Wales wary of 'classy' Brüssow

2011-09-04 15:09

Wellington - Springboks openside flanker Heinrich Brüssow has been singled out as a dangerman by Wales defensive coach Shaun Edwards, with the world champion South Africans showing signs of their all-conquering 2009 form.

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Wales and the Springboks square off in their World Cup Pool D opener on Sept. 11 in Wellington and Edwards said his players were well aware of the challenge facing them next week.

"The Springboks, on paper are looking like the team of 2009 again," Edwards told reporters in Wellington, referring to the side that beat the British and Irish Lions and swept through the Tri-Nations, which included three wins against New Zealand.

"They're looking very strong with Heinrich Brüssow back in and all the stars that played the Lions in that series. That adds to the challenge.

"If we do manage to pull it (a victory) off, we'll do it against a full-strength Springboks team."

Edwards said he felt Brüssow, who missed most of 2010 with a knee injury, had managed to adapt to changes in rule interpretations that gives the advantage to the attacking side, making him still a serious threat.

"He's a genuine world class six and they are very hard to come by," Edwards said of the 25-year-old Brüssow .

"Obviously in 2009 the way the game was refereed then he didn't need to release when he hit the floor so that was to his advantage, but to his credit he is still turning ball over under the new interpretations.

"That's a great credit to him that he has adapted his style and technique of getting on the ball (and that) ... will be a big challenge for our loose forwards."

Edwards said the Welsh were acutely aware discipline would be key, given South Africa's style of kicking for territory and putting pressure on the opposition inside their own half, then converting that pressure into kickable penalties.

"We are very conscious of discipline. It's a massive priority on our list going into each game," Edwards said.

"We know we have had massive discipline problems in the past but we have worked very, very hard.

"Against England (at Twickenham on Aug. 6) we gave four penalties away, which is an all-time low for us.

"In the home game (on Aug. 13) we gave a few more away, but it is something we have worked very, very hard on.

"It's something we stress massively within the set-up."

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  • BLAP - 2011-09-04 15:19

    I hope DIv is going to rest Brussow in some of the easy games because his skills will be needed in the tough games..Brussow is currently our best player!!

  • Gerhard - 2011-09-04 15:31

    Brussow should not be used against Wales, he has bigger fish to fry, in my opinion...

  • First48 - 2011-09-04 16:01

    @Blap & Gerhard, I disagree. Brussow has had plenty of rest and needs game time. It is amazing how quickly he has come back into form after his injury layoff so lets give him all the game time he can get to improve.

      Jan - 2011-09-04 16:50

      I agree, he needs time on the park, as long as he stays in 1 piece

  • Marc - 2011-09-04 16:26

    its going to be awesome I cant wait for the RWC to get started and I am sure the Bokka all feel the same way.I think Div will start all his big guns to get a good start in this WC,the rest game in the pool D will be against Namibia

  • Karoobloed - 2011-09-04 19:27

    Edwards is back-paddling because of the very impolite previous statement by Gatland implying that the Boks do not play Rugby. I know I am repeating myself, but the Bok camp should ensure that they remain unfailingly polite at the RWC when they talk about the opposition - do not insult the opposition, firing them up in the process. Swagger and braggadacio will usually come back to bite you.

  • Jack - 2011-09-04 19:38

    These welsh are really getting tiresome now, with all their talking in the press. Why dont the just do their talking on the field. Gareth Edwards and Barry John this lot certainly are not.

  • RWC It - 2011-09-05 13:06

    Well, it's actually the Kiwi's that are talking up the Welsh (Gatland is from Waikato)... In any case, I think credit has to be given to Wales, they've run the Boks close over the last 3 years, they beat England and Argentina in their warm-up games, and they do have a successful past pre-World Cup years; the 1970s, a golden era for the Welsh - most of the Lions in that decade were Welsh. In fact, I think they had the largest contingent of players in the last Lions tour of 09. Let's be honest, SA don't have a divine right to beat them, and they could easily get unstuck if they think so; however, I'm sure the players and coaches are well aware of that. Or you'd hope so... it's going to be a close encounter!

      Kleinboet - 2011-09-05 20:19

      That's what I have been saying all along: do not under-estimate any opponent; but when you do get the upper-hand, trample them into the ground. This will make your next opponent think twice before he tries to play expansive rugby against you. Be ruthless at all times.

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