THERE’S nothing more dangerous than the sight of a wounded Springbok. These guys just don’t abide losing. However, against Scotland last week they had the look of a side who were clutching their boarding passes ready to go home. England should be considered favourites and here’s how they can achieve a famous win.
STAY STRONG IN THE LINEOUT
South Africa’s success over recent times has been based around their finely tuned set-piece. Their lineout is their trademark strength with Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield almost untouchable on their own throw. England can attempt to steal South African ball, but it will be mighty difficult and they should put most of their focus into ensuring they win all of their own lineouts. Tom Croft is a massive weapon, both offensively and defensively, he needs to have a big game tomorrow.
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED
I know from brutal experience, the Boks represent the toughest physical challenge you’ll face. You have to meet them head on if you’re to gain their respect. Ben Youngs came of age against Australia, but both he and Toby Flood were given a platform to make the play by the forwards, who battered the Aussies upfront. South Africa love to send big runners up the nine and 10 channel so Youngs and Flood are set for a tough defensive examination.
MASTER THE CONDITIONS
It’s all very well popping the ball about on a mild autumn afternoon but top international sides need to know how to win in all conditions. South Africa didn’t seem to like it in the cold and rain up at Murrayfield last week in what was a pretty scrappy affair. It’s likely to be harsh in terms of the weather at Twickenham tomorrow so England will have to adapt their game accordingly.
Lawrence Dallaglio is rugby ambassador for Greene King IPA, the Official Beer of England Rugby. Enjoy a proper pint of Greene King IPA at your nearest Official England Rugby Supporter Pub by visiting www.greenekingipa.co.uk