Francois Louw (Gallo)
Bagshot - With South Africa convinced they
will face an "arm wrestle" against Wales in their Rugby World Cup
quarter-final at Twickenham on Saturday, the pressure will be on the likes of
loose forward Francois Louw to tip the balance in their favour.
The Springboks have put huge emphasis on
their play at the breakdown during the tenure of coach Heyneke Meyer, going so
far as to bring in a specialist in that facet of the game, Scotsman Richie
That was all for building towards the
knockout stages of the World Cup, where games can be won or lost on penalty
kicks that emanate from the breakdown.
Flank Louw is under no illusions about
the task his side face against a Wales team who are equally proficient when the
ball is on the floor.
"They are efficient in that area,
playing with two open sides; both will have goes at the ball to try to influence
the game at the breakdown, defensively and in attack," Louw told reporters
"Our emphasis has always been to focus
on that area and to get quick ball when we are attacking, to get our cleaners
in early and not give their ball-poachers half a chance to get in there."
Springboks loose forward Schalk Burger said
on Tuesday that he rates Wales captain Sam Warburton in the same league as New
Zealander Richie McCaw at the breakdown.
"The way Wales defend coming off the
line, they go for chop-tackling and that gives them an opportunity to get on
the ball and steal ball," Burger said.
"If we want to have the same momentum
in attack, we will need to look after him (Warburton) with a big emphasis on
getting over the gain line."
Louw agrees and says the Boks have been
pleased with their breakdown play at the World Cup so far.
"Our approach has been pretty
consistent throughout this tournament; we want to dictate the tempo of the
game, which requires our guys to get in there early," he said.