Sharpe rebuke for De Villiers

SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers, never shy to shoot from the hip, has been rebuked by Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe, who rallied to Australia's defence after the Bok coach's claims that the Wallabies resorted to negative, cunning tactics at scrum time.

SPRINGBOK coach Peter de Villiers, never shy to shoot from the hip, has been rebuked by Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe, who rallied to Australia's defence after the Bok coach's claims that the Wallabies resorted to negative, cunning tactics at scrum time.

De Villiers has made several scathing comments over the past 48 hours about Australia's tactics at the set-piece.

Sharpe, who boasts 77 Test caps, shot down the criticism. He said De Villiers's accusations were not the sort of things that teams would even think about.

De Villiers had said the Wallabies would rather give away a penalty than give away the upper hand in a scrum.

"What we learnt from their (Australia's) Super 14 teams is that their guys would rather cause a penalty and see if they can get a penalty by putting doubt in the minds of the referees," the Bok coach said.

But Sharpe argued against that theory.

"It all comes down to the interpretation of the referee and we came out on the wrong side of that in the Auckland game (against New Zealand, three weeks ago) and that didn't work out too well for us," said Sharpe. "No team in the world would go into a match with those sort of tactics because it would be hit and miss and the ref could see it.

"Discipline is obviously, against these guys (the Springboks), paramount, not only at the set-piece but also at the breakdown.

"We just have to trust our systems and trust the guys around us. It's something that we've spoken about for three weeks - that is a long time to stew over a performance you are not happy with, so there's been a lot of motivation going into this game (at Newlands on Saturday)." - Sapa

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