Boks to the wall



September 15, 2016
Boks to the wall

LOW: Springboks lost to Australia

Toetie’s manne must fight fire with fire v Kiwis.

When your backs are to the wall and the pressure is on, that’s when you need to take a fearless approach to whatever it is you are tackling.

Coach Allister Coetzee and his Springboks don’t have their backs to the wall, they actually have their heads in the toilet at the moment and the only way forward is up.

That’s why they have to fight fire with fire when they cross swords with world champions New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday (9.35am).

Entering the encounter as overwhelming favourites, the Kiwis showed that they are mere mortals when they were well tested by Argentina in last weekend’s Rugby Championship clash.

Kieran Read and his span’s class eventually shone through as they beat the Pumas 57-22.

But through that match and their disappointing 23-17 defeat to Australia, the Springboks would have learnt a lot.

And here we highlight three things the Boks need to do if they want to avoid an embarrassment.

Keep ball in hand

What Argentina managed to do against the All Blacks was to protect their ball well.

Argentina had an unthinkable 144 ball carries in the match – the Kiwis only had 111.

In comparison, the Wallabies failed to get more than 100 carries against New Zealand in their two matches played to date.

South Africa will have to limit the handling errors they made against Australia and hold onto the ball.

Don’t kick as much

The up-and-unders we saw against the Wallabies were frustrating to say the least.

New Zealand will have a field day if the Boks kick at them aimlessly and with a player such as Julian Savea back to his best, this is an area in which the Boks’ kickers will have to up their game.

The Boks made 29 kicks against Australia, while the combined total in the match between New Zealand and Argentina were only 27 – 14 for the Kiws and 13 for Argentina.

Subs need to roll

New Zealand play at full intensity for 80 minutes — as much was evident against Argentina.

And even if the Boks manage to hold them in the first half, their subs will have a major role to play in this game.

It will be interesting to see how Coetzee manages his bench.

My prediction:

It’s tough to see the Boks coming away with a win. They should be out, though, to put in a better performance from the one we saw against the Wallabies. Still, it’s the All Blacks by 17.

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