South Africa v France, Cape Town, June 12
Matfield targeting French lineout
June 11, 2010
Victor Matfield will go after the French lineout on Saturday © Getty Images
South Africa's talismanic lock Victor Matfield has promised to attack the French lineout in their showdown at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
While the Fifa World Cup grips the attention of the South African public the Springboks have been going about their preparations for a crunch game against the Six Nations champions, who are rapidly becoming a bogey side for Matfield and Co.
The Boks slipped to defeat against France in November and the Bulls lock is in no mood to do so again. Having taken the Welsh lineout to the cleaners at the Millennium Stadium last weekend he is focused on doing the same this time around.
"We will try and attack them at the lineout," he said. "But they are also one of the best lineout teams and they tend to do things differently to most others. Hopefully we can steal a few balls off them.
"This is a very big game. The French are up there with the leading teams in the world and while we've not been very successful against them of late, it's nice to play them in South Africa for a change. Our preparation has been good and we're looking forward to the Test.
"Everyone always talks about the French flair, but they are also a very physical side. Their basics are very good and they are good at the breakdown - we'll have to be at the top of our game and compete there."
The message was also picked up by French coach Marc Lievremont, who having watched last weekend's Millennium Stadium showdown is determined that his side stop the South African maul.
"It is a very important game for us, especially at this part of the season when the players are not so fresh," he said. "It is always a big challenge playing a team from the southern hemisphere in June. The Springboks beat Wales on line-outs and it will be a very difficult battle stopping the Springboks setting up mauls from the line-outs."