Hooker Fraser Brown says both Scotland and South Africa will try to push the boundaries of the law when they clash in Edinburgh on Saturday.
Scotland come into the match on the back of a comfortable 54-17 victory over Fiji, where after a difficult first half, the Scots blew the visitors away.
Ruminating on that match, where the Scotland maul was consistently pulled to the ground, resulting in two yellow cards but no penalty tries against the Fijians, Brown told the media in Edinburgh that he expects both sides to use underhanded tactics at the maul this Saturday.
‘South Africa have got a strong maul, and we’ve got a strong maul,’ Brown said. ‘But they’ll try and cheat, and we’ll try and cheat, and whoever comes out on top will probably win.
‘I did see an interesting stat about how many tries hookers had scored in the last 15 Tests as opposed to something like, I think, the last 280. We’ve got a good maul and set piece which gives opportunities for hookers to score tries at the back of that because that’s the way it’s set up.’
Brown added that he had been left impressed with the Boks’ upturn in form under Rassie Erasmus.
‘Against France, South Africa were really clinical in injury time, they won three lineouts, got penalties and executed when they got their opportunity. That’s the sign of a good team. They have been to New Zealand and won and arguably should have beaten them back-to-back. They could have won at Twickenham.
‘They are playing a brand of rugby that is more synonymous with how South Africa used to play than in the past three or four years, with very powerful carries up front, good maul, good set piece, big powerful runners. We know what’s coming, but we have prepared well for it.’
Photo: Yoan Valat/EPA