Important for Boks to have Plan B for Wallabies, says Lood de Jager
The seasoned Bok lock is expecting plenty of support from a big South African fan base in Adelaide.
Lood de Jager has been given the all clear to return to action. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
Seasoned lock Lood de Jager says it will be important for the Springboks to have a “Plan B” in future after the lineout wobbles suffered against the All Blacks in a Test in Joburg recently.
Just two weeks ago, and seven days after the Boks had bossed the All Blacks in the Mbombela Test, the visitors to South Africa dominated in the lineouts, to such an extent that rookie Boks hooker Joseph Dweba was removed from the action before half-time.
Dweba, who went straight into the starting team from outside the matchday squad after Bongi Mbonambi got injured, struggled in the time he was on the field and failed to find his lineout jumpers on too many occasions.
Malcolm Marx, who replaced Dweba, also found the going tough against the improved All Blacks, who went on to win the match.
Now, the Boks face the Wallabies in Adelaide on Saturday and De Jager says the biggest thing the players and management took out of their review is that the Boks need an alternative idea if things don’t go according to plan.
“Credit must go to the All Blacks … they had some good plans in the lineouts,” said De Jager. “The lesson learned is that we must have a Plan B if things don’t work out,” he added, defending Dweba, who’s been backed to start again against the Wallabies on Saturday.
“We’ve worked on being more versatile this week and look forward to the challenge.”
The Boks will hope their plotting pays dividends. They have struggled to win in Australia in recent years, with their last win coming back in 2013, in Brisbane. De Jager said it was hard to pinpoint a reason for the Boks’ woes.
“It’s a strange one. It’s not as if we ever underestimate them or treat them differently,” said De Jager.
“Maybe it’s the Wallabies’ different style of play.
“It’s good though to have fans back in the stands and there are lots of South Africans here in Adelaide so hopefully they’ll have a good impact on us this weekend.
“We’ve of course also got an opportunity to do something a lot of Bok teams have not achieved, and that’s to win here. We look forward to the chance in front of us.”
The match kicks off at 7.30am Saturday morning in South Africa.