Do not write off the Springbok scrum, warns Australia’s Sekope Kepu
Experienced Australian tighthead prop Sekope Kepu says the Springbok scrum is still a potent weapon and that the South Africans are not missing the injured Coenie Oosthuizen.
The Boks lost the prop to a broken arm the last time the sides met in the 23-all draw in Perth, on September 9.
The Australian scrum was put through the thresher and the Bok scrum also held up well against the All Blacks in Albany the following week, before they collapsed to New Zealand in a 57-0 hammering.
Kepu said the Bok scrum would be a difficult unit to deal with when the sides meet in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"This season the Boks have put teams to the sword at scrum time and they’ve gone back to using the scrum as their strength. That’s the challenge we have to face. In terms of the scrum‚ I look at my role and what I can do and the focus is to do the job to the best of my ability‚" Kepu said.
"In the second half we took the foot off the throat because we did well in the first half and I think some of the calls made against us were harsh…. We have to fix what we didn’t do in the second half in Perth."
One of the problems the Australian scrum had to cope with was Stephen Moore’s absence from the Perth Test due to his wife giving birth.
While Tatafu Polota-Nau was more than a capable starting substitute‚ it was that impact from the bench that was missed even though rookie hooker Jordan Uelese distinguished himself well on his test debut.
Moore will be back for 21st joust with the Boks over the course of his 122-match‚ 12-year Test career, and Kepu said his presence would be felt even though he was showing the strain of his 34 years.
"He’s come back and fitted in alongside the other quality hookers that we’ve had. The competition is keeping him hungry and I’m excited for him. I’m also at that age where the younger players are coming through and we have to keep pushing harder more than ever‚" Kepu said.