By Mark Gleeson
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa are looking for solutions for their scrummaging after their weekend defeat to the British & Irish Lions, prop Steven Kitshoff said on Monday.
The Springbok prop was one of the second-half replacements up front as the South Africans employed their fabled ‘Bomb Squad’ but the changes made no impact as the Lions took charge of the match and came back from a nine-point halftime deficit to win the first test 22-17.
“This will be a big week for us and there will be a lot of work put into our set-piece and kicking game and the way we approach the second game.
“So we have to come up with solutions quickly. They always say seven days in your lifetime is short but in rugby terms it is a long time. There is time to fix things that we can take control of as a pack of forwards,” he told a news conference.
Kitshoff admitted the Boks had battled, not only under the high ball but also in the set pieces in Saturday’s first test.
“Looking back at the game, the Lions did well to take away some of our strong points. In the first half, we were tactically and technically very good and got our scrum going and got a lot of penalties. In the second half, I’m not 100% sure what went wrong, but we could not go forward on the scrum and our line-outs got disrupted,” he added.
“We all take a lot of pride in the scrum and we were not able to go forward and put our team on the front foot. We know what we will have to work on this week to put the team in a better position.”
One area of concern for Saturday’s second test, also at the Cape Town Stadium, will be the pitch, visibly tearing up under the weight of the two packs in the first clash.
“It was difficult to use your feet or plant them. The field does give way and it becomes very slippery. There are things that we work on, the way we want to scrum, that prevents that slipping. Having all eight guys with their studs in the ground helps a lot,” said Kitshoff, who is set to win his 50th cap on Saturday.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)