Like every other Springbok rugby fan I was bitterly disappointed with our 15-27 loss to Australia in Durban on Saturday. Back-to-back defeats on home soil , particularly against these opponents, was always going to be hard to stomach writes Jake White.
Jake White writes on his blog that with the match at King’s Park coming straight after the defeat against the All Blacks at Newlands the previous weekend, many of us, myself included, expected to see our guys bounce straight back. Unfortunately this was not to be.
As I have always maintained, the Australians have a great defence which serves them well in tough matches such as these. Of course that does not in any way excuse the fact that we went three halves, without scoring a single point, before Butch James broke the drought.
That statistic alone has to tell us that things are not going according to plan and we need to adapt ourselves accordingly. While much has been made about the style of play the new coaching staff are using I don’t believe that this is the be-all-and-end-all of the equation. They are acutely aware of the fact that they have to employ a style which is best suited to our players.
However at times like these, we need to play to our strengths which means using our forwards to dominate and create sufficient good field position and possession to improve our chances of scoring.
Rugby is a simple game and ever since cavemen first started tossing eggs around two things have remained constant – big dominant forwards and field position. We need to be playing in our opponents half far more often than we are doing at the moment.
This is a very special group of players with far too much talent not to succeed. We must however find a way to start bringing out the best in them sooner rather than later. In turn the players themselves must stick together as a group and answer the tough questions that are being asked of them right now.
Most importantly people must stop panicking and making matters worse. This is a time for calm heads in terms of preparation, team-selection and game plan. Fortunately we have the opportunity to turn things around on Saturday.
If our guys give us 80 minutes of their best the chances are we’ll be back on the winning trail.
That will be a good start.Tweet