Allister Coetzee can thank the rugby gods for giving him back-to-back matches against Argentina at the start of the Rugby Championship.
It is much needed.
South Africa, perhaps more than New Zealand and Australia because they have a new coach in charge of the national team, need some time as a group together.
If they would’ve played against New Zealand first up straight after Super Rugby, they may have been smashed.
What that would’ve done to the team’s confidence going forward is unthinkable.
But here Coetzee has a chance to test a few combinations and game plans before they really get into the thick of things.
The opposite can also happen – Argentina can beat the Boks again and then all hell will break loose.
Coetzee simply can’t afford this, but while he can’t underestimate Argentina, he also can’t take a conservative approach to the mini series.
If I had to send one message to the coach it would be to use these two games to experiment. Not heavily, but don’t be scared to try stuff that you haven’t in the past.
He has to be brave in selecting a new fullback – most likely Johan Goosen. With JP Pietersen out, we will see a new right wing, possibly Ruan Combrinck.
But selections aside, I would like the Boks to implement more than one game plan against Argentina.
And if they can get their “balance” in all departments correct, then only will they be ready for the big guns.