Delport: Springboks can take control and
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,