PRETORIA – Blue Bulls scrum guru Daan Human believes the faith they have shown in Springbok front-rowers Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka has seen the players flourish for both club and country.
Nyakane is expected to start for the Springboks against the Pumas on Saturday after he made a big impact against the All Blacks a fortnight ago.
“I am very proud of Trevor and Lizo, they were the only front-row to start in every single match in the Super Rugby,” Human said.
“Since my first day, it was about packing the lunch box in such a way that you know what you will eat during recess so I hope we will pack the lunch box in such a way that we will have something nice to eat.”
Human is credited for his transformative impact on Nyakane and Gqoboka in their scrum work at the Bulls, giving the two gifted players and extra edge.
“You just need to make a guy believe in themselves, and if you know someone is behind you, you will give your best.”
Human initially fulfilled a dual role as scrum coach to both the Cheetahs and the Bulls but has since been contracted by the Pretoria side on a full-time basis.
His influence at the Bulls was felt almost immediately with the pack providing the side with a solid foundation in the crucial set-piece.
Human said the loss of their pack of forwards from the Super Rugby campaign played a role in the Blue Bulls’ poor Currie Cup.
“Approximately 12 guys that were in the system left, and we had new guys who had to learn the system,” Human said.
“After the Western Province match we faced the Cheetahs, who I coached for four or five years and they have a scrum culture. That is the big thing, and I would like to cement a scrum culture here at the Bulls.”
Human has demonstrated his Midas touch transforming mediocre units into devastating scrumming machines. The former Springbok prop said there was no secret recipe except for some good old hard work.
“When you have eight guys that want to scrum, that think and move in the same direction, your chances of success improve.”
Human has been confronted with a massive headache this week with promising youngster Simphiwe Matanzima being ruled out for their remaining two matches.
The Blue Bulls have been left without any loose-forward stocks and Human would have to find a replacement for Matanzima ahead of their away clash against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.@ockertde