In a game where there is nothing riding on the result for the Emerging Boks, and when I can’t recall us retrieving one up and under, what was the point of all the kicking?
I thought this was about playing running rugby. And yes, it might have been storming, but you can’t constantly test Northern Hemisphere players under the high ball, especially if they catch 90% of them.
When you give away 100% of your possession and regain 10%, then that is a stupid tactic. It’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
From that aspect, a severely disappointing showing.
Other disappointments were the scrums or the constant penalties emerging from them. Not being a front-rower (or rugby player of any class in general) I can’t comment on what was going wrong there. A disappointment nonetheless.
I thought SuperSport felt obliged (or forced?) to give Earl Rose top marks, but I have to say he was woeful in general. At one stage he had made 3 tackles: 1 made, 2 missed. He may have been playing to coaches orders to kick, but he is no Springbok, nor is Kirchner.
On the positive side, thought Sykes stood out at lock and certainly would have given the Bok coach food for thought – one hopes. His work at the setpieces and around the field was massive and I’d say he outclasses Andries Bekker by some distance.
Deysel was massive but quiet in the second half before being subbed – Botes came on, did his bit, I thought one of his better games in what has been a relatively quiet year for him. Vulindlu got little ball, looked good but I think he is still some way off the polished article and given time, may well become really good – I must admit I was a little taken aback at his selection – not that it was undeserved, but that he had a fairly limited Super 14 and possibly others might have had more argument for inclusion.
He got little ball thanks to the incessant kicking!
Overall, I felt it was a bit flat and would have liked to see the ball in hand more than in the air. But a good result nonetheless and another psychological strike for South Africa ahead of this weekend’s crunch series decider.Tweet