No scrum panic from Matfield

Date published: August 30 2014

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After the Springboks were taught a scrum lesson in Salta, it's no surprise that the set-piece received a lot of attention this week.

After the Springboks were taught a scrum lesson in Salta, it's no surprise that the set-piece received a lot of attention this week.

Victor Matfield, who missed both opening Tests against the South Americans because of a knee injury, on Friday admitted the scrums were a source of concern.

“The set-piece is very important for us. We had a look at it and there is only one way to fix something and that is to do it on the training field,” Matfield said ahead of the team's departure for the Australasian leg on Saturday.

“We've had a scrumming session yesterday (Thursday) and today and we'll probably be scrumming tomorrow (Saturday).

“The guys that were there were outstanding the whole of last year, so we know what they can do. It is just maybe just getting one or two technical things right.”

In the opening match against Argentina in Pretoria, the Springboks battled in monsoon-like conditions, which made it difficult to gauge which areas South Africa needed to improve on.

The Springboks scraped through a 13-6 victory on home soil to set up an enticing return fixture in Argentina.

Argentina threw down the gauntlet in Salta and came within a whisker of scoring an upset over the Boks to eventually lose 33-31.

The clash placed the scrums under the magnifying glass as the home side again dominated an experienced South African unit.

Matfield said the team was disappointed with the performance and determined to make amends against Australia in Perth.

“The team will be the first to say that we are not happy with the way that we played in Salta. We definitely want to go out there and perform better,” added Matfield.

“We need to focus on Australia and what are our strengths. We need to go out there and almost control the pace, like we want it, when we want it.

“The one thing people shouldn't forget is that Australia drew against the All Blacks two weeks ago on home turf.

“It is going to be a very competitive and tough game and with the Waratahs winning the Super Rugby they should be confident of where they stand.

“It is a game where little decisions make a big difference and we need to get the basics right. Our set-piece must work.”

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