Nothing wrong with Bok rugby – Jake

Jake White

The lyrics of Sam Cooke’s song, What A Wonderful World, really summarise what happened in Wellington on Saturday.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

There was a lot of history between the Springboks and All Blacks going into Saturday’s Test and people were worried about that rich rivalry being lost because of South Africa’s poor results over the past four seasons.

The second verse of that song ends with “but I do know that one and one is two”. I highlight that because isn’t it lovely to win? Suddenly the nation is much more buoyant compared to how we felt after losing against Australia. And the reason is because the number is 36-34 this week. It’s the only number that counts.

You have to play every Test to get more points than the opposition. The stats have been a major talking point after the match, with New Zealand controlling most of the possession, but those numbers are meaningless because we got 36-34.

Rugby is one of the only games in the world where you can win without the ball, where you don’t need possession to win. Historically, South Africa have done that more times than the other way round.

If you go back to the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss against Australia, we had 75% territory and possession, and afterwards Bok fans said Bryce Lawrence was to blame for the result.

So when the stats were weighted ‘towards’ us, we said it was unfair that we had lost. But the feeling this week is that those stats don’t matter because we beat the All Blacks. And that’s because 36-34 is the only number that counts.

That’s why you have to find a way to win every weekend, and to do that you have to find a style that suits you. Every South African enjoyed that Test match, including the players, because that style suits us. The actual grit and determination, sticking together, and fighting on our tryline epitomizes Springbok rugby.

Bok fans must come to accept the fact that this is how you win Test matches.

In the eight playoff matches (including the 3rd/4th place playoff) at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, seven were won by the team with less possession. A lot of people talk about ‘the modern game’ but the truth is that you win Test matches without the ball.

The uniqueness of rugby (as opposed to soccer, for example) is that the drop-off in quality between the No. 1 team and the No. 15 team is massive.

Supporters get seduced into thinking that you have to have the ball and take it through 20 phases. That’s true when strong teams play weak teams, but the stats from those Tests distort the numbers.

When the Wellington Test was on the line in the last 20 minutes, New Zealand didn’t increase the width of their attack, they reverted to direct rugby and mauling. ‘Even’ the All Blacks went to that direct attack, but fans say it’s boring when the Boks do it.

Traditionally, South African kids can tackle and our players enjoy defending. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Somebody once asked Doc Craven who the most important person in the team is and he said, “the tighthead prop.” The follow-up question was who is the second-most important player: “the reserve tighthead prop.”

As much as things change they’ll always stay the same. We were down 12-0 and we tackled our way to a 36-34 comeback win.

Well done Boks for doing everything you had to do to win that Test. Now the challenge is to bottle that amazing performance and keep producing those wins.

- Jake White

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    I thoroughly enjoy attacking pace rugby and have been a big proponent of it looking at the successes of the Lions as a South African team blueprint that can be carried over to Bok rugby. Not that I would like to entirely throw out what can be learnt from that style, but this weekend has truly defined what Bok rugby should be – grit on defence most important of all. Do not sacrifice your defense for a quick attacking style of play. Meyer in his last years, and AC that caused him to falter, has listened too much to what the public has been calling for. I was also part of that opinion. I feel we have the attacking flair out wide we can build on without sacrificing or defense and losing what Bok rugby has built as our traditional style of play. Habana was the greatest flair and devastating finisher SA has ever produced, but even under a defensive style under Jake he still stood out. Its clinically taking every small opportunity you have while giving none to the opposition.

    Now is 200 tackles a game sustainable every game? No, but it shows it can be done when required. Should we now sacrifice our roamers and runners for bulky and burly? No, but with a defensive system in place to counter whats coming, you can rotate and build depth in positions to suit the attacking gameplan and stop the opposition. Armchair pundits like ourselves should trust what these coaches and players are doing, even though we may not like it, and sometimes taking a defeat on the chin. But as a traditionally strong rugby nation, glory will come to those who wait.

    • Tony Paulo

      Correct.
      For 100 years we played a physically imposing game. The world feared and respected the Boks.
      Our boys are built for that and we have arguaothe best school Rugby on earth. Flair is easier to show once the opposition has lost the want to tackle
      We are not NZ, Aus or anyone else.
      Let’s play the traditional hard & physical game and then shake hands and go for a beer with them

      • Herman Schroder?

