is really going to be a tough battle up front and it’s a battle that we look forward to,” admitted Davids.

“From a scrumming, mauling and general play perspective it is going to be interesting and we are quite aware that it is going to be a big challenge. So we will have to be at our best if we want to get an improved result.

“We have looked at our mauls and as you would agree, the teams have been applying different strategies (to nullify it). We have to be aware of those threats and how to deal with that and that’s something that we look at weekly.

“But we have looked at ourselves and the reasons that our maul didn’t fire (against Ireland) and we are confident that with some tweaks here and there we can get back to the results that we want and that is what we are working towards.”

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