Focused Gqoboka bashing on the Springbok door

Bulls' Lizo Gqoboka (R) runs with the ball during the Super XV Rugby Union match between South Africa's Bulls and Australia's Waratahs at the Loftus Versfeld Rugby Stadium on May 4, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP)

Bulls' Lizo Gqoboka (R) runs with the ball during the Super XV Rugby Union match between South Africa's Bulls and Australia's Waratahs at the Loftus Versfeld Rugby Stadium on May 4, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP)

The Bulls prop now has a rock-solid case for being unable to be ignored by the national selectors.

Through focusing on just getting better every week, including getting through mountains of computer analysis, Bulls loosehead Lizo Gqoboka has become one of the most consistent props in Super Rugby this season and he is hoping he can carry this form through to the Springbok season and the World Cup that lies ahead.

“I’m really playing better thanks to just focusing on every day at a time, trying to make sure I play better every weekend. I have to do my analysis, I stay in front of the computer for the whole week. It’s very professional now in scrummaging and you’ve got to know the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent and what he does under pressure.

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“You need to do your homework if you are going to perform at that higher level. As a loosehead you have to be able to get around the field, make your carries and tackles and passes, it’s like having an extra loose forward. You can no longer just scrum and walk. Hopefully the Springbok cap will happen this year, but at the moment I’m just focusing on the everyday stuff,” Gqoboka said after his Man-of-the-Match display in the Bulls’ 28-21 win over the Waratahs at the weekend.

The great form of Trevor Nyakane alongside him in the front row and the arrival of Daan Human as the Bulls’ new scrum coach have also contributed to Gqoboka’s amazing form.

“Continuity has been the key, we’ve been scrumming together for almost three years now and it’s really good to see us producing these performances. Trevor and I are just growing in confidence and getting better each week, we have a really nice blend together and he’s always really focused on dominating his area of the game.

“And then we have a guy like Simphiwe Matanzima coming off the bench, scoring the matchwinning try. I know there are big things lying ahead for him too.

“Our scrum coach Daan Human is why we are really doing well, he holds everyone accountable for the scrums, the flankers as well. He has made everyone excited about the scrums and he’s emphasised that it’s an eight-man effort, not just about the front row and the tight five,” Gqoboka said.

And Bulls coach Pote Human has no doubt both Gqoboka and Nyakane should be in the Springboks’ World Cup plans.

“It’s a pleasure having both Lizo and Trevor, they are worldclass props that would not let the Springboks down. At this stage they are both in great condition,” Human said.

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