Boks put world on red alert – Jake

Jake White

The Boks are on the up and it’s fantastic to see! What has really been pleasing to me is that we’re not being seduced into running from everywhere anymore. South Africa is again seeing that defence is the cornerstone of winning Test matches.

This has been coming for years. Like they say in France, “Voila!” I remember being in France and getting criticised for the Boks being too defensive, but we finished the 2007 Rugby World Cup with the leading try-scorer, the leading points-scorer and the trophy.

People say “that’s not how you play the game,” but the Boks are showing that’s exactly how you win.

South Africa understood that reality in 2007 and it looks like we’re starting to understand it again. Some of the other sides in the world don’t grasp it; they’ve been seduced by the perception that passes and offloads and sidesteps win matches. They don’t see the whole picture.

I’m watching the Pumas run from their in-goal while their scrum goes backwards. Argentina were renowned for the Bajada scrum, and their maul and pick-and-drive was historically among the best in the world. A few years ago, if you watched a club game between Hindu and San Isidro, generally every kid could pick and drive and every team could maul.

But on Saturday, the Pumas scrum and lineout against the All Blacks was almost the worst I’ve seen in Test level. It got to a point where they got a five-metre penalty and they didn’t choose to scrum – a few years ago, that would have been unthinkable in Argentina.

Meanwhile, for the second week in a row, a Bok victory was notable for the defensive effort, and now I’m hearing the Aussies and Kiwis say they need to kick more.

In rugby, you can keep the ball and run from your own try-line, but if you knock on 95 metres upfield, you get no points for that. It looks amazing, but you get no points.

That’s why we see a team with 14 men stop their opponents from scoring, and it’s why it’s possible to beat the Crusaders with 13 men in Christchurch.

There’s no reward for keeping the ball for 15 phases. Turning defence into attack is the spectacle these days. That kind of rugby is in our DNA, defence is how we’ve always played.

Tackling and defence are two different things. Some countries produce great one-on-one tacklers, but they’re poor in terms of defensive organisation. Other countries have the opposite problem.

South Africa produces great tacklers and great defenders and the Boks are hitting the nail on the head because not only are we gaining psychological victories by beating New Zealand and Australia, but the way we’re doing it is ringing alarm bells for the rest of the world.

We scored 36 points against the All Blacks without the ball, and we mustn’t allow ourselves to be hoodwinked again into thinking that we have to run it from everywhere because that’s not how you score 36 points against New Zealand.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of these readers because Zelím Nel has been talking about the trends of the game for a long time. He came over to Toyota Verblitz and did some analysis that highlighted what is happening in world rugby – whether you look at Super Rugby, Test rugby or Japanese rugby, the key indicators are exactly the same.

The reason is because the laws of the game are loaded in the defence’s favour. That is why you can have 60% possession and territory and still lose a match.

For example, if your opponents kick the ball out and you have the ball at the back of a maul from the ensuing lineout, the ref tells you to use the ball. This cues the defensive side. Then you get a scrum after the other team knocks on, you get the ball to the back of the scrum and the ref tells you to use it. Again, this helps the defence to get ready for when you play. And later you make a run, the ball becomes available at the ruck, and the ref tells the halfback to use it.

These are three instances where the lawmakers rush the attack so that the defence can have a crack at winning possession.

Defensively, South Africa have never been matched. Generally, people would say the Boks are known for aggressive and organised defence. Across all eras and all the way down to most schoolboy sides, we field teams with really good tacklers and defenders.

We’ve beaten the All Blacks, Wallabies, and England this year, all on the back of defence. The Boks were 24-0 against England, and 12-0 down against New Zealand and we tackled our way to victory. This doesn’t mean we haven’t played rugby.

The perception is that the Kiwis are all about attack, but the reality is that they are experts at turning defence and into tries. The Boks are starting to get good at doing the same thing, and that’s very encouraging.

Winger Aphiwe Dyantyi has scored six tries in eight Tests, and it’s not because we’re running from everywhere.

- Jake White

Let's chat

  • Barry Smith

    Thanks, good read!
    It will be interesting to see what Hansen does to counter the defensive strategy? No doubt more kicking and working in channels where they believe they can get through our defence!
    Interestingly, 35% of our tackles in the Auss game were made by only three players – Pieter Steph Du Toit, is the obvious one, but followed closely by Andre Esterhuizen and Franco Mostert. The last two largely unrecognized for their galant efforts!

    • Greg Shark

      One must applaud Mostert, he’s the unsung hero, for his agile bouncing back up off the ground to make another tackle. If Rassie is to persist with a lock playing 7 I wonder if Mostert would be a better bet and du T can go back to playing lock like a lock instead of 7 like a lock? While du T was good at his tackling and makes the hits, he almost misses as many as he makes and is a little cumbersome. He’s not agile or supple which I think a loose forward in any position 6, 7, 8 should possess in order to stoop/swoop onto loose ball…..

