Rugby Championship

'Clean slate' for Coenie

2013-08-14 07:44
Coenie Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Springbok Coenie Oosthuizen may be seen as a gamble in many people’s eyes as he enters a long-term plan of becoming a tighthead at test level, but one person who isn’t as concerned is the Springbok scrum coach Pieter de Villiers.

Oosthuizen therefore, is perhaps a hybrid concept of the new tighthead and the Bok management are keen to see if their plan with the promising prop works.

"Everyone starts from a clean slate with the new laws and its important for us to have a new look at all our players and see how they adapt to the new laws.

The Boks haven’t had much time together in the setpiece.

While they’ve done the theory, the big men in the front row need time doing live scrums to iron out the intricacies of the scrum before they attempt the real thing in a test match arena.

"Players learn very quickly at this level.

"A day or two at this level might be enough for certain players.

"We might also pick up on a technical error or two that we have never been exposed to with the old laws.

"Things will come up as we go along, certain things will be quick to fix, some won’t be a problem after all and others can pose problems.

"Scrums have become a lot harder than before.

"It is a tougher battle, technically you have to be more sound, more enduring and the pack needs to scrum together as a unit more than before.

"Teams that are willing to work hard at scrum time will get the options and possibilities from the base and inside of the scrum.

And that is what the Boks are aiming for.

Time is against them, and the new laws don’t help.

But if they’re smart and use their natural ability well, and work as a unit, they have little to fear.


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