        Only problem Tony is where has that style got us since 2009 ? Short answer, nowhere. The All Blacks mantra is back yourselves to outscore your opposition with tries and it has worked out for them about 95% of the time according to the stats. We all agree that Saturdays game bucked the trend but it can only be described as a one off win. The difference is NZ has the players with skill and vision to play that way. The Lions are the closest to that philosophy and are our most successful team in SR these past three years.

        Defence is a basic requirement in rugby so that must be solid and uncompromising but you must be able to create opportunities with flair and unpredictability as well. Players must be picked with those skills to capitalize on those moments and that is where we have been lacking these past 9 years. I blame the coaches as well, they’ve relied too much on those physical attributes you refer to in your post in their game plans. No Sir we need to expand our game plan not call back the past the game has moved on. Cheers.

      • Chris Allen

        You have to earn the right to go wide. That phrase has stuck in my mind for many years. It showed again on Saturday. To me the difference was composure and patience, which was evident until the final whistle when the Boks could so easily have given away a penalty. Of course we have to play the game in front of us but possibly with the leadership group we have now found (it was notable that not only Kolisi was talking, Etzebeth and duToit heavily involved) that we can do this better than we have done previously. This is really what New Zealand do well due to their structures and I credit Rassie for enabling that within ours.

      • Greg Shark

        Oh so right Tony, so right!

  • Sharky

    We defended well, but being good on defense and being able to play expansive rugby on attack aren’t mutually exclusive things. The trick is to be able to keep your defensive structure and but be able to quickly “click” into attack mode if there is a turnover. Or to be able to quickly transition from attack into defense if you lose the ball. THAT is where the ABs lead the world! They can attack and defend… and can quickly and seamlessly transition between the two. People go on about the ability of NZ teams to counter-attack – that is what I’m talking about here. It is doable.

    • Louis

      I actually don’t think the All Blacks defend that well due to their attacking mindset. Whenever teams test their defence by attacking smartly even with little ball possession, the All Blacks tends to get rattled. Jonah Lomu was the best example of that. He was useless on defensive play and positioning and we used to exploit that very well as long as you have the guts to neutralize the attacking risk by defending like crazy.

    • Barry Smith

      Yes fully agree. The 36 points didn’t get on the board by themselves. There was some excellent attacking play as well! The difference last weekend was that we had the right measure of both!

    • Vossie

      Very true Sharky, but this requires time and patience, non of witch the SA Rugby public has unfortunately.

      • Sharky

        Yup. Bok supporters are impatient and expect to win every match. But sometimes long-term success requires short-term sacrifice. SA as a whole (and not just Bok supporters) don’t understand that. Just look at affirmative action. A better policy would have been to give black students a hand-up at getting into the top schools and universities. But that would have required 15 years to start showing results, so instead the government started pushing un- (or under) qualified people into positions. “Panem et circenses” as Juvenal said. The same is true of students protesting because they failed or because exams are too hard – there is no acceptance of the need to put in the hard yards and sacrifice to achieve a long-term goal.

        Now back to rugby. We have been disappointed and let down by the team for the last 3 years now. However that short-term pain/sacrifice hasn’t been due to the powers-that-be building towards something, it’s generally been due to incompetence and political meddling. That, like the 25 years that have passed since the 1994 elections, represents a huge missed opportunity. If AC had taken the initiative, stood up to the administrators, and used his time to build towards something bigger, we would definitely have been in better shape than we are now. Is that a criticism of AC? Maybe. But is is more of a criticism of the administrators and fans for not creating an environment conducive to sacrificing now in order to building for a better future.

  • Tobokani

    Defence is great and all but a team will lose more matches that it will win if it plays with only 30% territory and possession. This is compounded by the refs blowing in favor of the attacking team under the new rules as happened on Saturday although we can all agree that Nigel Owens took it too far. So it’s great to have good defence but pinning your game plan on it in this day and age is foolhardy.. Also we shouldn’t forget that Barrett missed three kicks he would goal 9/10 so as Rassie said, we got very lucky so let’s forget about basing a game plan on defence coz the game has moved on from the 2000s whether we like it or not

    • Herman Schroder?

      Finally a man on this site who knows what he is talking about. Tries made us competitive in the end otherwise the result would have been 34 – 3 to the AB’s and justified if you read the stats. Cheers.

      • John Comyn

        I hope you were at the game on Saturday where WP scored 65 points playing the Lions at their own game. Yep Hermie 65! carnage.