      • Shane

        What a pack to tackle them back with (with everybody fit):

        Wilco Louw
        Steven Kitsoff
        Siya Kolisi
        Jean-Luc du Preez
        Pieter Steph du Toit
        Eben Etzabeth
        Dwanye Vermeulen
        Malcolm Marx

        Who in the world can stop us?

      • John Comyn

        Maybe someone from the Sharks Greg to replace PSDT?? Who was playing 7 for the Sharks on Saturday? I can only think he is not in the mix because Proudfoot dictates to Rassie who he should pick!!

        • Greg Shark

          The only world class replacement is Jean-Luc but he’s on the recovery list at present….

          • Dr Hoffman

            rubbish, world class hahaha

    • John Comyn

      Esterhuizen made some thumping tackles. Kurtley Beale was not to keen holding onto the ball after a while.

      • Rod Shortt

        Rassie replaces him with the revolving door de Allende. Only because he plays for Rassie’s province.

      • Barry Smith

        Indeed, let’s hope he can intimidate Barret in the same way, if he gets the nod!

  • Wesley

    Good one Jake, i must agree we have not fired such warning salvos in world rugby for the past 6 years. Say what you will about Divvy riding on Jakes coat tails, but he kept what was already known to SA rugby. Defense is our biggest strength, and used that blueprint. HM had a good start but got seduced by NZ running from everywhere and that ultimately failed him. AC did the same trying to emulate Lions rugby on test level (must admit, i was a big fan of such a plan). BUT we also showing strong defence and great running rugby isnt mutually exclusive. That second Dyantyi try against NZ was absolute magic, as well as Fafs one over the weekend. Im seeing good shines of mid-2000s Bok rugby being played at a new updated style. Big thing for me, this is still the core group of players that started with Toetie in 2016. Yes we added a couple of stars and others have fell out of favour but the gameplan and coaching seems much more certain now than what it has been since 2013.

  • Vossie

    Lekke Jake, It is pleasing to see the team buying into what Rassie and his coaches are trying to achieve, another thing is the Boks keeping this kind of defense up for 80 minutes, the conditioning of the players has to be spot on and credit to Aled Walters for this.

  • Nick.

    Importantly, The Boks play for their own supporters. If the opposition supporters don’t like the look of it……..No prob at all.

  • John Comyn

    It’s so interesting to have things explained by one of the best in the business. So while the powers that be have made numerous changes to try and favor the attacking side they have, in fact, played into giving the defensive side the advantage with “use it” cue. I actually think the refs have got into the habit of thinking they are coaches. “roll away” “leave it” “release” etc etc The players may appreciate it but is it fair? Professional players should know the rules intimately. Blow the offence then explain why. Players will quickly adapt and we may even see less infringements?

    • JT

      Yes good point mate cheers

    • Greg Shark

      That ‘coaching’ crept in in order to speed up the game but I think players will quickly learn to abide by the rules if penalties got dished out instead of the constant coaching. Apart from cueing the defending team it also allows the less than honest players to play outside the spirit of the game until they’re told to “roll away” “leave it” “release” etc. Lets face it us Bok supporters moan about the less than honest players fairly regularly!

      • Mark

        Agreed, ref’s are now not ‘calling” the “hands off’ Roll away, “no” etc equally to both sides so some get the warning and play on and others do exactly the same and get blown. Refs – now with the Mike have begun to think they can “play God” – unfortunately it’s a problem – the game is not about them. Dont get me wrong, I appreciate refs….but they need to be brought to book for bad decisions and I think the video ref needs more power.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Good point old chap. Cheers.

  • Herman Schroder?

    Jake you’re a bit delusional here I’m afraid. Referring to the years when Dom Krag was king to make a point or hand picking matches where the result was either an aberration or a ‘one in twenty five long shot’ to give clarity to your argument is ridiculous to say the least. The exception does not make it the rule old chap.

    1. You say we have been playing rugby ‘running from everywhere’ Really ?? Under HM and later AC the Boks most certainly never played expansively and even under Rassie it took two overseas players ( Faf and Willie ) to deviate from Rassie’s ‘dom krag’ game plan to beat England. It most certainly wasn’t defence that brought us those wins. In fact in the wet at Newlands in the third test we bombed, where was the defence there ?

    2. You criticize the Argies yet they beat us soundly even with a nothing scrum by scoring tries. They are developing an attacking game plan under Ledesma and will bolster their scrums and lineouts before the WC to be healthy contenders once more. Even the NZ pundits on their panel shows see them as a real threat

    The difference is they are improving, we are just defending. In 80 minutes against the piss poor Aussies we scored only one try from structured play the entire 80 minutes. Where pray is the improvement after 10 tests ?? Oh sorry we have improved one basic element of rugby, tackling. Gee wiz what a revelation.

