South Africa v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Soweto, August 21
Matfield accuses All Blacks of dodgy tactics
August 19, 2010
Springboks veteran Victor Matfield talks to the media ahead of the clash with the All Blacks in Soweto © Getty Images
Springboks vice-captain Victor Matfield has stepped up the mind games ahead of his side's Tri-Nations clash with the All Blacks by accusing their old rivals of unfair tactics at the lineout.
Speaking in the build-up to the eagerly-awaited clash at the 90,000-capacity FNB Stadium in Soweto, the 98-Test veteran suggested that the All Blacks have been throwing the ball into the lineout too early and has urged Welsh referee Nigel Owens to prevent a repeat this Saturday.
"It's one area where we would like to put them under pressure. If we can just get them to form the lineout and don't throw it quickly in," Matfield told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Firstly it's our aim to stop them throwing it in without us getting there. If we can get that hopefully we can put some pressure on their lineout."
The Springboks are desperate to rescue their Tri-Nations campaign after slumping to three successive losses which sees them languishing at the bottom of the table without a single point.
"There are quite a few things we need to be better at, but I don't want to go into those details," he said. "I think we know we weren't as good as we should have been overseas, we were maybe 10-15 per cent off our game and we need to fix everything. Everything needs to be better and then we'll stand a chance."
Matfield also revealed he is excited by the prospect of returning to Soweto having played at the Orlando Stadium in the township with his Super 14 side, the Bulls, earlier this year.
"The guys are looking forward to it," he said. "It will be the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, so that's going to be amazing. With us having had the experience in the Super 14 semi-final and final we've seen how the whole of South Africa went to Soweto and really enjoyed it. There are so many people who want tickets and there are no more left. It's going to be a great experience and hopefully we can make it better by getting a result on the day."