Springboks: Ireland accused of using black tricks by Bongi Mbonambi : Planet Rugby

Springboks: Ireland accused of using black tricks by Bongi Mbonambi : Planet Rugby

Springboks defender Bongi Mbonambi says Ireland had a number of “tricks” in the scrum during the first Test match between the teams at Loftus and has called for a “fair fight” in Durban.

Before the opening Test match between these teams, many predicted that the Boks would have an advantage in set pieces, especially after the Bulls demolished Leinster in the URC semi-final.

However, this was not to be the case for much of the match as Ireland managed not only to equalise but to dominate for most of the game.

This was particularly evident in the first half, when a defensive line of Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong effectively blocked Ox Nche, Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe from set pieces.

Irish Tricks

However, the Mbonambi Boks player insisted that Ireland’s unfair play at set pieces did not create a fair competition, speaking at a press conference after Rassie Erasmus’s squad for the second leg was announced.

“Yesterday we spoke quite a bit with Daan (Human) and the whole team and in the first half we were frustrated because Ireland tried to play a lot of tricks in the scrum,” the 33-year-old said, expressing his displeasure to the officials.

“Where we just want fair competition. We want fair competition in the scrum, and that’s where we’ve definitely trained this week and learned from last week.”

As the Springboks struggled to maintain their lead in the first half, the famous ‘Bomb Squad’ once again came to the rescue as reserve scrum-halves Gerhard Steenekamp, ​​Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch regained their dominance, culminating in a penalty try that all but sealed the victory.

“Bomb Squad did an amazing job and that penalty was very satisfying for everyone,” added Mbonambi.

“But we still have a lot to improve in playing against them.”

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Ireland’s injuries

While Erasmus managed to retain an unchanged squad for Matchday 23 – a rare occurrence for the Boks, who have only managed to do so twice since 2018 – Ireland lost Craig Casey, Robbie Henshaw and Sheehan in their second match, while there are also doubts over Andrew Porter’s fitness.

Sheehan is widely regarded as one of the best scrum-halves in the league and while his absence is undoubtedly a blow to Ireland, Mbonambi believes his replacement, Ronan Kelleher, will do a great job of rounding out the squad.

“Injuries are part of the game, they happen,” he said.

“The other hooker, Kelleher, is quite a good scrum-half. He is more physical, so it will not be easier.

“They have top-tier scrum-halves and one injury in the group won’t make much difference, so we expect a really tough challenge in the scrums.

“We will prepare and hope to receive more rewards in the coming week.”

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