    3. You mention the Sharks / Crusaders win and the recent AB game as proof that defence wins matches. Are those the only games you can think of ? What about the 95% of games inevitably won by the team scoring the most tries ?. Look at any competition in world rugby and the leading try scorers inevitably win the comp or contest the final. The AB win was an aberration my friend and maybe you should have waited till after Saturday to indulge us with your wisdom.

    Jake here’s my take. Why do the AB’s ‘always’ win ? They do the basics correctly including defence. They then pick players with the necessary skills and vision who, in addition to the basics, attack effectively from any part of the field. They play it in SR every week and they then automatically bring it in at test level. It becomes instinctive which as you well know is of primary importance due to the shorter reaction time at test level.

    Back here in sunny SA what do we have. One Franchise who chose the modern route while the others stayed trapped in dom krag mode these past four years. Coaches that fell into that latter category being of course HM, then AC with the jury still out on Rassie. AC with no coherent game plan tried to get the Franchises on the same page to no avail and the results speak for themselves.

    In these last two wins how many tries were butchered due to lack of skills and vision. In the AB game two tries were scored where six passes involved 5 Lions players plus Willie a player with similar skills. Coincidence ? In the Aussie game Siya, ( no vision ), PSdT ( poor handling ) butchered two tries and there were others in both games. Both great players by the way but still lacking skills in some departments.

    You see my point is this. It’s no use forcing mistakes with a kamakazi defence if your players are not suitably skilled or have vision to capitalize on those moments. The AB’s are the masters at taking advantage of mistakes but it’s their skill levels that they utilize in finishing off the opportunities that sets them apart.

    In the final analysis we did not win these tests because of defence, an argument you are hanging your cap on. We won it because the worlds No 1 player botched two simple conversions in the closing stages of the match and in the other match against piss poor opposition, ranked seventh in the world, who themselves were not good enough to convert their many opportunities. Would you be singing the same song if we had lost those two games with similar defensive efforts ? I think not.

    Good luck for Saturday Jake where I believe your theories will well and truly be tested at the highest level. Cheers.

    • Kevin Berman

      Herman my old friend who is still singing the praises of EJ and the Lions who still don’t have a trophy to show for all their attacking Lions rugby and we’re given a good lesson this super rugby season by almost all the NZ teams
      As I have said before the only way to beat NZ is to dominate them physically and then score tries when they are going backwards ……. just like the British Lions Klaipped them last year and a few glimpses in Wellington
      Why try and beat them at there own skillful offloading game when you don’t have the players to do it……. even your Lions in super rugby couldn’t do it against the NZ teams when it really counted.

      • Shane

        Lol… and how did your team do????

        ROFL

      • Herman Schroder?

        Biggest problem with your post Kevin is that we can’t dominate the AB’s or any team physically any more. Australia, Wales, Argentina, England all beat us this season . The Boks couldn’t even dominate the woeful Aussies with even one scrum of theirs where they crunched us. Defending like madmen is not dominating physically it’s desperation due to giving them the ball all the time. You have to outsmart teams these days but obviously getting the basics right first. You must have more to your game even Rassie admitted it.

        As for that weak Lions argument of yours just ask yourself if your team ( and I assume it’s not the Lions ) had made three SR finals in the last three years would you be singing that tired old refrain ?? I understand your pain old chum but please be objective. Cheers.

    • Dr Hoffman

      Excellent comment, made much more sense than joke White.

    • JT

      Good points mate! Impressive. Cheers

    • Mark D

      This is a brilliant response to Jake White’s article. As a Kiwi and massive All Black fan, the test in Wellington was a total aberration. Yes, the Boks played well and deserved to win, but so many “mini events” during the game fell their way which are unlikely to occur until another 20 test matches between the two countries take place. The odds are that long. Three of the Bok tries were down to poor judgement by the ABs and had nothing to do with defence. The ABs are also out for revenge and the Boks had better brace themselves. Steve Hansen and Co would have spent the last 2 weeks planning a massive ambush and they will be going out on Saturday to not only win, but to annihilate the boks. Because in NZ, we don’t just want to “win” on the back of great defence, or an intercept, or a lucky bounce. We want to win and we want to win big and nothing will motivate an AB like the game this weekend. Believe you me, Kieran Read and the boys will be absolutely fizzing. And this is the big difference. The Boks won in Wellington. But that is the first win by a bok team over the ABs since 2014. In that time, the Boks have lost to Japan, Italy, Scotland etc etc …. Winning is not a habit for them and there will be mental scars and demons that don’t just disappear after one win. The ABs on the other hand are back to back world champions. They average one loss per season. They know how to win and they know how to win well. Even though they won’t be saying it publicly, they will not be satisfied with “just a win”. They want to smash the Boks in South Africa and make this statement …. “you might have beaten us in Wellington. Well done. But, we were really poor that day. This is about revenge. This is about reminding South Africa, that we are the World Champions. We are the best rugby nation in the world and we can claim this title because we are back to back world champions have just put your team to the sword”. The Boks defence will be tested to a limit this weekend that they will not be able to live with. The ABs will win by 30-40 points because they will have a plan in place to offset the Boks defensive pattern and unlike Australia, they will have the skills to be able to execute the plays that will pile on the points.

