Duane Vermeulen expects England to target the Springboks at the set pieces and breakdowns in the Test at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Boks were physically dominant in the first two Tests of the series against England in June. The hosts produced their most accurate forward performance in what turned out to be the decider in Bloemfontein.
The third Test, however, witnessed a more accurate and physical display by the English. The wet conditions suited the tourists, and in the end they emerged comfortable 25-10 winners.
The Boks deserved to win that series in South Africa. That said, they feel that they let themselves down in the final game and blew the opportunity to hammer England 3-0.
Vermeulen hasn’t forgotten about that game – his last for the Boks. According the veteran No 8, the tourists can expect more of the same at the set pieces and breakdowns when they face England at Twickenham on Saturday.
‘The weather played a big part in how the game unfolded at Newlands,’ Vermeulen told reporters in London. ‘England are used to playing in those conditions and they made things very hard for us.
‘They put us under a lot of pressure at the breakdown. Our exits weren’t great. That’s some of the stuff we’ve worked on. If you don’t win your set piece, you’re going to struggle. That’s definitely an area that let us down in Cape Town.
‘We will stick to a few things that worked in the recent Rugby Championship. We will also have to make adjustments and take the conditions and how the game is played up here into consideration.’
Hooker Malcolm Marx missed the series against England due to injury, and is looking forward to the opportunity to play at Twickenham for the first time. On Tuesday, he echoed Vermeulen’s sentiments regarding the Bok approach.
‘England look to disrupt your breakdown and your set piece,’ he said. ‘They don’t allow you to get out of your half. I didn’t play against them in June, but I watched closely and I’ve done a lot of analysis on them since.
‘We’re focused on our plan and what we want to do. We’ve looked at what we did right in those first two Tests and what we did wrong in the third. We’ve rectified that.’
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— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 29, 2018
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