The conversation that sparked Boks can't be made public
INTERVIEW: With a scrum and a pack of forwards functioning at only about 60 percent of their capacity, Daan Human had a few choice words to say to the South African team in Marseille at the weekend.
Daniel Cornelius Francois Human, a non-nonsense prop in his playing days, who made 20-odd appearances for the Stormers and played 170 for French giants Toulouse in a career spanning more than a decade, takes his assignment as scrum mentor very seriously.
That is why the 47-year-old gave the Springbok pack the ‘hairdryer’ treatment in the Stade Vélodrome dressing room at half-time this past Sunday.
The defending World Cup champions got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Scotland 18-3 in Marseille.
The teams went into the break with the Springboks only 6,-3 ahead after two Manie Libbok penalties and one from Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell.
It was a two-try blitz from the Boks early in the second half that put the game beyond the reach of the Scots.
However, it was what happened before the break – including a scrum penalty on the stroke of half-time – that got Human hot under the collar.
That scrum penalty was, according to Human, the right thing at the right time.
“Just after half-time the momentum swung towards us,” the scrum guru said.
He added that ‘technical issues’ caused the Boks most of the problems they experienced in a scratchy first half.
“We never want to give away a penalty [at any scrum] and that half-time talk ion the dressing room was very important.
“I can’t repeat what I said in there [dressing room].
“We all know what we are capable of doing, but we must work at it.
“We should not think it will just happen by itself.”
“The moment we start thinking like that, it will be time for me to move on.”
He said former Bok assistant coach and French prop Pieter de Villiers is a “world-class” coach and doing a great job with the Scottish pack.
However, he felt the Boks only played at about 65 percent of their capacity in Marseille and was very ‘unhappy’ with the two penalties and two free kicks they gave away in the set pieces.
“We can definitely improve.”
(The article continues below the official post-match media briefing in Marseille ...)
Speaking about the two front rows – the starting combination of Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff, along with the replacement trio of Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi and Ox Nche – Human did not hide his adoration for the bench men.
“It is one of the greatest front rows in my opinion,” Human said of Nyakane, Mbonambi and Nché, adding: “The reasons I will share with you one day when I know you better.
“It is awesome to be able to put them on.
“We are very happy with the way we scrummed in the second half.
“However, there is still a lot of improvement and we must do some serious introspection.
“There is a lot of stuff we can rectify within our own systems.”
* Picture credit: @Springboks