Scotland captain Stuart Hogg will face the Springboks for the third time this season when the teams take to Murrayfield on Saturday and the fullback has warned his teammates what to expect.
“As a back three and defending the backfield we’re going to find ourselves under high balls, and that’s something we’ve worked hard on all week,” said Hogg.
South Africa have become familiar opponents for Hogg in 2021, the fullback featuring in the first two Tests for the British & Irish Lions in July only to be left out of the series decider, which the Springboks won 19-16.
Hogg was surrounded by several Scotland players in the Lions squad, with Dark Blues boss Gregor Townsend an assistant to the tourists’ head coach, Warren Gatland.
But whether all that inside knowledge helps Scotland end a run of six straight defeats by South Africa dating back to 2010 remains to be seen.
“They are an unbelievable team, they have got some brilliant individual players and they are world champions for a reason,” Hogg told reporters. “But like everything, there are weaknesses within it and hopefully we can exploit that.
“We need to be patient in what we are trying to do and also stand up to their physicality. If we can stand up to that and outmuscle them we give ourselves a good opportunity of winning.
“It’s very difficult, as we saw in the summer they’ve got a gameplan unique to themselves, they’ve had it forever and it works incredibly well for them.
“They are very, very physical and they have jackal [turnover] threats all over their team. So, in terms of our attacking breakdown, we need to be squeaky clean and make sure we can blast past the contact and keep that ball safe.
“If we continue to do that for multi-phases, then that’s the time that we will most challenge South Africa.”
The Scots go into Saturday’s game buoyed by last week’s 15-13 win over Australia, which has emboldened them to think of a clean sweep in an end-of-year campaign they started with a 60-14 rout of Tonga and finish next week against Japan, their World Cup conquerors.
“Straight after that [Australia] game we talked about the job only being half done,” said Hogg. “We’d won two games and still had two to go.”
© Agence France-Presse