      • Mark

        This is the KIWI arrogance I have come to get used to and really struggle with it. Which is why any defeat to the AB side is so, so sweet.

        • Mark D

          This is where you are wrong. It is not arrogance at all. It is stating facts. The great Bok sides (pre 2009) were some of the greatest teams to ever play the game. I would never have written a comment like this about them. We feared those teams and went in to every game “hoping” we might win. Often, they were filled with drama where one amazing piece of skill from either side would determine the outcome of the game. They were mighty battles that rugby followers in NZ have sorely missed. The current Springbok side is definitely on the rise. However, it is still prone to some truly awful performances. The recent loss to Australia is one of the worst games I have ever seen. The skill level (including defensive capabilities) were poor. The ABs know this. They understand the mental side of rugby. The Boks aren’t there yet. They are a long way off. And, the ABs will challenge the Boks to the brink on the weekend and if the Boks snap, they could be in for a score blowout.

          There is one other thing that you might find interesting. After the ABs lost to SA in Wellington, nearly every Kiwi here in NZ were quietly happy that the Boks stood up and won. I don’t think I have ever taken an AB loss so easily. Regardless if you think we are arrogant or not, we want a strong South Africa. We want our amazing rivalry to continue long into the future. We do not want massive score blowouts. I know I cheer for the Boks every time they play (except against the ABs of course). I didn’t enjoy watching them losing to Japan or Italy. It actually saddened me and saddened a lot of rugby loving Kiwis. We are not arrogant. We just miss our battles with our traditional foe.

        • Dr Hoffman

          Pointing out the truth is arrogant? Seems someone just cant handle the truth.

      • Barry Smith

        Well you talk a very good game, but the problem is that as a game it is played not spoken!
        The All Blacks were under pressure in Wellington and the cracks appeared – it has been long in coming!
        I have no doubt they will be up for it at Lotus, but they carry a very big psychological monkey – what if South Africa beat us again??? Then what?? They will be nervous and they will again make mistakes, it will depend on how SA respond to those mistakes! Good luck, you’ll need it!

    • Dean

      You claim that the NZ pundits rate Argentina but they don’t fear them. The AB’s respect us more and know we can beat them on any given day. Argentina have NEVER beaten them so their praises are really zilch. They only enjoy watching Argentina’s style but they enjoy it more that the AB’s never look like losing against them. Our style and NZ’s are different contrasts but that’s what makes the match up so intruiging.

    • Barry Smith

      Herman your “Lions Rugby” was put to the sword by the Sharks in Super Rugby some months back and more recently both Sharks and Stormers did them a number in Currue Cup matches, one distinctly embarrassing! It is not really the basis for arguing your point!
      Whilst Jake has emphasised defense, the objective is to force the opposition into making mistakes and when they do so, to counter by attacking. The fact that we scored five tries in Wellington, says we can also play attacking rugby when the time is right!
      The point really is that you need both components, for “Complete Rugby”, but you will progress with a strong defensive game, developing attack as you improve, but if you only have attack, your dead meat!

      • Dr Hoffman

        What a dumb comment, losing once to the sharks in the last 7 games embarrassing? huh. And 2 losses in the watered down Currie cup ( correct spelling ) as opposed to 3 unbeaten years in SR, duh! And they put them to the sword? again huh? The sharks defended for 80 mins and won with an intercept try. again, DUH! Can smell the poo from here!

      • Nezo

        Perfectly said. Great defense that forces opposition into making mistakes and then great skill on attack to punish those overturns. This equals total rugby.

        This is what we did in Wellington. We also need someone else to kick because Faf is making a mess of it. He is the reason the opposition is getting more territory and position. Also, we need to learn to slow the game down in periods when we looking disoriented and the opposition is getting an upper hand so that we can regroup.

        The reason the Crusaders beat the Lions was not because they attacked better. no on attack they were equal. it was on defense that they were better.

        So i agree. it is good that our defense is getting back to world best as it was before in Jakes time. Truth be said we beat the Allblacks more at that time. but we also need the attack we showed against England. The attack the Lions showed to consistently beat New Zealand teams these past few years. The attack the Bulls showed against the Chiefs. The attack the Stormers showed against the Chiefs in the quarterfinals. lastly and more importantly the Complete Rugby we showed against the All blacks last year in Capetown.

