JOHANNESBURG - They say seven days is a long time in rugby and that’s exactly what the Blue Bulls' scrum will be banking on ahead of their Currie Cup semi-final derby against Western Province in Cape Town.
On Saturday at a rain drenched Loftus Versfeld, Western Province dished out a scrumming masterclass with Springbok tighthead prop Wilco Louw playing a starring role alongside the rest of his frontrow patners and they will again be looking at using the scrum to anchor another one sided performance at home.
But the Bulls have seemingly learnt their lesson and while they might not be able to fix all that went wrong in the scrums before Saturday, Blue Bulls coach Pote Human could play his trump card Trevor Nyakane at loosehead to negate Louw’s powers at the set-piece.
Nyakane is the easy and only solution to all that went wrong in the scrums on Saturday and with the Springbok prop having played most of his career at loosehead and done so with aplomb when previously coming face-to-face with Louw.
Nyakane moving from tighthead to loosehead is the only logical option for Human considering that Matthys Bassson has been ruled out with a calf injury after Saturday’s demolition of him by Louw with Dayan van der Westhuizen likely to start at tighthead.
For Nyakane it is doesn’t matter where he plays his rugby but after being on the side that buckled and were driven into submission, it comes as no surprise that Nyakane is fuming and looking to redeem himself against Louw who has moved up above him in the Springboks’ prop pecking order.
“It depends on what coach thinks and what he has seen and what he would like to accomplish. But as everyone knows I don’t have a problem playing tighthead or loosehead. If that is what I need to do this weekend for the better of the side then I will do the best that I can there for the team to be successful,” said Nyakane on Monday.
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“Ja obviously he (Louw) did very well and we all know as a Springbok tighthead you expect nothing less from him and what he produced on the weekend. He did very well and put his team on the front foot.”
Nyakane admits that losing in the manner in which they did to Western Province was a bitter pill to swallow and is seething for redemption but it will be the optimism that comes with the lottery nature of play-off rugby that will be a key motivating factor for the men in blue.
“If you play you know exactly what happened and there is a lot of things we need to fix on the training field before we can even think of going down there and doing something. Yes, it gets you angry as a tighthead when things like that happen because it is something that you supposedly should be good at.
"That is what puts bread on your table as a prop. If you don’t take that personally then you shouldn’t be there. It’s a hard one for us to swallow but fortunately it’s back to square one, it’s a semi-final that we are going down to play and anything can happen there.”