Pieter-Steph du Toit: Nice to hear Springboks are feared again
Springboks / 14 November 2018, 3:30pm / Staff Writer
He has had to adapt between lock and flank over the last few months, which has even seem him now prefer being a loose forward instead of a second-rower.
But there’s no doubt that Pieter-Steph du Toit is one of the stalwarts of the Springbok team at the moment, with his high work-rate and physicality as a ball-carrier.
Du Toit even captained the Boks – against Wales in Washington in June – and has been at the forefront of the South Africans starting to get some grunt back in their forward play.
They had it in heaps in the 12-11 loss against England, but were on the back foot a bit against France last week.
But they roared back in the second half after an apparent tongue-lashing from coach Rassie Erasmus at halftime, and that is part of why Du Toit is at his best at the moment.
“I’m enjoying my rugby, and it has a lot to do with the environment that Rassie created at the Boks. He makes certain demands, and (part) of if it is that the forwards must be physical,” Du Toit was quoted as saying by Netwerk24 on Wednesday.
“It’s nice to hear the South Africa is again feared on the rugby field, and I think our pack is now starting to develop nicely. However, we do have some way to go.”
The forwards will again be tested by a competitive Scottish pack that will look to increase the tempo in Saturday’s clash at Murrayfield.
Gregor Townsend’s team almost play like a Super Rugby side, says Erasmus, as they try to keep ball-in-hand and will look to stretch the big South African pack.
But the Boks will aim to gain physical dominance in the set-pieces as well, and forwards coach Matt Proudfoot was delighted with the composure shown at the end of the French Test, where Bongi Mbonambi found his jumpers in a series of high-pressure lineouts.
Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot has described Scotland as a formidable side who will present the improving Boks with a difficult contest on Saturday. The match in Edinburgh starts at 17h20 (19h20 SA time). pic.twitter.com/MQV4RC8H2p
“Our performances are getting better through the tour. The back-end of the Paris game, I thought we were pretty dominant. Up north, set-phase is important to gain the ascendancy. So, we are looking for the same type of execution to be able to launch from,” Proudfoot said in Edinburgh.
“The challenge will be different – the pace of the game and our attack, we will have to keep it up to be able to keep going against Scotland.
“We are improving as a pack and up here in the northern hemisphere it is important to gain ascendency from where we can launch attacks and put the opposition under pressure.
“The challenge at the breakdown and the contact point is always crucial in Test match rugby. The difference (compared to the French game) is that Scotland are probably a lot better technically in the defensive contact situations, while the French were very physical.
“They are also a very disciplined side who are able to defend for long phases, so you don’t get to break them down easily.