        I do not know if someone has noticed this. Whenever Pollard and Kriel play together against the Allblacks we play total rugby and the scores are always close at the end of the game. Also, the Boks score amazing tries. Do the Research you will find this true.

      • Herman Schroder?

        You fell into the same trap as Jake. Did you not read my post ? The Sharks beat the Lions only once in SR over the past four years so my point about a ‘one off’ win is actually reinforced by your assertion. I would be too embarrassed to bring ‘Curry Cup’ rugby into this debate at all, It’s merely a talent spotting watered down pale shadow of it’s former self and only intended for those teams who are non entities in SR ie Sharks and Stormers plus of course the woeful Bulls. If SR is not test rugby then where is this competition in the pecking order ?.

        I’ve already put the 5 tries tries in Wellington into perspective in my article but again you choose to ignore my point. By the way 80 minutes with one structured try against a miserable Aussie team means we waited a hell of a time for the ”time to be right’ don’t you think ? Where was the creativity ?. Even our scrums were matched by the 7th ranked team and collapsed in one instance on their put in. It’s amazing how an ugly win clouds perceptions.

        And lastly the old fall back, you saying the Boks must not attack willy nilly. That has never been my call I’ve always said the basics must be respected but with attack as your go to game plan. Basics includes defence while for some, like Jake, they consider it the Holy Grail of rugby. Jake is a dinosaur by today’s standards, dom krag is dead. He had his moment in the sun ELEVEN years ago when the rules suited his game plan and kudos to him for that but modern rugby calls for much more than that. I rest my case. Cheers.

      • SweetAz

        He really doesn’t get it, – the AB’s and the Crusaders have been playing exactly the way JW says for yonks,—they don’t really CREATE all that much but their transitions on defence are exceptional. I told him exactly how the Crusaders were going to beat the LIONS and so they did. They are like Kamikaze pilots in their red zone and don’t give a shit about giving away penalties. Most of their tries are individualistic or opportunistic. The only way to beat them is by taking opportunities from OUTSIDE the red zone,(penalty kicks etc) or to outtackle them to the extent they make more mistakes than you do. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. The man does not understand the nuance and subtleties of the contact area and manipulation of teams by forcing them to commit players, he has this romanticized idea of “expansive play” that only exists among schoolboys.

        Sure the Lions have been good the last few seasons, but not exceptional and they only stood out because all the other SA franchises were exceptionally crap.

        • Dr Hoffman

          ok, then explain their wins in NZ, unbeaten in AUS last year? U are such a jealous little troll. shame baby.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Hello Sweetaz still with your sniping ? Oh well I suppose you have the right, pity it’s a bit confused. You are as delusional as Jake my friend. According to you the Crusaders / AB’s would make it nigh impossible for us to score tries in their red zone not so ? And outside the red zone we must rely on penalties and a kamakazi defence to finish the job. But haven’t we been trying to do that for 9 years now without success ? Oh sorry there was a ”one off” three weeks ago which now seems to be the answer to all our woes, lol. Do you honestly believe we can beat them with defence and kicks every time ?

          Read my original post again which tells you why your argument has no validity and see also my response to Barry Smith above. I also challenge your assertion that the AB’s and Crusaders don’t create tries from all over the park. You obviously don’t watch much top rugby or you wouldn’t have generalized like that.

          Over the past three years the Lions played six play off matches ( tougher than round robin games by a mile ) and won them all. They beat the Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Argentina ( Jaguares ) and the Waratahs ( with 10 internationals ) and that old wannabee the Sharks. So we not only sorted out the local pretenders in the round robin stages we klapped quite a few of the top dogs along the way in the play offs. So again your argument falls flat. Mind you I must give you credit for one solid observation ie that the other SA Franchises ‘were exceptionally crap’. Well done. Cheers.

    • Gerhard

      Spot on, Herman! Rassie’s Boks are an accident waiting to happen. No team can make double the number of tackles of their opponents match after match and keep on winning. Argentina: now that France no longer play like France, perhaps due to all the dom krag imported by Jake and co, the Argentinans are the team I enjoy watching, apart from the AB, that is. Argentina play with flair and passion.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Thanks, I totally agree. Cheers.

      • Mike Stoop

        So, Jake coached in France for two years and that makes him responsible for the state of French rugby. Really?

        • Gerhard

          I said “Jake and co”. Anyway, the reasons for the decline of French ruby are complex and I wish somebody like Nick Mallet would try and explain it to us.

