World Cup Rugby - 2015.10.06

Well, what’s to say? The Boks played well against Scotland and deserved their win. Their attack strategy is very obvious – feed off the scrumhalf and create second-phase through forward drives. This gets them over the advantage line, but what then? Pollard played well but his exaggerated use of the spin pass means he runs towards his centre when he passes to the right – led to an intercept try for Scotland. Thank God he dropped a goal. How long does it take to work out the obvious???

For the umpteenth time, everybody knows defence systems are superb in the modern game. Teams have a ‘defence coach’. So there has to be more than passing the ball along the line. Well, the Boks did employ J.P. Pietersen from the blindside and he scored. The All Blacks use Savea and Naholo in the same way. Where we are different is we don’t have enough options, or so it seems to me. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we’ll go on with the strategy we have, fine-tune some tactics and beat the likes of Australia and New Zealand. I sincerely hope so.

My apologies to Bryan Habana; there he was, on the left-wing, using a left foot grubber and a very good one at that. I’d have given a red card for the professional foul which prevented Habana from capitalising on his fine kick. Let’s see more of it. (I see he’s on the right wing against the USA.) I look forward to our match against the USA – see some of our ‘essential’ squad players get a run.

I still can’t get over the brilliance of the Wallabies against England. The latter did not lose, they were beaten, whacked! Foley is a very talented flyhalf and their loose forwards are amazing. The work-rate is breathtaking. On present evidence, I’d say the Wallaby backline coaches are the best around. Poor England: they did not lose. They were beaten, whacked! They have a great deal of talent but they have two serious problems – the absence of a quick fetcher and a captain, two in one, who makes odd decisions. The atmosphere in their dressing room must have been very gloomy. I hope their team spirit holds up under the pressure. (After the 2007 WC in France, Dellaglio (Sp?) and Catt rubbished their coach in a most disgraceful way. Perhaps this team has more character.)

I don’t know about anyone else, but, against Scotland, le Roux continued to disappoint me; poor kicking options and ineffective when joining the line. Burger was full of energy and running, along with his fellow flanker and No.8. It was good to see three good tries. De Jager and Etzebeth were in great form. Du Preez controlled things well but, along with Naas Botha, I would like the flyhalf to do more decision-making.  Foley does for Australia, Michalak does for France, Carter for NZ. Why are we hooked on this relatively new approach, basing nearly everything from the base of the scrum? Perhaps I’m missing something and we’re building up to something special, have some reserve ideas in the tank.

I’m running out of ideas, repeating my tactics, so enough for now.

Neil Jardine


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