Boks build up for the breakdown

South Africa have turned their attention to the breakdown in the week building up to their Tri-Nations match against Australia in Durban on Saturday.

“I think most of the teams see our breakdown at the moment as a weakness,” flanker Juan Smith said on Thursday.

“The last time we played Australia, in Perth, they made it really tough for us at the breakdown. But we’ve put a lot of work into the breakdown this week and I think it’ll pay off.”

The Springboks’ failure to compete efficiently at the point of contact and poor execution of basic rucking technique after the tackle has hampered the team throughout the series. The weakness was exposed in the 19-0 loss to New Zealand in Cape Town last week.

“I think we just need to be more effective at the breakdown and more precise,” centre Jean de Villiers said.

“At times we’ve had numbers there and not taken the guys away.
It’s definitely an area we need to improve on because Australia have got fantastic fetchers as well.”

The Springboks face Australia in consecutive matches, meeting them in Johannesburg on August 30 for their final game of the series.

New Zealand lead the series with 14 points, Australia are in second place with nine and the Springboks are last with five points.

For South Africa to keep their title hopes alive, they need to beat Australia and score at least four tries in both matches in order to claim the bonus point from each game.—Reuters

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