        • SweetAz

          LOL, —-here come the excuses, justifications and obfuscations.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Round Robin games are practices, playoffs are where they separate the men from the boys in this developmental competition. In real rugby the Lions didn’t lose a playoff match in SR over three years. That’s where we shine. Finals ? Oh well Jackass Peyper sorted us out there. lol. Cheers.

  • Deon

    Saturdays test reminded me of when the Shark’s played the Queensland Reds some years ago.( back in the John Plumtree era). I think it was the semi-final, and the Shark’s had just come off the long trip from SA.
    Like the Bok’s, they had hardly any possession, were pinned in their own half for long periods of time, had to defend like Trojan’s, and yet, to everyone’s surprise, they won. The only advantage of possession is that as long as your team has it, the opposing team cannot score. Success on the field is measured by how you use what possession you have, not by how much. A good example, look at the stats of the AB’s / Pumas game of the previous week.The Pumas dominated most of the stat’s, except the scoreboard.
    Last comment, I have often read/heard that defence wins tournaments. The rugby world is, I believe, preparing for most important one of all.

  • John Comyn

    Rassie said after the game the players are starting to get Nienaber’s defensive strategy. I just wish they will stop this habit of leaking tries in the 1st quarter. The most important thing to come out of this win is confidence. Beating England twice and the AB’s says a lot about this team.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Ist Quarter ? They leaked tries throughout the game, SIX of them. Cheers.

  • Nicko

    I get it but that thinking is also flawed. Problem with playing with only 25% of the ball is you’re making far more tackles than the opposition. We did it one game, can we do it week in week out? Eventually that will take it’s toll – no human, no matter how fit, can continue a 4:1 tackle ratio indefinitely without eventually breaking down.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Totally agree. Cheers.

  • Lawmaker

    Your best offence is defense. No matter how many tries you score you wont win a test match without a good defense. Look at the cheetahs they can attack well but don’t have a good defence so even when they score 30 points the opposition scores more. Anyway i have not watched a wc final that was decided by attack in the end attack will win you some matches but defense will win you a wcup just ask the boks of 2007 and 1995…

    • Herman Schroder?

      The best defence is offence actually. In a war setting you attack your opponents rather than defend to get the advantage. The AB’s use it every week and they win 96^ of the time. Having a good defence is a given in any match anyway but you need much more in modern rugby. The 96^ above should give you a clue. Cheers.

      • John Comyn

        Did not work for the Lions on Saturday!

        • Herman Schroder?

          See my post to you above. Cheers.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Sorry, should read 96% above. Cheers.

    • Dean

      Spot on. The last 2 Super Rugby tournaments have been won by the team that’s conceded the least points over the whole comp.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Wrong !! They also scored the most tries. Cheers.

  • Nick.

    If that was an essay Jake was writing for homework, He would probably fail.

  • Lawmaker

    Play rugby on the couch where you belong.
    No ball sense…

  • Greg Shark

    Where’s ol’ hermie….. how about that? a whole lot of ‘domkrag’ to pressure the AB, get in their faces and upset their rhythm and then the guile and some smart play…. helter skelter be damned….. play smart Bok rugby….

    Have said for a long time now that the way to beat the AB is pressure and get in among them to disrupt their rhythm…. now lets hope the Boks can keep that up!

    • Herman Schroder?

      Have just posted my ‘Epistle to the Dom Kraggers’, lol. Cheers.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Am busy with my response but in the meantime rather look at the Sharkies poor SR record these past years to see what dom krag produces. Cheers.

      • Dean

        Defense won us that game. Willie’s and Kolbe’s try were created through pressure from our defensive linespeed. Defense also kept the AB’s out for the final 20 mins especially when we only had 14 players on the field. If you argue with that then you are delusional.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Those two tries were opportunistic thanks to disrespect shown to us by the AB’s, unforced errors if you will. However we still scored three tries with ball in hand and that was the difference in the end. Defence can only take you so far. Cheers.

  • Dean

    To expand on what Sharky said above with regards to transitioning from attack to defense. I would like to add that it is also about which team copes with the pressure the best. We did well in this game that we put scoreboard pressure on the AB’s. We scored at the right times during the game to keep them honest and they were always catching up on the scoreboard. We all know Nienaber is a brilliant defense coach and that shone through in this game. Rassie’s tactics were spot on too.

