Blogs & Opinion


England must be physical to get a result against South Africa in Autumn International, says Dewi Morris

Dewi Morris Posted 22nd November 2012 view comments

England were beaten by an Australia side who were written off, but who showed more ingenuity then England ever could.

This Saturday it is a totally different challenge as South Africa are coming with a hammer - and they will keep on banging away until something cracks.

I don't think the Springboks pose any real rugby threat behind the scrum with ball in hand like Australia and New Zealand do, but that is not to say they are not extremely dangerous.

Tuilagi: the centre will need to be at his belligerent best if England are to conquer South Africa

Tuilagi: the centre will need to be at his belligerent best if England are to conquer South Africa

What they do pose is why I think rugby was invented in the first place - an incredible physical challenge that looks to totally intimidate the opposition; that is what they did against Scotland for 40 minutes and that is what they did against Ireland before that.

South Africa do not look to win the game by 20 or 30 points, they just look to win the game and they will batter and wear you down to achieve that goal.

South Africa do not look to win the game by 20 or 30 points, they just look to win the game and they will batter and wear you down to achieve that goal.

Dewi Morris
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

England v South Africa
1.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD
Also showing in Sky 3D

We will see the likes of Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen, Eben Etzebeth and Adriaan Strauss running full tilt into England and their back-row will definitely be coming straight down that number 10 channel.

They will also be relentless in the scrum and lineout, while the ball will be going up in the air from Patrick Lambie and Ruan Pienaar and the likes of JP Pietersen and Jean DeVilliers will chase it all day.

England know exactly what is coming but what do they need to do to stop the Bok machine? I think that the mantra 'time to deliver', which has been prominent in the England camp, has to now change to 'man up'.

Hit back

They cannot afford to let South Africa dominate them in the scrum, and especially at the breakdown area.

They need to put their bodies on the line and be sensible, not give away stupid penalties, scrum and lineout very well and hit South Africa back at every opportunity.

If England can stand up to the Boks for the first 10 or 15 minutes and maybe get a lead, then all of a sudden South Africa are playing catch up, though I would have liked to have seen Mauritz Botha in the second row as he brings a bit of mongrel.

The Australia loss also showed that England do not have an out and out No. 7 as Tom Wood is still more of a six and a half, while I think Lancaster stuck with Brad Baritt and Manu Tuilagi in the midfield as he is confident that they can stand up physically.

I am all for entertaining the crowd with fancy-dan stuff but that is not for this weekend. This is not the game to start throwing the ball around; it is the game to bite down on the bullet and get stuck in.

It takes one heck of a physical effort to beat South Africa and if you show any weakness or do not front up to them physically, then they will come even harder at you.

We get blinkered that the Six Nations is the be-all and end-all of rugby competitions but our players need to realise that they have to up their game for the likes of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

This South African side is beatable, I have no doubt about that; they don't have many players who will make you think outside the box.

I think this will be a close game with only a couple of points in it - and let's hope it falls England's way. They really need it to.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Simon Scantlebury says...

Dewi, These are very proud Afrikaners who will be very motivated when they see the white shirts of the former colonial master.the possibility of losing and the shame that goes with it is not in their mind.we take the field in the hope we could win.that in itself is the difference in my view Simon

Posted 17:43 22nd November 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Phil Edwards

Great expectations

Defeat to Australia this weekend does not mean the end of England's World Cup hopes, says Phil Edwards...

Latest News RSS feeds

Robshaw: Aussie game pivotal

Chris Robshaw says England accept that a loss to Australia would mean the autumn campaign would be viewed as a failure.

Springboks make five changes

South Africa have made five changes to their starting XV for Saturday's Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Wilson targets Australia scalp

David Wilson says victory for England over old rivals Australia on Saturday would sweeten what has been a tough autumn.

Cuthbert hopeful of ending run

Alex Cuthbert believes Wales can finally claim a major southern hemisphere scalp when they host South Africa.

Three-week ban for Daly

Wasps centre Elliot Daly has been banned for three weeks for verbally abusing referee Ian Tempest.

Features

Phil Edwards explains why England's World Cup dreams will not be over if they lose their next two games

Phil Edwards explains why England's World Cup dreams will not be over if they lose their next two games

If England are to have any chance of launching a successful assault on the Everest that is next year's World Cup, then the widespread feeling seems to be that they simply have to win their next two games.

Pro12 Highlights

Pro12 Highlights

Highlights of all the Pro12 action, including Ulster's win over the Ospreys and Treviso's draw with Leinster.

Back Ireland to continue their winning ways

Back Ireland to continue their winning ways

It has been fairly even between Ireland and Australia in the last six meetings, three wins to Australia, two Irish victories and a draw, but recent form comes down in Ireland’s favour, with eight wins from nine contrasting to Australia's three victories in nine.