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The 'squeaky clean' tactic Scotland feel will best challenge Boks

By PA
(Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Scotland captain Stuart Hogg is relishing the physical challenge of South Africa and being subjected to the high ball by the world champions. Hogg believes Scotland can follow up their memorable win over Australia if they can outmuscle the Springboks at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

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The full-back said: “They are an unbelievable team, they have got some brilliant individual players and they are world champions for a reason. But like everything, there are weaknesses within it and we hopefully can exploit that.

“We need to be patient in what we are trying to do and also stand up to their physicality. If we can stand up to that and outmuscle them we give ourselves a good opportunity of winning.”

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Hogg knows what it takes to beat the Springboks after starting in the British and Irish Lions’ 22-17 win in Cape Town in the first Test of the summer tour. The Exeter player was also on the end of a 27-9 loss in the second Test.

“It’s very difficult, as we saw in the summer,” said Hogg, who will lead out a Scotland team showing four changes from last Sunday’s win over the Wallabies. “They have a game plan that is unique to themselves and it’s a game plan they have had forever. It’s a game plan that works incredibly well for them.

“As a back three, we are going to find ourselves under the high ball. It’s something we have worked hard on all week and something I am looking forward to. They are very, very physical. They have jackal threats all over their team.

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“So in terms of our attacking breakdown, we need to be squeaky clean and make sure we can blast past the contact and keep that ball safe. If we continue to do that for multi-phases, then that is the time that we will most challenge South Africa.”

Hogg was joined by a number of Scotland teammates in South Africa as well as head coach Gregor Townsend and defence coach Steve Tandy. But the Scotland camp have spent more time looking at South Africa’s 23-18 victory in Cardiff last weekend than going back over their touring experiences.

“There is eight of us and the coaching staff that have a huge idea of what South Africa are about,” Hogg said. “But that is a fair bit of time away now. We have looked a lot at the Welsh game last weekend. They say you are only as good as your last game and that Welsh game was a perfect opportunity for us to look at their strengths and their opportunities.”

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