  • William Botha

    I have been critical of the rugby journo’s in South Africa for the longest time … they bang away at stats, stats all day long, asking us to believe that the way you play today as a team has anything to do with what happened a year ago, or even more… I think this may stem from a gross misunderstanding of how a team functions and, in some cases, never having played rugby at any meaningful level.

    I was in the stands in Florence when Italy forced our noses so deep in the muck that it was difficult, if not impossible, to take a decent breath. The Italians surrounding me on the stand were apologetic after the game! They were sorry for me to have been witness to the Bok be buried by a blue minnow.

    But I knew we were going to lose before the game. During the warm-up it was apparent to anyone with at least one working optical nerve that the Boks were not ‘present.’ Passes falling to ground, errant, wayward kicks, shuffling exercises and WLR entering a faux-ruck ass-about-face with a smile on his face. All under the watchful eye of AC who did nothing. I would like to see a Bok try that in front of Rassie or Jake.

    I say this because the only true measure of a rugby team at this level is their attitude on the day. And when you see Mostert and PSDT and Whiteley and Beast bouncing up off the pitch and RUNNING to their positions after 78 minutes of hard All Black rugby and more than two hundred tackles, that’s a team that will win more often than not.

    And if you have to distil ‘attitude’ to a fine measure – “tackles made” must be up there somewhere… So. Yes, Attitude wins games and you measure it in defence.

    Now I wonder if anyone has access to the stats … our losses to Japan and Italy would be interesting reading.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Good read and spot on. That Whiteley track down of Perenara a definitive moment in the game. A try there and it was all over. Cheers.

  • Sue

    I couldn’t agree more.
    Look at the scoreboard.
    One swallow doesn’t make a summer but one Rassie made all us rugby mad supporters dream of glory again
    because he tapped into our unique laager mentality that makes us defy the odds with performances where the sum total of the parts by far exceed the individual talents …
    Rassie has in 4 months re-ignited the “gees” that made the Boks of old feared and respected legends.
    We can; and I’m going to stick my neck out and say will; make a major impact in world rugby over the next few years in world rugby with Rassie at the helm; our conveyor belt of talent hasn’t just evaporated or disappeared; it still spews out the gems like Nkosi; Willemse; Gelant and Dyantyi….
    We do however have to get our best 23 on the park asap if we want to seriously challenge for glory at WC ’19 though.
    Glaring shortcomings are the loose trio mix; the midfield and we’re thin in the back three…
    Good news is that we have the players that will polish Rassies framework into a formidable combo to strike fear into our opponents as in years gone by.
    So here is my pennies worth with coin toss alternatives if we had to play the ’19 WC final next month.
    Willie le Roux
    Amphiwe Dyantyi
    Jan Serfontein
    Frans Steyn
    JP Pieterson/Sbu Nkosi
    Handre Pollard
    Faf de Klerk/Cobus Reinach
    Duanne Vermeulen (c)
    Marco van Staden
    Eben Etzebeth/RG Snyman
    Lood de Jager
    Pieter-Steph du Toit
    Steven Kitshoff
    Malcolm Marx/Bismarck du Plessis
    Frans Malherbe/Coenie Oosthuizen
    Bench:
    Beast Mtawarira
    Marx/du Plessis
    Malherbe/Oosthuizen
    Mostert/Snyman
    Siya Kolisi
    de Klerk/Reinach
    Pieterson/Nkosi
    Damian Willemse/Warrick Gelant.
    My reasoning behind these changes to Rassies framework…?
    Firstly the midfield; the one glaring shortcoming that is hampering our attacking play.
    JP is an experienced and bulky; streetwise workhorse in the Franco Mostert mould with oodles of BMT and somebody to go to war with.
    Frans was our inside centre during the ’07 WC triumph and ’09 Lions/Tri nations triumphs and is only touching 30; a natural footballer with oodles of class; BMT and a prodigious boot.
    Serfontein is a late bloomer that was a world best junior; he has never let the boks down at outside centre and will be at his peak next year.
    Reinach is a “for like” scrummie like Faf but has a far more educated boot.
    Duanne is a no brainer as captain; he is currently our only true world class player; respected and feared by all his/our opponents.
    With Marco Jake will most definitely disagree with me.. A loosie in the Brussouw mould that last Saturday would have made our job so much easier on defence by slowing down the AB’s breakdowns and phases…enough said.
    Lastly our own; nearly forgotten icon; Bismarck…no explanations needed.
    All of life involves evolutionary change with time and we are experiencing an evolution in our game after just coming out of the doldrums..
    Class is permanent and the Boks are notorious in wasting their available talent because we have so many riches having to wait for their turn!
    We have the right players….lets use them.
    COSATO will have a complete nervous breakdown though..

