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Ryan Elias says Wales can’t give Springbok front row too much respect

Wales' Ryan Elias celebrates after they win a penalty Autumn Nations Series, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, 06 Nov 2021. Picture: Morgan Treacy/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Wales' Ryan Elias celebrates after they win a penalty Autumn Nations Series, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, 06 Nov 2021. Picture: Morgan Treacy/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Johannesburg - If the Boks think the Welsh are going to lie down and die at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday they should think again after combative hooker Ryan Elias said the Boks will get respect “but not too much…”

The stocky Scarlets' front-rower weighs in at 112kgs, five kgs heavier than his opposite number Bongi Mbonambi, and he said on Tuesday that his team has done their homework on neutralising the Boks’ chief weaponry.

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“The respect is there because they are a very good forwards outfit, but at the same time we can’t give them too much respect.

“We want to be competitive and take it to them as well, it’s a fine line. We want to get our processes right and implement that on them and if we can do that to the best of our ability, we should be all right,” the 27-year-old said.

“They get a lot of go-forward ball from their driving lineout and are very effective at it, but I thought we did well against them last time.

“We’ve spoken about that and how to disrupt that. But the scrum, set-piece, lineout … they’re all big weapons for SA and we know what’s coming. For us forwards, we’ll just listen to the game-drivers and follow them,” the 23-cap Elias added.

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“We all know it’s going to be a hostile place to play but, for myself, I’m really excited for that, it’s a huge challenge against the world champions – you don’t get much bigger than that.”

In the last match between the sides, the Boks had to score in the 75th minute via a Malcolm Marx try to win 23-18 in Cardiff last November.

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