AUDIO: 'Intelligent' Scots to test Boks' smarts
LISTEN as Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot explains why Scotland will be a tougher challenge than France.
South Africa started their year-end tour with a heartbreaking 11-12 loss to England at Twickenham and followed that up with a 29-26 come-from-behind win over France this past weekend.
However, Proudfoot believes the wily Scots will provide the Boks with a much sterner test that Les Bleus did this past weekend.
The Scots have built a formidable record at Murrayfield in the past two seasons, with their only loss from nine home Tests coming against New Zealand last November.
“They are a very good side and Gregor [Townsend, Scottish coach] has done a fantastic job with the team since he took over [in June 2017],” said Proudfoot.
“He is a very smart man,” the Bok assistant said, adding: “The synergy between the two [Scottish] franchises [Glasgow Warriors, top of the Pro14 Conference A and Edinburgh, fourth in conference B] and Gregor having been a franchise coach is very close.
“Their resources are well utilised.
“They are a tough side to beat.”
Proudfoot said brute force – which worked against France – will not suffice against the Scottish team.
“The challenge at the breakdown and the contact point is always crucial in Test match rugby.
“The difference [compared to the French game] is that Scotland is probably a lot better technically in the defensive contact situations, while the French were very physical.
“The Scots are a lot better, a lot sharper, a lot more intelligent about where they pilfer and how they pilfer.
“The challenge is slightly different.
“The pace of the game, the pace of our attack, we will have to keep that up against Scotland.”
Proudfoot also lauded some of the other Scottish strengths.
“They have the ability to apply pressure through a kicking game, which allows them to counter off the back of that and keep their continuity going.
“The pace of their attack is very good.
“They are also a very disciplined side who are able to defend for long phases, so you don’t get to break them down easily.
” That means you must have a lot of patience against them,” said Proudfoot.