| 13.6°C Belfast

Matfield brushes off distractions


Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

South Africa hope a turbulent week which began with two players sent home for failing drugs tests will end with their Grand Slam mission three-quarters complete at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The 2007 world champions meet Scotland in the second EMC Autumn Test seeking a third victory on tour, following narrow successes over Ireland and Wales and ahead of next weekend's clash with England at Twickenham.

Springboks captain Victor Matfield said on www.supersport.com: "When you play for the Springboks every week is a big week, there is always a big challenge that you face. So no, I don't think that this week has been different or bigger than any other weeks."

Wing Bjorn Basson and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle reported positive tests for a banned stimulant following the Ireland game, with the results announced on Monday.

The duo were suspended and sent home, leaving the tour under a cloud with the Springboks scaling back their use of nutritional supplements.

Basson, who started in the win over Wales, was due to head home anyway with an ankle injury, and he was joined by Bryan Habana, who suffered a broken hand in training in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Matfield does not believe the last seven days have been too difficult for his side to handle.

He continued: "We are not allowing anything to deflect our focus, we are focusing only on beating Scotland on Saturday.

"We always go out there playing to win and back home most people are expecting us to win, but that doesn't happen without focus and hard work.

"We won our previous games but in neither of them was our accuracy where we would like it to be."