    • PURPLE/

      hermie-it really doesnt help by having vision and skill when you cannot defend.a Big losing score game is usually the result of that.I guess you’re just another AB supporter who is fearing those bone crunching tackles THAT IS ON THE WAY THIS WEEKEND.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Defence PLUS vision and skill is my argument, please read my post again for clarification. You assume wrong. I consider myself a dedicated Bok supporter who has been fighting the good fight for the soul of SA rugby on these forums since 2014. I refuse to be blinded by incompetence, scribes with their own agendas and people preaching the failed gospel of dom krag rugby. If keeping quiet and crying into your beer after every defeat is the path you choose then that’s your choice but others have different aspirations and challenging the status quo is mine. I trust that meets with your approval, lol. Cheers.

      • Greg Shark

        Purple/ …hermie is a rabid lions supporter and pretty arrogant for the most of it….

        • Dr Hoffman

          and u are just a jealous and bitter snaaks fan who cant be taken seriously.

    • Greg Shark

      hermie here’s something for free – collect all these essays you write into a couple of volumes and sell them on the street corner….

      • Herman Schroder?

        Sniping is not a good character trait my friend but I still respect your right to do so. Cheers.

    • Chris Mouton

      Sho, Herman, calling Jake White delusional is quite rich. How many Tier 1 teams did you coach? How many World Cups have you won? Hmm, must’ve missed it.

      • Dean

        I second Chris on that one. Jake says the new laws have favored the defending team, Herman says the opposite. I’ll go with Jake on that one. Let’s not forget that Jake is still one of the most respected and best rugby brains around. Let’s not forget since he coached the Boks, he took the Brumbies to a Super Rugby final. Then he took the Sharks to 3rd on the overall log and a semi-final. We haven’t reached those heights since. Then a European Challenge Cup winning medal, runners up on the Top14 log. He was named coach of the season in Japan last year.

        What’s your CV look like Hermie?

        • Herman Schroder?

          What no country looking for his services with a CV like that ? ‘Club’ coach of the season in Japan. Wow the man’s credentials are incredible.

          I didn’t know one had to be a coach to post on these forums ? Terribly sorry old chap will try and do better next time. Cheers.

    • John Comyn

      Froda I so wish you would apply for the Bok coaching position or at the very least offer your services as a consultant. You clearly know a lot more than the likes of Rassie & Jake.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Since 2014 I’ve never been proven wrong so that must count for something don’t you think ? So yes I probably do. Cheers.

  • Mqombothi

    Well articulated, Jake is just trying to prove that his style of play back in 2007 was the best. We cannot be going back to that dom krag rugby, you of all people should know better. Rugby has evolved, so should we. We need to master the basics, Rassie should not be teaching basics at springbok level.

    • Nezo

      Saying he should not be teaching basics at test level is like saying we should not be teaching common sense to adults. history shows they need to be taught it everyday. so is basics in Rugby. they are so easy that players keep forgetting them because they want to do spectacular moves. so the best coaches will always remind players to do basics.

      This frustrated me so much against the Australians. There was a time we quickly wanted to get the ball to the wing without earning the space out wide by drawing them in the middle through forwards. this was in the first half after we had scored two tries. i guess the boys were drunk with adrenaline

      More importantly i think its the captains job to keep his team sober and doing basics throughout the game. Siya failed to do that this past weekend. had we done this we would have buried the Australians

    • Herman Schroder?

      Spot on with that last point my friend. Cheers.

    • Wesley

      I should agree with you on the dom-krag statement, but I don’t think that’s what Jake is advocating here. I think Herman here also missed this point. The crazy theory of stringing 15 phases together will automatically result in points is what he is warning about, regardless whether you play expansive running or dom-krag plays. If you string 5 to 10 phases together without making headway it should be a sign of adapting to something else, or kicking, depending on your position. As far as I remember, the defensive gameplan did not hinder the 2007 Boks of scoring tries. What it did do is force mistakes from the opposition that they could capitalize on, for e.g. such as the amount of intercept tries they scored, to much derision and negative sentiments from Bok supporters for some reason. It wasn’t pretty, but was our most proud era as a rugby nation. And they did the basics right.

      Now the basics in rugby has not changed much over the years, but I think we can all come to a conclusion that “the basics” in a complicated system of defensive and attacking patterns on international level can become a bit of a challenge. Example. Dyantyi has been singled as bit of a inward floater on defense and gets caught out position, there are calls for him to always “mark his man”, applying the “basics”. Now I haven’t seen him miss a man on man tackle yet. Does that make him a bad defender if the gameplan calls for him to press and drift inwards? How can he execute both? Thats where a complicated system can perhaps hinder a player from his ability of executing the basics he can do and no need to teach this. They need time to adapt their basic skills with the complicated system. To have this happen faster, you need it based on a core strength of the “schoolboy” that you are receiving to train at that moment – and what do you think that core is for most of SA schoolboys in SA? Heyneke became desperate in his last years to out-perform and out-run his rivals and Toetie continuing the trend, lost what SA rugby has stood for in the 100+ years – ferocious defense. We should see it as a cornerstone to build our gameplan on, not a hindrance to the expansive running rugby that is still possible when you have the ball in hand. Look at some of the best Bok tries scored in the 2004 – 2011 era. You wont be disappointed.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Wesley I agree with you regarding the technical aspects of your post but cannot agree on the HM / AC assertion that they played expansive rugby. HM met his Waterloo against Ireland in 2014 and went totally dom krag after that right until the semi against NZ in the WC. He used similar tactics used by the Boks three weeks ago but in his case it didn’t work, like it doesn’t work nineteen times out of twenty if you are playing the AB’s and the other top teams.

