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Boks bid to keep down England's score count

South Africa have set themselves a target of keeping England to under 15 points in the second game of their northern hemisphere tour at Twickenham on Saturday.

The match is seen as vital for the Springboks' preparations for the World Cup next year when their games from the quarter-finals onwards will all be played at England's home venue if they are to go on to reach the final.

In northern hemisphere conditions, where brute force up front usually dominates games, imposing number eight Duane Vermeulen says a vast improvement is needed on Saturday's 29-15 defeat by Ireland in which they were out-muscled and out-thought.

"We want to get a team down to under 13 or 15 points a match and against Ireland we couldn't do that," Vermeulen said.

"We have had a hard look at each other and at ourselves, and we know we need to work harder to rectify that for the weekend.

"England have a very good attacking threat, they play good rugby, but hopefully we can keep them down to that 15-point mark."

There were plenty of lessons to be learnt in defeat in Dublin, notably the way Ireland hustled at the breakdown and exploited the Boks' poor positional play with kicks behind their defence.

England provide another stern examination, one that Vermeulen believes, win or lose, will be crucial ahead of the World Cup.

"It's a very important game, what's in the past is gone and we must work for this weekend," he said.

"Playing at Twickenham, with the local conditions, it's a chance for some of the newer guys to absorb the atmosphere and the pitch as we work towards the World Cup.

"Hopefully, they can learn from this, get more experience and get comfortable for next year."

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said this week his side must not try to play the same style of game they use in the Rugby Championship against northern hemisphere sides, but Vermeulen believes that could play to their advantage.

"Our Rugby Championship and Super Rugby is a lot different to what we get up here," the 28-year-old said. "Here it's more of a forward-dominated game and we actually love playing with our forwards."

"In preparation we did some changes in training with stuff we needed to focus on with the forwards and hopefully we can show that on Saturday." (Reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town, editing by Ed Osmond)


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