Boks eager to build momentum
Nelspruit - The Springboks will use last week’s confident display against Italy as a benchmark for their performances, captain Jean de Villiers said on Friday.
“The focus is just to build on the momentum we gained last week and hopefully put up a good performance again this weekend,” De Villiers said ahead of the Test against Scotland in Nelspruit on Saturday.
It will be the 23rd time the two sides face each other and a depleted Scotland will be looking to fight back after last week’s loss to Samoa in Durban.
De Villiers said the match had some extra significance as Scotland were drawn in the same pool as South Africa for the 2015 World Cup.
“The fact that Scotland is in our pool for 2015 means you want to get the mental edge over them, but that is still two years away and some of the guys that are playing in this game will probably not be there in 2015,” he said.
“They made a couple of changes but I think it is a stronger team than the one they played last week."
While the Springboks won their previous encounter in Scotland last year, the 21-17 loss in Edinburgh in 2010 will be a stark reminder of the Scottish side's ability.
De Villiers said the hosts would not underestimate their opponents but the 2010 defeat played no part in their build-up to Saturday’s match.
“Four of five guys played in that game and it was a massive low in my career, but once you start concentrating on the negative, it can influence you badly,” he said.
“Nothing has changed for us from a game-plan point of view. It is just identifying the space and getting the ball into that space.
"We did that well last week and the decision-making was much better.
“If we can remain spot on with that, then hopefully we can see more tries again.”
Scotland coach Scott Johnson said his team had been ravaged by injury.
“We are sore, bumped and bruised and I’ve never seen an injury toll like it, and our depth is being stretched,” Johnson said.
While the Springboks seemed to have changed tactics through an expansive game plan, Johnson believed they would revert back to a more traditional style.
“They are preparing for a championship and they’ve picked a pretty quick team and I think they’ll go to a traditional form in the championship,” he said.
“They are showing their intent of where they want to get to, and most teams, with the way that it is being refereed, would like to do that if you have the skill set, and they have the skill set to do that.”