Boks grind gears



August 26, 2016
Boks grind gears

ODD MAN OUT: Centre Damian de Allende (right)

Coetzee must feel like a dad trying to teach his kids some new skills, and they're just not vanging on.

The Springboks remind me of my driving lesson days. Dit was ’n gesukkelry.

I couldn’t get used to the controls and my father got frustrated as his car rukked forward.

It was dik frustrating and I couldn’t look up at the road as I looked for which gear I had to change to next.

That is how I think it must be for coach Allister Coetzee as he tries to get his Boks used to this new style of play.

Toetie often tells us that he is not trying to reinvent the wheel and that there are only small tweaks to the game-plan so many of the Bokke are used to playing in Super Rugby.

But he is playing down the changes.

For some reason, the backline has failed to spark. And a lot of that is down to the halfback-midfield axis — iets issie reg’ie.

With three out of the four – Faf de Klerk (9), Elton Jantjies (10), Damian de Allende (12) and Lionel Mapoe (13) – being Lions, there should be a better understanding and cohesion.

Like me struggling with a manual transmission, this quartet shouldn’t be. They should be playing like they are driving an automatic.

But there is a problem with Damian’s game. With Faf and Elton taking the ball up to the advantage line, Damian should be breaking through and offloading to Mapoe.

This is not happening.

Mapoe was one of the top tryscorers in Super Rugby last season, outside Rohan Janse van Rensburg, with nine touchdowns.

Janse van Rensburg was even more dangerous with 10 tries.

Damian would be brilliant if he added the offload he had last season to his game.

But right now, is it worth the aggravation of getting used to new controls, when Janse van Rensburg would turn this Bok backline into an automatic?

Toetie will have to rethink his plans once his manne return from Argentina.

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