South Africa can, when the Springboks play Australia in a Tri-Nations rugby match in Durban on Saturday, look to Danie Rossouw to provide the physical dimension that is missing in Bakkies Botha’s absence.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that this is the opinion of Tim Lane, who has served as assistant coach of the Wallabies as well as the Springboks.
Lane, who now coaches Georgia, on Monday attended the Australian team’s practice session at Bishops, where his son is at school.
Looking back to South Africa’s defeat against New Zealand here last week, Lane said, “I don’t know if the lock-forward combination of Victor Matfield and Andries Bekker worked.
“South Africa missed Bakkies. He gives them that physical dimension at contact points that you don’t get from Victor or Andries,” he explained.
“You often see Victor and Andries out wide. Maybe the Springboks missed someone such as Danie Rossouw. He can be employed at lock or No 8.”
Selectors have some thinking to do
The All Blacks dominated at breakdown points when they beat the Boks 19-0 last week and the SA selectors have some thinking to do before they choose their loose-forward combination for the Test in Durban.
“The breakdown points are the main worry,” Lane said. “The All Blacks got the better of the Springboks, probably by sending more players to the contact points, and with their technique.
“Defence-wise it was a brilliant Test for the first 50 minutes. It seemed the Springboks were fighting back but they just could not break through.
“They lost composure on the attack and their tactical kicking was off-target, for example when the ball was kicked over the dead-ball line. Those things won’t easily happen again.”
Lane does not think there are problems with the selection of the Springbok flanks.
“Schalk Burger is by far the best flank that South Africa can pick, and then maybe Juan Smith.
“I thought Joe van Niekerk did well earlier in the Tri-Nations. Pierre Spies is a good player and extremely athletic but I feel Joe did a little more.”
Lane was a member of the Australian team’s management when they last beat the Springboks in Durban. That was in 2002
He feels the Wallabies, under Robbie Deans’s coaching, can break the long drought in South Africa.
“The guys were very relaxed at training. One could feel there was a good spirit in the camp. That is important; you need it. There is enough pressure on Saturdays,” he said.
“But the Springboks will be hard to beat because they want to get back on their feet.”Tweet