Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot is pleased by what the forward pack has produced thus far in the three-Test series against France.
The Boks have an unassailable 2-0 series lead heading into Saturday’s final Test in Johannesburg.
They beat France 37-14 in the first Test in Pretoria, before claiming a 37-15 win in Durban last weekend.
Proudfoot, who is the team’s forwards guru, addressed reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday where he expressed his delight with the pack.
“I think the good thing is, all the forwards that are here have been with the Springboks before, even the youngest one, Jean-Luc (du Preez) was with us on the end-of-year tour, so we’ve had a bit of continuity in work detail from last year to this year,” Proudfoot said.
“Scrumming against the French is always going to be a tough challenge. They had arguably one of the best scrums in the Six Nations this year. We knew it would be a really tough challenge. We’ve worked from early on, pretty much our first camp, with the front rows on identifying areas that we can work on and I think they’ve done really, really well.
“You could see Beast’s (Tendai Mtawarira) emotion after that penalty (in Durban last Saturday)... we’re getting better and we’re starting to meet the objectives that we set out for ourselves.”
A hallmark of the Test in Durban was several reset scrums - seven in total - but Proudfoot was not worried about that statistic when probed on the matter.
“No, I think if you understand scrummaging at that level where the integrity and stability around set is so paramount... there’s going to be dark cards played. And we understand that. Our philosophy is that we would like a scrummaging battle where it’s pack against pack - and that’s what we’re striving to accomplish," Proudfoot continued.
“I’ve been happy with the outcomes we’ve been getting. The guys are getting better technically. If you look at, particularly the engagement sequence, the body height, the body shape - I’ve been really pleased with that. My philosophy has always been that you can’t be dominant if you aren’t accurate and I’ve been very pleased with the accuracy of our pack.”
The Springbok team for the final Test at Ellis Park will be announced on Thursday.