CAPE TOWN - Springbok scrum coach Matt Proudfoot is confident that their forwards have “grown nicely in adapting to the conditions” ahead of their match against Italy in Padova on Saturday (4pm kickoff).
Proudfoot was particularly positive about the forwards’ intensity in training and the way they’ve adapted to the conditions in Italy.
But although he was pleased with their pack’s training, Proudfoot was also wary of the Azzurri’s set-pieces and their ability to stop forward momentum at the breakdown, and the scrum expert added that the Boks will have to work “very hard” in the third match of their end-of-year tour.
“The work by our ball carriers during and after contact, in tandem with our cleaners, will hopefully enable us to get quick ball on Saturday,” said Proudfoot. “We will have to work very hard against a determined Italian pack who are playing at home.”
According to Proudfoot, the training conditionings weren’t ideal, but it worked out well in the end, as they made use of live scrums - something the 45-year-old said went very well.
“The scrum machine and field surface were perhaps not the best, which prompted us to go for some live scrums,” he said. “The effort of the boys out there on the pitch was outstanding, and you are able to get so much more from them during live scrum simulations. The response of the players has been good, because we want them to train with high intensity.
“I think they adapted well to the different conditions on tour, coming off a southern-hemisphere competition and conditions, to adjust to the conditions up north. Here the scrum contest is much longer and the forwards play much tighter, and I think our forwards have developed and grown nicely in adapting to these conditions.”
The Bok team to face Italy will be announced on Thursday.