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Positives aplenty but still another loss

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 27 Jul 2015 at 07:34
Tagged with : , , ,

The All Blacks beat the Springboks 27 – 20 at a packed Emirates Airlines Park on Saturday, coming from behind in what can be described as a typically fantastic New Zealand/South Africa match.

The sold out crowd were treated to one of the best test matches we have seen between these two nations, but were left cold and disappointed after the Springboks lost it in the last quarter of the match.

I read all the reviews and match reports with journalists hailing the new attacking style of play while harping on about positives, yet the fact of the matter is, they lost. Again. After being in a position to win. I would go as far as saying that a loss after playing so well hurts more than not being in the match at all.

I agree that there are positives to take out of the match, the front row again performed well, and yes the centre combination looks good on attack (less so on defence though). The overall play at the breakdown was magnificent, every single player seems to have gotten a steal on the ground at some point in the match. But none of that resulted in the Springboks winning the match. Unfortunately, it was the opposition who again finished the match better and stronger. This is something the coaching team will have to look at. Whether it is a case of fitness, the bench not matching up to the opponents’ bench, or whether the wrong approach is taken towards the end of the game. Whatever it is, we need to sort it out.

The Springboks would have wanted to gain a fair amount of momentum heading into the World Cup later this year, there are now only two matches left, both against Argentina. What exactly they will be able to learn from those matches remains to be seen, but I fear these two losses will not only put doubt into the players’ minds later this year, but they certainly missed a trick in getting a mental boost before facing either Australia or New Zealand at the World Cup.

I might seem a little negative, but surely we cannot expect only positives after successive losses, especially given the bigger picture.


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