Thu 14 Jul 2022 | 12:39

Cape Town pitch: The Boks' big nullifier

Cape Town pitch: The Boks' big nullifier
Thu 14 Jul 2022 | 12:39
Cape Town pitch: The Boks' big nullifier
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SPOTLIGHT: Scrumming on the Cape Town Stadium turf has always been somewhat challenging, revealed Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff.

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However, Kitshoff hopes this weekend the surface will be in good shape when South Africa face Wales in the third and final Test at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

The scrums have always been the primary attacking weapon of the Springboks.

Not only have they secured the World Cup 2019 trophy courtesy of their forward dominance, but they also claimed the British and Irish Lions series in Capet Town thanks to the solid scrums.

Following the Boks’ 12-13 defeat to Wales, the hosts will again have to rely on their main weapon in the hopes of securing the series in Cape Town’s decider.

Having captained the Stormers to the United Rugby Championship title, Kitshoff is all too familiar with the Cape Town Stadium turf, which tends to tear up under the weight of the pack.

Kitshoff revealed the turf was slippery the last time he played on the pitch, which was in the URC final against the Bulls.

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“We haven’t played a game there in about three to four weeks, so I am not 100 percent sure what the surface looks like at the moment,” Kitshoff said.

“With the URC [Final] it was a bit slippery and certain areas of the field were not in great shape but we were promised by the groundskeepers that they would fix the surface and hopefully it holds up very nicely this weekend.”

The 30-year-old also admitted that Wales really dominated the scrums in the second-half of last weekend’s match in Bloemfontein and he has predicted another tough battle.

He revealed silly penalties proved costly and urged the pack to adapt to the new trial laws more carefully.

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“From the referee’s point of view, they want to get the game going but you have to have clear dominance within the laws,” Kitshoff explained.

“You have to go through the middle, go straight and any collapse the referee will tend to allow the game to go on.

“As a pack of forwards we want to push straight we want to have clear dominance to earn the penalty. We don’t want to really take corners or walk around the scrums. We want to go through the middle and if it is a clear picture we want the reward for it.”

He added: “Wales have a good set-piece and good scrum. You could see in the second half in Bloemfontein at certain scrums they gained dominance.

“I think it’s going to be a tough battle when it comes to set pieces and hopefully the surface holds up nicely for both teams to have a full go at each other.”

Commenting on this week’s high stake match, Kitshoff said: “Every Test is of most importance. It is to understand that this is another final, this is a series decider and for me personally, it is about doing the same preparations I have done for every Test match.

“We understand the importance of this game, we understand how important it is for Wales — we need to get a win.”

@rugby365com

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