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Marvin Orie says the Springboks are up from the challenge the All Blacks forwards will bring

Independent Online (IOL) logo Independent Online (IOL) 2022/07/28 Morgan Bolton

Johannesburg - You’d expect that as New Zealand arrives in SA in the coming days, the All Blacks will have reason to be suspicious of the plans, tactics and strategies the Springboks will employ at the set-pieces, especially at line-out time.

For you see, there is a weakness there in the Kiwi game - one that was exploited recently by Ireland during their historic Test series victory in the Land of the White Long Cloud. The Irish put immense pressure on their hosts in the line-outs, so much so that they managed to crumble the All Blacks’ confidence in that particular set-piece, especially during the third Test.

The All Blacks only successfully completed 81% of their own line-outs during that three-match series earlier this month, losing eight in total. In comparison, the Boks lost two of their 39 line-outs and snaffled a further eight away from Wales during the June Internationals.

It was messy stuff for the All Blacks and thus an opportunity beckons.

On the flip side, the All Blacks had a better time of it in the scrums, winning 83% of their own feed against Ireland to South Africa’s 71% against Wales.

So, it is in these areas that both sides will look to improve on their previous performances and hope to find an advantage in the smallest of margins in each other’s gameplan over the next fortnight.

On Wednesday, during a media briefing, Bok lock Marvin Orie cautioned as much ahead of the back-to-back Rugby Championship clashes against the New Zealanders from next weekend onwards.

Said Orie: “The All Blacks are known to have a strong set-piece.

They have a lot of world class players, especially in the second-row,” he added of Ian Foster’s selection of Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’I and Sam Whitelock. "I think Retallick has been injured and Whitelock also missed one game …

"It will be a good challenge for us. Luckily, in my opinion, we also have some world class players in the locks and the competition has been good so far.”

Those Bok locks referred to by Orie include Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaat Moerat and Ruan Nortje. Loos-forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen – if he plays - are also impressive line-out options; while utility forward Franco Mostert can also take charge in that set-piece.

Moreover, the Boks have another ace in the hole in their brilliant hookers - Bongi Mbonambi and Malcom Marx - while Joseph Dweba is building a following with his performances in the No 2 jersey. Orie was full of praise for that particular trio.

“I played with Malcolm for a couple of seasons at the Lions,” Orie said, “and actually with Bongi as well. We played Varsity Cup together in 2013 and at the Bulls. “Obviously, (I played) also with Joseph, who has joined the Stormers now.

“Bongi and Malcolm are fantastic players. Malcolm is close to 50 caps now (the 28-year-old is on 48 Test caps) and Bongi also reached 50 last weekend.

“They have grown a lot and they have matured over the last couple of seasons. They are world class players and Dweba is not far behind them.

“Having hookers like that, it is an advantage for us in the line-outs and in the scrums. Just in general play as well, their skillset is fantastic for the team,” he concluded.

The Boks are currently based in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, and will travel to Nelspruit for the first Test against the All Blacks at Mbombela Stadium early next week. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be based in Johannesburg throughout the mini-tour, which culminates with the second Test at Emirates Airline Park on August 13.

Nienaber and Co will join their New Zealand counterparts in Johannesburg early that week.

@FreemanZAR

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