    • Herman Schroder?

      Dom Krag 101 it will never work. Not a creator of tries in the entire team excluding Djantyi and Nkosi who rely on individual brilliance most of the time. Cheers.

  • Herman Schroder?

    First of all let’s get the obvious out of the way here, Jake is a dinosaur and so are the bulk of the posters on this site who are now hailing defence as the winner of all games. Most of the references to how it worked in the past are based either on the days when dom krag was king ( Jake ) and more recently when a team bucks the odds and pulls off a practically impossible win like the Boks did on Saturday. All of a sudden the exception becomes the rule. You are fooling yourselves folks.

    Defence when used as an offensive weapon is ok but not merely to keep the scoreline down which was the Boks original mindset imo. Apart from the horrendous stats conceded there were so many factors in this game that should have stymied the Boks under normal circumstances. BB’s implosion, interceptions, the ref ignoring an offside call in the last minute, etc, etc. The courageous defence is to be applauded but when we finally won I knew that this may well unduly dominate our thinking as THE way forward. Judging by the posts on this site I see it has already ‘affected’ quite a few.

    Sure we take it that the stars aligned for us the rub of the green favoured us for a change and even I had a tear in my eye when PSdT had his emotional moment. In addition a win over NZ in NZ is probably as good as it gets and I’ll take it no matter how it comes but we must be very careful not to lose sight of the reality of the situation.

    TRIES in the end was the deciding factor as brave as the defence was. For me it was the Jantjies / Whiteley / Dyantji moment that practically sealed the deal. Creative and inch perfect. Mallett said we needed to score 35 points to beat them and we did it with tries because desperate defence and penalties alone would not have done it. That 57-0 loss might well have been exceeded with those stats against us and if they are repeated at Loftus heaven help us.

    A good defence does create tries but then highly skilled players who can capitalize on it should be playing and I still believe we have not too many of them on the park. This may catch up with us as the next few tests unfold.

    Let’s face facts on any given day the AB’s would probably beat us. With those stats they should always beat us and beating them the way we did can only be considered an aberration, especially to them. However notwithstanding the valiant effort by the green and gold, Rassie seems fully aware of the challenges ahead and I just pray he doesn’t put all his eggs in the defensive basket as some are convinced he should. Sadly if he does it will mean that once more we will be falling into the dom krag trap.

    At Loftus we will need to outscore them by scoring more tries than they do so total rugby must be the game plan, defence alone simply won’t cut it again. Remember with that great defence of ours they still scored SIX tries and butchered a few as well. We are now past that dizzy lovely feeling of beating the old foe the euphoria has tapered off and now it’s a question of facing reality. Rassie’s first real test is still to come at Loftus so the best of luck to him and the Boks but let scoring tries be our motto. Cheers. .

    • Jeffrey Leigh

      C’mon guys! We give the ball away too often..1) too slow at continuity at breakdown, waiting for No9 to pick up
      2) senseless ?tactical kicking down oppositions throat 3) erratic line-out throw ins…no collective call! 4) offside too often at gainline especially the two centres 5) too deepkick-off allows opponents time to gather and move forward!!and 6) woeful missed tackles especially when they go wide!!! More discipline and fewer unforced errors and give-away penalties asseblief!! Op die Bokke ..”Vat Hulle Fanie”

    • SweetAz

      I dont agree with you Herman, It’s far too simplistic to label, it “domkrag, or “attack-minded” or “defensive rugby”. It’s all well and good to say you must score plenty of tries, BUT its HOW you find the way to WORK those tries. Let me explain, Rugby is about 2 things, SPACE and TIME. At any given moment in the game, you are trying to create it for yourself and to deny it to the opponent, the team that does it the most successfully WILL score the most tries. On Saturday the defensive effort was targeted on the weak links, Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett, they were denied time and space and because they could not handle it wild passes were flung and time and space moved to our side of the ledger. Now obviously there are a lot more nuances to all of this like getting your setpieces and your basic skills and execution right but I’ve been thinking about this ever since Arsetralia bundled us out of the RWC with hardly any possession, since then I have seen many games where the same things occur, even that 57/0 game in Albany for a large part of the game the stats were all in SA favour, the PUMAS/AB game 2 weeks ago same story, Argentina won everything except the game. Logically it would make no sense and some people talk about transitions and the “click” attack etc. I actually think there is no such thing, the AB’s are incredibly structured and everything they do is designed to create “pictures”, which are really just opportunities of TIME and SPACE. In fact, when they have the ball outside of those “pictures” they don’t know what to do with it, as we saw in large parts of the game where THEY were playing “domkrag”, simply because there was no picture they recognized or had managed to create.

