Pretorius tweaking approach in Wales

Date published: January 6 2017

Newport Gwent Dragons scrum-half Sarel Pretorius admits that his well-known attacking ability is having to be reined in playing in Wales.

The former Cheetahs star is in his second season at Rodney Parade, a long way from the fast, dry track he was used to in Bloemfontein where Pretorius became a potent attacking threat.

Noting how conditions for his new club meant that there was more of an onus on excelling with his kicking game and management rather than half-breaks, Pretorius insists he is working on those aspects of his play following the 0-10 loss to the Ospreys in dire weather last weekend.

Dragons are currently tenth in the PRO12 halfway through the season, having only won three of their nine matches.

“I like a running game but you can’t run in the weather that we had against the Ospreys last week,” Pretorius told the South Wales Argus.

“It was very tough and both teams went out with a kicking mindset, it wasn’t pretty but at the end of the day the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins.

“The Ospreys did the small things right and won the kicking battle, that’s why they won 10-0.

“Back home it’s always dry and you can throw the ball around. I didn’t kick that much so had to learn to kick and I’m still working hard with Shaun (Connor, backs coach) to try and improve.

“I’ve been here a year and a half and I think I’ve improved a lot and I back myself to be a kicking scrum-half as well. Here I have to adapt (to the weather) and I came here to work on that part of my game.

“Normally it’s 30 to 32 degrees back home and here it’s two or three, very wet and so muddy! You have to be tough in the mind and look after the small details, taking the ball properly (at the breakdown) or it will slip out of your hands.”