Matfield: Saints pack one of the best I’ve played in
Victor Mafield says Saints’ pack is one of the most destructive he has been part of.
And that is quite an accolade for the Northampton forwards, considering the 38-year-old won the World Cup with South Africa in 2007 and has three Super Rugby titles under his belt.
Matfield has made two appearances since making the move to Franklin’s Gardens, coming off the bench in back-to-back Aviva Premiership wins against Gloucester and Bath.
Saints have annihilated both of those packs, and also bossed Scarlets and Glasgow Warriors in the Champions Cup in the two weeks before Matfield’s arrival.
“I must say I haven’t played in a scrummaging pack like this for a long time,” Matfield said.
“It’s been good getting in the pack, going forward and just destroying other teams.
“It’s an amazing feeling and it’s nice playing in a pack like that.
“The pack plays fantastically well as a unit and if you look at the scrums in the past few weeks that’s probably what has won us all of the games.
“it’s a really dominant scrum and they work really hard at it in the week. It’s really nice to be part of.”
Matfield is revelling in being able to work with renowned forwards coach Dorian West.
And the experienced lock has revealed he has already been subjected to some of West’s traditional methods.
“I had my first mauling session without shirts on Tuesday, which is a first for me, but it’s working,” Matfield said. “It’s nice.
“I’m so used to how I’’ve done things with the Bulls and the Boks in the past 15 years, so I’m learning things about the game and how they go about it.
“He (West) is an interesting guy, he’s got his own views and it’s been good.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him and Jim (Mallinder) and I’m loving rugby.
“Hopefully one day I will get into coaching again and it’s nice to learn from coaches like the ones we have here.
“I’m sure when I’ll leave here, I’ll have learned a lot.”