      So, I’m not sure what the answer is but I don’t think we can rely on stats to win us games. We need artists who can draw innovative and original pictures,-Rassie has always been an innovative guy. I can tell you, here in NZ nobody really knows what the hell just happened and it worries the hell out of them. The answer may just be to GIVE them the ball and tackle them stukkend, LOL.

      • Herman Schroder?

        The AB’s have perfected time and space and have utilized it to win 96% of their games, both on attack and in defence. You like many others are still ignoring the fact that they shot themselves in the foot on Saturday. I know you are talking about a rush defence and not giving them time to make correct decisions but I can assure you they will anticipate this at Loftus and plan accordingly.

        Some of the obvious counters is chips and grubbers. Remember that quite a few of their moves were stifled by a defender rushing out of line and in three case managed to dislodge the ball. What normally happens is that when the rush defender is evaded it opens up the space for a shift pass to a support player and a walk in try. That happens in just about every game the AB’s play. As I said in my post you are making the exception last Saturday the rule.

        You know you can’t kick your way to victory against the top nations anymore. Look at the progress the Argentinians have made this year. From the forwards based game they now play total rugby and it works for them. Pardon my provincialism here but we scored only two tries on Saturday which involved passing. Of the six players involved five of them were Lions players who play the expansive game morning, noon and night. Because of that their instinctive skills were up for it. The Lions made three SR finals the other three ‘conservative’ Franchises have done nothing in that same period. They like the NZ teams back themselves to outscore the opposition with tries and not surprisingly the last three SR finals have been contested between the Lions and NZ teams. They also scored the most tries in the comp. The same for the AB’s in the RC, tries aplenty every year.

        Our problem so far has been a lack of overall skills and rugby nous. You need to play expansively as your go to game at all levels to get the skill levels up. Even this season lack of skills were the problem and it took two overseas players to rescue us in the first two England tests. Note not SR players.

        The AB’s have the winning blueprint and to beat them consistently it won’t be by giving them so much latitude to produce those stats, let them score six tries and then hope to beat them again, it simply won’t happen. Defence, tenacity, courage are all part of the equation but at the end of the day it’s tries that really count these days. Your idea about giving the AB’s the ball to run at you is suicidal just ask 96% of the people who played against them. Cheers.

  • Tobokani

    THE RULES HAVE CHANGED SINCE 2009..It seems people(springbok supporters) still fail to understand or acknowledge this.. Now the tackler has to release and come from the hindmost foot which tilts the balance 90/10 towards attack.. The all blacks have understood this and embraced it hence the win >90% of their matches.. Going back to “traditional springbok strengths” is stupid because the new rules render these strengths less effective.. Its no coincidence that the springboks win percentage has dropped by about 10-15% since 2009 and we are losing to teams that rarely beat us if ever.. It hasn’t helped that our last 3 coaches did not want to embrace these changes but instead kept going back to what they knew..We are now lucky because Rassie has always embraced innovation but playing total rugby is a process which will take time but in the long run it will benefit us immensely even if we lose a few along the way..
    Also the springbok pkayers’ fitness and conditioning is amazing this year, they always seem to end matches with plenty left in the tank and usually look like they can go for another 10 minutes whilst the opposition usually look dead on their feet.. So shout out to whoever is in charge of conditioning this year and maybe Allister Cortzee’s coaching indaba at the end of 2016 is beginning to reap dividends

  • Steven

    Good points. I don’t know why most supporters still want to put all eggs in one basket – either all out defense which allows the odd attack, or all out attack at the expense of defense. NZ do have it right with their balance. Saturday showed that we definitely, absolutely have the potential to get that balance too. Our defense was incredible and our attack showed tons of potential – yeah, all made possible by much better conditioning. If we do find that balance, we’ll be back at no.1 most of the time, purely because we do still produce the most talent at school level, despite all our problems.

Comments are closed.