Boks get some 'big pointers' from Bulls and Stormers victories
The Bulls and Stormers gave the Springbok coaching staff some big pointers ahead of South Africa’s three-Test series against Wales in July.
The two leading South African franchises laid down impressive markers away from home against the two teams that will provide the bulk of the Welsh team in July – 19 members of the 33-man touring squad coming from those two.
The Bulls retained their unbeaten record against Welsh opposition with a 38-31 win over the Ospreys, while the Stormers also maintained their 100 percent record against teams from Wales by beating Scarlets 26-21.
Dominating the physical exchanges, the Bulls made the star-studded Ospreys pack look ordinary at times.
Given the quality of the Ospreys’ tight forwards – all of them in the Welsh tour squad, including British and Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones – the Bulls’ performance showed the Boks how to subdue the Welsh.
Now throw in Adam Beard, Tomas Francis, Dewi Lake and Gareth Thomas and you begin to understand how impressive the Bulls pack’s performance was in Swansea at the weekend.
Springbok veteran Cornal Hendricks’ second-half hat-trick saw the Bulls turn a two-point (12-10) half-time lead into a dominant 38-17 advantage with just over 10 minutes remaining on the clock.
Two tries in the final three minutes gave the Ospreys’ scoreline an air of respectability.
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White said the Springbok coaching staff would have been watching all the encounters between the South African teams and their Welsh counterparts throughout the URC season.
“The Ospreys are a very big set-piece team,” White said of the Bulls’ impressive performance in Swansea at the weekend.
“I am sure the Springbok staff and coaches would look at that game,” he said, adding: “Vice versa, the Welsh staff and coaches would be looking at the games and looking at ways in which they can try and nullify the set pieces and the way we play as South Africans.”
Wales has never beaten the world champion Springboks in South Africa in 10 previous attempts.
The first Test is in Pretoria on July 2, with the series continuing at Bloemfontein before finishing in Cape Town.