Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
9 Nov 2016
10:34 pm

Boks on the road to nowhere?

Rudolph Jacobs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee opted to hold the team’s training sessions mostly covered in secrecy this week in London.

Their Test against England could be defining with many previous Bok coaches being fired for much better results.

And if Coetzee decides on Thursday to keep on ignoring breathtaking centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg or, even worse, retaining Bryan Habana whose past heroics just doesn’t guarantee his presence in the current team being at least three years past his prime.

“I was worried about the manner in which we turned over possession last week against the Barbarians and if you do that against any Barbarian side you actually help their cause,” admitted Coetzee.

“The draw was a type of kiss your sister thing but I was encouraged by some of the youngsters.”

Coetzee however hinted that Elton Jantjies probably blew his opportunities and indicated that Pat Lambie should be the go-to man at flyhalf.

“I was a bit disappointed about the many mistakes, but important for us Pat Lambie had his first outing at flyhalf since the opening test in June against Ireland.”

“So from that point of view I was really pleased that the guys could fight back and eventually they could’ve won it in the end.”

Coetzee however admitted the loss of breakdown specialists like Francois Louw, Jaco Kriel, Marcell Coetzee and lately Roelof Smit were a massive blow.

“I was also not happy about the breakdowns, our contact skills let us down a bit, so that’s an area where we need to work on, but other than that, the fight-back, the youngsters in particular were very good, I was very pleased with that and we scored some brilliant tries as well.”

Having said that Coetzee will probably fall back on his conservative team selection policy while Willie le Roux at fullback will only compound the Boks defensive headaches.

“Hopefully the mindset of Test match rugby will return on Saturday and that’s what we hoped to have seen last weekend, but the biggest mistake we made was to entertain and try to play the way the Barbarians did.”

“This weekend will be a completely different challenge altogether especially starting up front in  the pack of forwards and I know our players will be up for that, we have to be really accurate in terms of our set-piece and then our defense, you can’t afford to let front-foot ball be recycled that quickly, there’s a couple of work-on but we know exactly what we need to do.”