Del­port: Spring­boks can take con­trol and

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT - BY STE­WART WEIR

YOU only need to speak to a cur­rent or for­mer in­ter­na­tional rugby player to get a near- ac­cu­rate sum­mary of what the weather around EH12 dur­ing the Au­tumn In­ter­na­tional sea­son is like.

Wet and windy is the gen­eral con­sen­sus, or at least it is for for­mer Spring­boks 15, Thi­nus Del­port, who reck­ons such el­e­ments might play into Scot­land’s hands on Satur­day.

“Scot­land ap­ply a lot of pres­sure, es­pe­cially at the break­down, and no-one likes to play in the wind and the cold. The Scots are a lit­tle bit more com­fort­able play­ing when it’s like that,” ad­mit­ted the 18-times capped Del­port.

“That is an­other as­pect where the South African play­ers will have to de­velop. Ev­ery time matches are played in ad­verse weather, the North­ern Hemi­sphere sides seem much more adept and ap­pear to cope much bet­ter with that.

“If you look at New­lands, and the Third Test against Eng­land in June, it was rainy and windy and Ben Youngs, Danny Cipri­ani and Owen Far­rell just took con­trol of that game and our de­ci­sion-mak­ers just weren’t able to match that.

“Scot­land have sim­i­lar play­ers, so South Africa can­not al­low them to dic­tate the tempo or di­rec­tion of the match.

“I think the whole opin­ion has changed in 10 years about Scot­land. You look at re­cent re­sults, es­pe­cially at Mur­ray­field and over­all against South Africa, and they have per­formed well. And I’d imag­ine this is a key poin­ter to what might hap­pen next year for both Scot­land and the Spring­boks,” said the for­mer Glouces­ter and Worces­ter full-back.

Thus far in the Au­tumn Se­ries, Del­port is happy enough with how South Africa this trip.

“We haven’t played badly. How­ever the ab­so­lute min­i­mum we can have per­formed on T . ac­cept now from this tour is two wins, not easy after France yes­ter­day and know­ing Scot­land then Wales await.

“There was a lot of ex­pec­ta­tion around the sup­port­ers and the team that they were go­ing to progress from the form they showed against New Zealand dur­ing the sum­mer, when they won an amaz­ing match in Welling­ton – with a first-half that was one of the most com­plete dis­plays by any side in world rugby in the last decade – and only just lost in Pre­to­ria dur­ing the sum­mer in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship, even though there had been some in­dif­fer­ent form, beat­ing Ar­gentina and Aus­tralia at home but los­ing away.

“First up in the Au­tumn Tests, we over­pow­ered Eng­land, hav­ing more ter­ri­tory, more pos­ses­sion and ul­ti­mately more chances,

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