Boks on Tour

Bakkies 'a changed man'

2010-11-19 14:41
Bakkies Botha (Gallo)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Edinburgh – Bakkies Botha has spent much of this season walking a disciplinary tightrope, and all too often falling unceremoniously off it ... but he is back on-side, insists long-time lock partner Victor Matfield.

Matfield told Sport24 at his captain’s press conference here on Friday ahead of the Scotland challenge that Botha channelling his aggression correctly over the course of the first two Grand Slam Tests had been both welcome and necessary.

“We felt before we came over here that Bakkies had learnt a lesson with his (various disciplinary issues) in mid-year. I felt strongly about that.

“He’s a changed man on the field. He is still the hard guy we need him to be, but now knows the laws he needs to perform within.

“He knew that if he didn’t, his place in the team might well be up for grabs.”

The rugged Bulls customer has gone about his donkeywork with relish against Ireland and Wales, while managing to stay well clear of the officials’ ire.

And his own lineout acumen, as a sometimes under-rated aid to leading light Matfield, will again be a valuable counter to any Scottish quest to eclipse the Boks at Murrayfield in a department they so cherish themselves.

“Nathan Hines coming in as blindside flank for Scotland makes our job that bit harder in the lineouts. We’re proud of our own lineout and will have to be as sharp as ever.”

Matfield also confirmed that scrumhalf Francois Hougaard was expected to be at his post against the Scots, after his minor “sniffle” scare earlier in the week.

“I haven’t seen Francois yet this morning so I don’t fully know what’s happening there, but I think he will be ready ... he’s a hard bugger.”

Asked which areas the Boks had specifically targeted for improvement in the lead-up to Murrayfield, Matfield said: “Quite a few. Accuracy is such a crucial thing in everything we do ... that and decision-making we want to sharpen up.

“We mustn’t give (Scotland) easy ball, mustn’t give them space or momentum – then we’ll definitely be in the game for a full 80 minutes.”


NEXT ON SPORT24X

Why WP may be less nervy

2014-10-21 23:37

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
34 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

After winning 10 of their 12 Tests this year, how successful was the Springboks' season in your book?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.