David Long - Rugby Heaven
'All Blacks use dodgy tactics'
Johannesburg - Springboks vice-captain Victor Matfield has accused the All Blacks of dodgy tactics ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations Test in Soweto.
In South Africa's first media conference of any substance Matfield accused the All Blacks of jumping the gun at lineouts.
The 98-Test veteran believes in the two Tests against the All Blacks this year, the ball was thrown into the lineout too soon and he has put the onus on Welsh referee Nigel Owens to stamp out this practice.
"It's one area where we would like to put them under pressure. If we can just get them to form the lineout and don't throw it quickly in," Matfield said.
"Firstly it's our aim to stop them throwing it in without us getting there.
"If we can get that hopefully we can put some pressure on their lineout."
It's a tactic that hasn't been mentioned before but it's obviously something the Springboks have spent time looking at over their three weeks of down time.
The lineout is just one area where the Springboks are looking at to make improvements following a disastrous start to the Tri-Nations which sees them without a single point after three tests.
But Matfield was less forthcoming on other areas where South Africa need to improve.
"There are quite a few things we need to be better at, but I don't want to go into those details," he said.
"I think we know we weren't as good as we should have been overseas, we were maybe 10-15 percent off our game and we need to fix everything. Everything needs to be better and then we'll stand a chance."
Having a Test played at the National Stadium will be a first at the weekend, but it's not the first time Matfield will have played in Soweto.
His Super 14 side, the Bulls, played their Super 14 playoff rugby at Orlando Stadium in Soweto earlier this year and because of this he knows how significant it is to bring a test to the black township.
"The guys are looking forward to it," he said.
"It will be the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, so that's going to be amazing.
"With us having had the experience in the Super 14 semi-final and final we've seen how the whole of South Africa went to Soweto and really enjoyed it.
"There are so many people who want tickets and there are no more left. It's going to be a great experience and hopefully we can make it better by getting a result on the day."
Meanwhile, Matfield played tribute to Springboks captain John Smit, who'll be playing his 100th Test at the weekend, but he added the best way to mark this milestone is with a win.
"It's a great achievement for John," he said.
"He's a guy that everyone in South Africa looks up to. He's been great for our country, so it's a special day.
"John would love the team to focus on the game and to win the game and that's the most important thing for us.
"Although it's a special day for John, we first need to win the game to make it so much more special and afterwards we'll enjoy it."