Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Kruger primed for battle up front

Juandre Kruger is expecting a 'forwards-orientated game' against Scotland
Juandre Kruger is expecting a 'forwards-orientated game' against Scotland

Lock Juandre Kruger anticipates a forwards tussle when South Africa play Scotland in the EMC Test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Springboks are seeking to improve on their first away win of 2012, a 16-12 success in Ireland last Saturday, and claim revenge for defeat on their last trip to Edinburgh.

"We'll make sure we'll prepare well for a very forwards-orientated game," said Kruger, who will win his seventh cap. "They're a good forwards-orientated team. They've got a lot of good backs creating a lot of things. They manage to score some tries as well."

He continued: "We focus a lot on our set-pieces, scrum re-starts, line-outs. For every team that's a goal to do well there because that sets a base for the game and for the backs to get into the game."

Tighthead prop Euan Murray returns to Scotland's scrum after missing the All Blacks game as he does not play on Sundays for religious reasons.

Blue Bulls second-row Kruger knows all about the 32-year-old's ability, having played behind him for two seasons at Northampton, adding: "He's a world-class player. He's definitely one of the top scrummagers in world rugby, everyone knows that."

The win in Dublin was hard-fought, with South Africa coming from 12-3 behind to claim victory as Ulster's Ruan Pienaar pulled the strings from scrum-half. Pienaar scored his side's only try and fly-half Pat Lambie kicked 11 points.

Kruger added: "There were a few areas we weren't good at in the first half. We changed things in the second half and it worked out well.

"We'll definitely look at playing a smarter game first half and not chasing the game second half.

"That was our first away win and it's important for us as a team to be near the top of the world rankings."

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