In the aftermath of the Brisbane test there has been a lot of advice given to the Boks, from drop John Smit, move him to hooker, not a tighthead’s backside to change the wings, bring back Steyn, Odwa has no pace, and of course the inevitable it’s the refs fault. Whilst both Bryce Lawrence and Wayne-I owe the Kiwis one- Barnes made very strange decisions to say the least, were they the cause of the Boks’ downfall?
The Boks won under Lawrence but he did give the scrum a working over, pinning both Beast and Smitty and also the Aussies-he also pinned every front row player in the world, cos unfortunately Bryce hasn’t got a clue, but I digress – and whilst Barnes causes doubt in the mind of the front row, it’s not the reason for the defeat. The use of Ruan instead of Frans at fullback is a horses for courses policy-it worked once-and Frans will be fullback against the AB’s.The conspiracy theories have also started fuelled by “wonderful” writers on website and papers that specialize in this form of journalism. Personally I reckon they wonder too much and write their articles after bad pizza!! Again I digress
So what went wrong? Yes we were flat and we made stupid mistakes-one try off a stupid mistake and we dropped one through wrong option taking and there was another we missed with a knock on. In a game like this these things happen and planned moves that are practiced on the field-like Habana’s second try in Perth-seldom come off in the game and when they do it is great. So what happened? Why did our scrum suddenly implode? And us get beaten?
The answer for me is simple there are 3 reasons
- The Aussies were better than us on that day. They beat us to the breakdown by playing 2 fast men to the ball and ran us ragged knowing that the humidity and travel would hamper the Boks in the latter stages
- The use of the bench: yes Habana’s injury was at a bad time for us and created a weakness. But the subbing of Bakkies left the scrum exposed. One man can make a difference-even if its only in the head! In every test when Bakkies has gone off the scrum has struggled and Deans spotted this The Aussies used every trick in the book from then onwards and gained ascendancy in the scrums This is an area that PDV needs to brush up on – remember the bench won us the World Cup.
- Running from within our own half Yes we nearly scored a try from it but we also let in 2. How different would it have been if Adi had kicked the ball to touch beyond the 22 instead of trying to run it out and then being forced into a Hail Mary pass?
All in all these are little things a tweak here and there and it will be all right on the night. Remember this team is not the finished article but a work in progress that is strong enough to take the Tri-Nations trophy.Tweet