Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Ox Nche ready for set piece battle against balanced Argentina

It has been a mixed season for the Boks to date, having won four and lost three games.

Springbok prop Ox Nche is gearing up for a good scrum battle and balanced performance from Argentina when the teams face off in their Rugby Championship encounter in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The Boks head into the important match off the back of a superb win over the Wallabies in Sydney just over a week ago, while the Pumas will be eager to bounce back after a heavy defeat against the All Blacks.

Nche believes that the Pumas have a very balanced game style and that they will be tough both at the set piece and in open play during the match.

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“I think they scrum pretty well. If you look at the stats they retain most of their ball. They have done well especially in the (Rugby) Championship this year. So I think they are a pretty good team in terms of set piece and they will prepare well,” said Nche.

“You can see how they scrummed against Australia and the All Blacks. They prepped for it and they had a plan to counter both team’s scrums.

“So they can attack very well, and they can also play a very set piece focused game. But when they are allowed to play with ball in hand they do that. So they have a very balanced game that we have to be prepared for.”

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One of the Boks struggles this season has been being consistent in the forward pack with them dominating one week and then being nullified the next, while they change their front row almost every match, however this doesn’t have an impact on the players according to Nche.

“In our practice sessions we change our front rows a lot during our scrum sessions. So I think in terms of that it doesn’t really play a part in the game because our pack is used to that,” explained Nche.

“So it’s just about how we adapt and communicate with each other that will play a big role going forward. Eventually we will find the combinations that work for the specific games that we play on the weekend.”

Mixed season

It has been a mixed season for the Boks to date, having won four and lost three games, and they seem to play at their best when they are not favourites, as shown by their opening win against the All Blacks and second match win against the Wallabies.

Their loss against the All Blacks at Ellis Park and against the Wallabies in Adelaide, both came with them favourites for those matches, however Nche believes that the team was not aligned enough for those games.

 “We had a goal which was to end the drought in Australia and we were all properly aligned with that (for the second match). So it’s not really about not having the favourites tag, but more about being more aligned in what we want to achieve as a team and how we want to do that,” said Nche.

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