        AC was a shambles. A confused game plan, poor selections, poor conditioning etc, etc. He couldn’t even coach dom krag which is the easiest option for ‘game plan challenged’ coaches. Coaching expansive rugby effectively is the real challenge and right up until last Saturday Rassie’s boys still had not cracked it. That’s the worrying thing. Saturdays match should answer quite a few questions. Cheers.

  • Nick.

    All I do not want to see is Meyer era Boks, where you could watch 3 or 4 tests by the Boks and literally NOT see ONE passing move/play that went through the hands in the backline. Not one……..

  • Chris Mouton

    Jake makes some valid points here. Looking at the Crusaders vs Canes semi-final and Crusaders vs Lions final, the Crusaders had some unreal defense. With that defense they shut down two of the most dangerous attacking teams in Super Rugby. They then capitalized on the pressure they created and turned that pressure into points. Couple this with them taking/creating their opportunities on attack and then they’re the most dangerous rugby team on the planet. This is where the crux comes in. Their players are skilled enough to take the opportunities. Looking at the Boks vs Wallabies game last weekend the Boks created a lot of opportunities as well, but they just made so many silly errors (which made me swear like a pirate at times), most of this because of the players not being skilled enough. Once that department clicks, we’ll see some wonderful rugby.

    • John Comyn

      I still think the Boks as well as the franchise sides in SA struggle with the mental aspects of the game and this is key to why they are not capitalizing on opportunities they create in the (so called) red zone. Rassie spoke a lot about rugby EQ in the beginning. They can have all the skills in the world but if the head space it means nothing. If they can overcome these ridiculous 50/50 passes, dropping the ball, forward passes etc etc they will be very difficult to beat. Let’s leave the AB’s out of this for a moment and look at Ireland. They rarely make mistakes and do the basics well.

    • SweetAz

      EXACTLY,—What I’ve been trying to articulate all along.

  • reon haka kaka abs is gaga

    let me tell every ab supporter here u cant always win by 30 or 40 points the world is catching up and def gna surpas the ab the boks gna smash the ab back into a dark place the weekend then england wil do the same at the end of year tour and ireland wil thump ab again this year all black is not gods of rugby the world best player cnt even kick to poles to much arrogance wil see them loose there number one spot before the end of the year i see the boks beating the all black this weekend again dousnt matter what there world ranking is of the abs or who is on there team sheet just becos winning is in every south africans dna once we taste victory against the best we want more and more the hunger is on the boks side and the whole nation is behind the boks with a full capacity hostle loftus crowd that the all black know all to well sou gud luck all black supporters but rather put ur tvs of saterday cos u wil be like michael chieka and blame the ref just admit it the reat of the world is gna over take new zealand as no 1 team might not be the boks but ireland is close on ur heals and england wil be licking there lips and teeth

  • Lion4ever

    Great attack should not come at the expense of great defense. The best teams are good at both.

  • Nezo

    Perfectly said. Great defense that forces opposition into making mistakes and then great skill on attack to punish those overturns. This equals total rugby.

    This is what we did in Wellington. We also need someone else to kick because Faf is making a mess of it. He is the reason the opposition is getting more territory and position. Also, we need to learn to slow the game down in periods when we looking disoriented and the opposition is getting an upper hand so that we can regroup.

    The reason the Crusaders beat the Lions was not because they attacked better. no on attack they were equal. it was on defense that they were better.

    So i agree. it is good that our defense is getting back to world best as it was before in Jakes time. Truth be said we beat the Allblacks more at that time. but we also need the attack we showed against England. The attack the Lions showed to consistently beat New Zealand teams these past few years. The attack the Bulls showed against the Chiefs. The attack the Stormers showed against the Chiefs in the quarterfinals. lastly and more importantly the Complete Rugby we showed against the All blacks last year in Capetown.

    I do not know if someone has noticed this. Whenever Pollard and Kriel play together against the Allblacks we play total rugby and the scores are always close at the end of the game. Also, the Boks score amazing tries. Do the Research you will find this true.

    • Matt

      Lions consistently beating the NZ teams? How many games against NZ opposition did they win this season?

