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The Springbok “Game plan”

Written by Ryan Quirk (The Quirk)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 4 Aug 2011 at 11:30
Tagged with : , , ,

A lot has been said about the Springbok game plan.  Some have said they don’t have one, others have said it’s obsolete and belongs in a museum with some of the senior players and an old Model-T ford.

I like to call the current game plan, “The kick the ball away or turn it over to the opposition and then tackle them all day technique.”, whereby the flyhalf, Morne’ Steyn, hoists the ball high into the sky and the wings, the talented and extremely skilful Bryan Habana and JP Pieterson run after it and try force the opposition backs into making a mistake or giving away a penalty…

Usually however, especially against teams like New Zealand and Australia, the opposition has exceptionally skilful quick backs, which catch the ball and then run past said Bok wings because there is no defensive support for them, and hence too much space for the runner.

The other aspect to the  kick the ball away or turn it over to the opposition and then tackle them all day technique is to recycle the ball really slowly and then pass it to a big lumbering forward, or to Wynand Olivier, so that he can then run over the entire opposition team.  If he fails and is tackled, the player then gives the ball to Richie McCaw or David Pockock and says, “Here mate, we like tackling you so much, we thought we’d give you the ball and do it some more.”

Basically it’s like telling a boxer to go out and stop the other guy’s punches with his face and still expect him to win the fight.

South Africa have players with all the necessary skill, power and speed to rip any team in world rugby to pieces, if they’d only catch a wake up and use them properly.  JP showed how good he can be in space in the Super 15, and he is just one example.

Unfortunately Springbok management look as though they’re going to keep blocking punches with the teams’ collective face, and that fills me with dread.  The only shining light could perhaps be Rassie Erasmus’s involvement.  He is a great tactician and has no doubt analysed the living hell out of the All Blacks and Wallabies.

I hope we see some dominance from the Boks in the home leg of the Tri-nations.   If we don’t it will be really embarrassing and the “B” Team pawns from the away leg will have been sacrificed for nothing.


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