Johannesburg - Springbok tight-head prop Jannie Du Plessis was reticent to say the
Wallabies pack got away with illegalities, but he said it anyway. Maybe
they are doing something dodgy and this is what enables them to compete
with the Springboks and All Blacks at the set-piece.
For some time, the Springboks have believed they are able to
sweep the oft-criticised Wallabies' tight five aside, but have been
unable to do so, including during their last encounter, the loss in
Perth earlier this month.
When asked why, Du Plessis said: ''It's difficult to explain.
I don't want to say they are cheaters … and please don't say that. But
they scrum differently.
''The All Blacks view the scrum in a similar way to the South
Africans - and it is a place where you can exert your domination
physically over another side, whereas the Wallabies are far more
''They know what they want from a scrum in certain areas and
that's what they will attack.'' Du Plessis rated Wallabies loose-head
prop Benn Robinson and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, arguing that they are
an effective combination because they are ''both shortish guys, stocky
and quite strong''.
When the Wallabies were alerted to the fact the Springboks
believed they may be up to no good, the reply from several team
officials was: ''He [Du Plessis] can talk.''
Before the Perth Test, Wallabies forwards coach Andrew Blades
made the point that they had to effectively nullify Du Plessis if they
were to have any chance up front. It revolved around undermining him
before he undermined them.
He said Du Plessis was used to attacking front-row opponents with a lot of sideways movement after the scrum was set.
Wallabies back-rower Dave Dennis said there was nothing underhand with how the Australian forwards approached scrummaging.
''The scrum is a big area of the game and a tough issue with referees getting more involved,'' he said.
''The reality is that our front-rowers and Andrew Blades have
to adapt. We've got different front-rowers to South Africa and New
Zealand, and what suits us may not suit them. It's all within the law.
It just revolves around what works for your team.''
South Africa named their team on Wednesday with the big
surprise being Johan Goosen's elevation into the No 10 jersey at the
expense of Morne Steyn.
15 Zane Kirchner, 14
Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Francois Steyn/Jaco
Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane
Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben
Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira
16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19
Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Jaco Taute/Juan de Jongh, 22