Cape Town – Heyneke Meyer said last week that Bismarck du Plessis will start at hooker against the All Blacks on Saturday, and brother Jannie says that the Sharks No2 won’t hold back at Ellis Park after what happened in Auckland a few weeks ago.
Bismarck was one of the standout players in the Boks’ 29-15 defeat at Eden Park despite being on the field for only 32 minutes of the game due to two yellow cards dished out by French referee Romain Poite – one of which was expunged by the IRB following an investigation into Bismarck’s tackle on Dan Carter.
The Boks have conceded four yellow cards in the Rugby Championship this year, two of which probably affected their quest for a four-try bonus point at the weekend in the 28-8 victory over the Wallabies at Newlands.
So they may have to tread lightly around Welshman Nigel Owens, who will have the whistle at Ellis Park, but Jannie says his brother is not going to change his combative style of play.
“He’s definitely not going to hold back. Bismarck gave it his all because at the end of the day, it was an absolutely brilliant opportunity for us to almost set things right,” said the Bok tighthead prop, who won his 50th Test cap along with flyhalf Morné Steyn at Newlands.
“Looking back at history, we really wanted to win the game at Eden Park, and Bismarck just played with his absolute heart. Unfortunately he tested the boundaries too much according to the guy who saw it, but there was no malice in it.
“I think he played it fair, but unfortunately it just went against him. I have no doubt that Bismarck will play good rugby when he gets the opportunity this weekend.”
Jannie said that despite a few powerful Bok scrums, he was not happy with how things went in the set-piece. There were a lot of resets and penalties awarded by French referee Jerome Garces as the Wallabies pulled out all the tricks in the book to avoid a full-on scrum contest, and Du Plessis felt that the Boks may have been hard done by in a few situations.
“I was a bit disappointed in the scrums. It felt as if they were coming a bit early every time. We try to be lilywhite and really try not to take any chances, as then we could get a reputation as chance-takers. We made a call that we are going to scrum 100percent within the rules, and there were a few times when we really felt that we could put them under pressure, but then suddenly the scrum would collapse and they would come early,” said Du Plessis.
“We are a bit disappointed in how we scrummed as I don’t think that we were good. But again, I thought that they got away with a bit more than us. The All Blacks do scrum like us, so it’s going to be a massive battle. But there is hard work ahead for us, and sometimes it’s good to go back and look at the mistakes you are making.”
Meanwhile, outside centre JJ Engelbrecht should be fit to take on the All Blacks. Engelbrecht left the field in the second half after hurting his leg in a tackle on Wallabies opposite number Tevita Kuridrani, but is set to be ready for Saturday. WP No13 Juan de Jongh is in the Bok squad as cover.