ON YOUR MARX, BOKS

Kolisi’s men get­ting set for a highly phys­i­cal clash in Men­doza against Pu­mas

Pretoria News Weekend - - SPORT RACING - MIKE GREENAWAY

Dur­ban

AR­GENTINA coach Mario Ledesma’s frank ad­mis­sion that his for­wards had been pum­melled by the Spring­boks at Kings Park in Dur­ban last week­end could spell trou­ble for the vis­i­tors in Men­doza tonight if they are not on red alert.

And it has not been re­ported from Ar­gentina that the Spring­bok pack is stricken with sick­ness, as Ledesma had play­fully hoped would be the case if his for­wards were to turn the ta­bles in this re­turn en­counter.

So we can safely as­sume that the pas­sion­ate Ledesma has been stir­ring the emo­tional pot with his for­wards this week, tap­ping into his in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the South Amer­i­can tem­per­a­ment.

Tech­ni­cally, there is not a lot the Pu­mas can change in their for­ward play in the space of a week, but on their home turf their phys­i­cal con­fronta­tion will un­doubt­edly es­ca­late into naked ag­gres­sion.

Aus­tralian ref­eree An­gus Gard­ner could have his hands full, and so too could the Spring­boks.

Af­ter the Boks won last week, cap­tain Siya Kolisi lamented his team’s dis­ci­pline in con­ced­ing too many penal­ties as well as in botching five try-scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties from within a few me­tres of the Pu­mas’ line.

“The thing that we play­ers were not happy with, and which we talked about af­ter the game, was our dis­ci­pline,” said Kolisi.

“It put us on the back foot at times. The penal­ties were one thing but it was also lack of dis­ci­pline that re­sulted in poor ex­e­cu­tion in their 22.”

The Boks will have am­ple op­por­tu­nity to rec­tify that dis­ci­pline.

Hooker Mal­colm Marx, who will be in the mid­dle of the mael­strom, said from Buenos Aires that the Boks were gird­ing their loins for open war­fare.

“When­ever we come here it’s a very tough game ... they just step it up in front of their home crowd,” he said.

“I think emo­tions run a lit­tle higher here than in any other coun­try.”

On a per­sonal level, Marx will be squar­ing up to an­other world renowned hooker in Agustin Creevy, the 75-Test vet­eran.

“He’s a great rugby player and a good man off the field as well,” Marx said of Creevy.

“He’s big at the break­down and a smart player who knows the ins and outs, the lit­tle tricks.”

Bok coach Rassie Eras­mus con­curred with his hooker re­gard­ing what lies in wait for the Boks.

“They are dan­ger­ous all over the field. Creevy and all three of their loose for­wards are won­der­ful at the break­down and as ball car­ri­ers; they have fast wingers and an at­tack­ing cen­tre,” the Bok coach ob­served.

Steven Kit­shoff, who con­tin­ues to make a mighty im­pact off the bench for the Boks, said the Pu­mas are back to their scrum­mag­ing best af­ter a pe­riod in which they lost fo­cus on what has been a his­tor­i­cal strength.

“It’s go­ing to be a tough, phys­i­cal bat­tle. Ar­gentina have tra­di­tion­ally been one of the more phys­i­cal packs to scrum against through the years and it’s no dif­fer­ent now. They have a scrum, for sure,” said Kit­shoff.

“We have worked hard on our scrums this week and we’re up for it.”

As­sis­tant coach Mzwandile Stick re­in­forced Kolisi’s sen­ti­ments on the squan­dered op­por­tu­ni­ties in Dur­ban.

“The All Blacks have been the best team in the world for some years, and the yard­stick to aim for,” he said.

“But for us, the main fo­cus is not to look at what they are do­ing, but to make sure we get bet­ter as a team also.

“When Rassie started coach­ing the Boks in June, we set our own per­sonal goals as a team.

“We also have a process which we have to fol­low, and I think cur­rently we are go­ing in the right di­rec­tion,” Stick added.

“There are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties we missed last week, but the nice thing is that we cre­ated the op­por­tu­ni­ties and we must learn to con­vert them into points now.

“For me as an at­tack coach, it was great to see – es­pe­cially with the mo­men­tum the for­wards were giv­ing the out­side backs.

“That is go­ing to be our main fo­cus go­ing for­ward, to en­sure all the op­por­tu­ni­ties that we get in a game are turned into points.

“We need to be bru­tal – that is what the All Blacks are; if you give them a sniff in the game they will pun­ish you. So that is what we are also work­ing very hard to do.”

15 Emiliano Bof­felli, 14 Bautista Del­guy, 13 Ma­tias Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moy­ano, 10 Ni­co­las Sanchez, 9 Gon­zalo Ber­tra­nou, 8 Javier Ortega De­sio, 7 Mar­cos Kre­mer, 6 Pablo Mat­era, 5 To­mas La­vanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Fi­gallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (cap­tain), 1 Nahuel Te­taz Cha­parro

16 Fa­cundo Bosch, 17 San­ti­ago Gar­cia Botta, 18 San­ti­ago Me­drano, 19 Ma­tias Ale­manno, 20 To­mas Lezana, 21, To­mas Cubelli, 22 Jeron­imo De La Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mal­lia

15 Wil­lie le Roux, 14 Maka­zole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 An­dré Ester­huizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyan­tyi, 10 Han­dré Pol­lard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 War­ren White­ley, 7 Siya Kolisi (cap­tain), 6 Fran­cois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etze­beth, 3 Frans Mal­herbe, 2 Mal­colm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kit­shoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Sny­man, 20 Pi­eter-Steph du Toit, 21 Em­brose Pa­pier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse An­gus Gard­ner (Aus) 9.10pm SA time to­day

PIC­TURE: BACKPAGEPIX

Mal­colm Marx is chal­lenged by Mar­cos Kre­mer of Ar­gentina in Dur­ban.

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