Pretoria – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says inconsistency is the main reason for South Africa running the risk of being under-represented in the semi-finals of this year’s Super 14 rugby competition.
De Villiers finds it amazing how the SA teams blow hot and cold within the same 80 minutes.
Morris Gilbert reports for Beeld
”It happened again last weekend when so much good work was made undone by sheer ineptness,” De Villiers said on Tuesday.
He feels the worrying lack of inconsistency could be blamed only to a minor extent on the experimental laws being applied in the Super 14.
“It’s not the fault of the new laws that some of our teams are struggling to play with the same urgency and intensity for even 60 minutes.
“The experimental laws did force some teams to make a mind shift because they cannot now rely only on structure as the foundation of success.
“That’s where the problem lies. Teams that were accustomed to playing strictly within a structure also limited the inventiveness and independence of their players.
“I don’t think all our teams have made the necessary mind shifts. That is why they play such varying types of rugby in the same match,” De Villiers explained.
Rely more on instinct
“We’ll have to adapt better and more quickly to the challenges that the experimental laws have created. At the same time, players must be encouraged to rely more on instinct than on rigid prescriptions.”
The Springbok coach is also disappointed that some players are still trying to hide behind their coaches and are not accepting responsibility for their own mistakes.
He referred to the defence of the SA teams during the first six rounds. Only the Sharks (10-5) and the Stormers (10-8) scored more tries than they conceded.
“Defence wins matches and it goes hand in hand with the correct disposition,” De Villiers said.
The Bulls, the defending champions, have the worst defence record of all, having conceded three times as many tries as they have scored (25-8)
However, De Villiers said the Bulls had shown signs of brilliance in last week’s match against the Chiefs.
“It is encouraging. All they have to do now to maintain the same pace, urgency and intensity for at least 60 minutes is to believe in each other.”
It is unlikely that his pre-season prediction of three SA teams in the Super 14 semi-finals will come true but De Villiers remains encouraged by the fine individual performances that some potential Springboks produce week after week.Tweet