      • Nezo

        Am talking about 2016 till 2018 and that does not include the Crusaders. Nor was i saying they were not loosing against Newzealand teams but that they were able to consistently win against them. some losses were even by small margins.

        Lions vs Chiefs (played once since 2016)
        chiefs 32 – 36 Lions (1 – 0 to the Lions)

        Lions vs Highlanders
        Highlanders 39 -27 lions
        Lions 42 – 30 Highlanders
        Highlanders 34 – 15 Lions
        Lions 28 – 23 Highlanders (2015) ( 2 -2 its a draw)

        Lions vs Hurricanes
        Hurricanes 28 -19 Lions
        Lions 44 – 29 Hurricanes
        Hurricanes 20 – 3 Lions
        Lions 17 – Hurricanes ( 3-1 to the Hurricanes who won the competition 2016)

        Lions vs Blues
        Lions 35 – 38 Blues
        Lions 43 – 5 Blues
        Blues 10 – 13 Lions
        Lions 39 – 36 Blues (3-1 to the Lions since 2014)

        Conclusion
        Lions have won 7 – 6 matches against Newzealand teams. That excludes Crusaders who have beaten everyone else in the past 2 years. Therefore, the Boks must continue with their defense but also improve the Attack as it is proven by the Lions that What the Allblacks do on attack. We can do it even better.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Good read my friend. Also the Lions have never lost a playoff game in three years including three NZ teams, ‘Argentina’, Waratahs ( 10 Internationals ) and the easiest one of all the Sharkettes. Cheers.

          • nezo

            So true my man. i can’t wait for saturday now.

  • Amien

    I think what Herman is trying to say is play the situation in front of you. a rugby player with the intellect of the game cannot have 1 game plan he should have many different scenarios wired into his brain already. if it requires you to defend then defend if it requires you to transition from defense to attack you should click in less of a second. remember your opposition care less about your game plan and more about their try scoring opportunities. Rugby is a simple game no rocket science required one team defends when the other attacks and vice versa. This whole Game Plan thing is over hyped i’m afraid. you can make AC the coach of the All Blacks their win/loss ratio would still be positive its not the coach its the players themselves. A coach cannot manage how you defend or attack as a player. Point is had Barrett scored a drop goal in the dying minutes of the Wellington Test we wouldn’t be discussing the Boks win. That was Barrett not playing the situation at hand that is rugby intelligence you cannot coach that, a player either has it or not.

    • SweetAz

      Totally agree,-there is no such thing as a “gameplan” in modern rugby. The guys have a playbook consisting of many plays, coupled with situational awareness they respond. Continuity and cohesion make this response more coherent and effective. ALL South African teams (except for the LIONS) for the last few years have been having issues maintaining team continuity,- losing the spines of teams and great players to overseas clubs. The NZ teams (and lions) don’t have that problem.
      Its easy to track, you only have to look back to when the Lions came back into Super Rugby and compare their team sheets with other teams. The LIONS were so KAKSHIT that nobody wanted their players, people like Marx, WHitely, Dreyer, De Klerk, Van Rensburg, Kriel et etc WERE UNKNOWNS AND UNWANTED. This gave them the opportunity to build COHESION and team spirit,—NO OTHER SOUTH AFRICAN FRANCHISE HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY.

      As soon as they became successful they started losing players and cohesion and as can be seen by their declining results this year they are falling back towards the pack. Herman and his one-track minded “domkrag” and “expansive play” is delusional. EVERYBODY is trying to play TOTAL rugby, the problem is that to EXECUTE IT the players have to be in total sync, this only comes with playing together for extended periods.

      The team with the most established combinations will win on Saturday,—-if Angus Gardener doesn’t have a BRAINFART again like he did the last time.

      • Herman Schroder?

        SweetAz, If you want to refer to me in your responses ( and it’s your right to do so ) then please don’t embarrass yourself when you criticize my argument then confirm in your response what I’ve been saying all along. Take a deep breath, pour yourself a scotch and read my posts again.

        Fact is the Lions scored a mega amount of tries to get to three finals. The AB’s score more tries than anyone. to win everything. Defence is a basic requirement in rugby. It’s what you do with the ball with a positive mindset that makes the difference. Some kick it away while the successful ones ATTACK with skill and vision. Boks vs piss poor Australia – 80 minutes of rugby ONE structured try, I rest my case. Cheers.

        • SweetAz

          Take a chill pill mate, I was just thinking how amazingly smart (or clever or brilliant) what you just said was. How the heck did you come up with that and can you say more about it?

          • Herman Schroder?

            Sarcasm maybe ??. Cheers.

  • William Botha

    You have to love the way Jake strings a series of hard-nosed statements into an article! lol

  • Graeme

    Rassie is doing a great job. It needs to be acknowledged.

  • Herman Schroder?

    On defence maybe the jury is still out on the rest of his game. Cheers.

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