Richard Ferguson

All attack and defence, but nothing else

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 23 Nov 2010 at 09:30
Tagged with : , , ,

The best thing one can do after such a demoralizing defeat is to look at what went wrong and to make sure it never happens again. Let’s have a look see at where it went wrong, and where it went right (Who would have though?).

The Boks had to make 92 tackles on the day and I was quite surprised to learn that they only missed one single tackle, Bakkies Botha being the man responsible for that blip. Considering how little ball the Boks had, I am gobsmacked that the tackle made does not read into the 150’s. The Sharks definitely have the best defenders around with Lwazi Mvovo and Bismarck each nailing 11 Scots. Well done boys! The man at the back Kirchner making one single tackle all day.

The running with ball in hand had improved greatly from the previous game considering the Boks gained 261m compared to the 177m of the Scots. It does raise the question as to what exactly we ended up doing with the ball. Kirchner was the main contributor of meters gained with 70m. The kick/pass/run stats of our halfbacks on the day are shocking with 14 kicks/ 53 passes/ 10 runs. That’s 14 times that we had the possession and decided to kick with little or no chance of getting the ball back.

Positives from a match like this is of very little consolation but is worth mentioning anyway:
The Boks had a 100% success rate in our own scrums as well as taking three of the Scottish scrums.

Other negatives to raise are:
The best lineout pair in world rugby somehow managed to lose 3 lineouts on the day.
We conceded 14 turnovers on the day.
And to top it off, we conceded 13 penalties. That’s one every 6 minutes.

In conclusion, we attacked better than the Scots, we defended better than the Scots, we just screwed up everything else.


  • Interesting

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.11.10 09:37:47 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • Rich,

    I will follow on what I mentioned on your rating thread.

    If players are not taught or coached to;

    a) Respect possession
    b) Learn how to identify, attack or create around defending players

    You are on a hiding to nothing.

    This has nothing to do with skills.

    It however has everything to do on how you think about the game of union.

    Change the mindset (forget player personnel changes) and you will change the way we play.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.11.10 09:42:41 by Morné Reply
    MornéTeam captain
  • @Morné (Comment 2) :


  • Comment 3, posted at 23.11.10 09:47:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Morné, not only that. I’ve gone on about this before: Our support running has got to be the worst in world rugby.

    When Hougaard chipped over the backline and Kanko gathered the ball he ran about 20 meters and not ONE backline player was on his outside to receive a pass. What happened? He got tackled and we ended up 50 meters back from conceding a penalty at the breakdown for holding on.

    Either Steyn and his backline were too slow to get there in time, they’re too stupid to understand support running or there was no communication between them that Hougaard was going to do the chip kick.

    You don’t see this with the AB’s or other good sides.

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.11.10 09:52:11 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
  • @rhineshark (Comment 4) :

    Some teams understand and appreciate the difference between watching the ball, and playing the ball.

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.11.10 09:53:17 by Morné Reply
    MornéTeam captain
  • Those stats show that individually we were not that bad, but that was the problem. It looked like 15 individuals out there all trying their own thing. Things dont work like clockwork on the field and players have to play the situation but there needs to be a general idea of what they are trying to do on attack and defense. I hav no problem with us kicking…but then kick with a purpose and chase the kick up hard and make the tackles. Its seems to me like we just kicked cos we didnt really know what else to do. And im afraid that problem lies squarely with Morne Steyn! He has to demand the ball and either hav forwards run off him or get the ball out wide. Rugby is a simple game..

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.11.10 10:28:44 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @rhineshark (Comment 4) : @Morné (Comment 5) : I also think that Kanko was never allowed to place the ball after he was tackled. It could easily have been a penalty for the Boks in front of the posts havn’t it been for Dickenson

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.11.10 10:37:23 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Morné (Comment 5) : @Morné (Comment 5) : You know the laws very well. What was your opinion about the penalty that Juan Smith conceded. It looked well dodgy to me.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.11.10 10:38:33 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) :

    Quite simply, it was a piss-poor call by Dickenson but I think if you ask him now, he will agree he got it wrong.

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.11.10 10:41:03 by Morné Reply
    MornéTeam captain
  • @Morné (Comment 5) : It isn’t rocket science, though.

    The few times that support players actually did their jobs the ball carriers stuffed it up.

    I remember specifically Kirchner making a nice break near the Scots’ 22 and Mvovo doing the right thing by cutting inside, only for Kirchner to kick the ball away without so much as a glance to either side.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.11.10 10:43:35 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : Agree, just one of the hordes of piss-poor decisions by Dickenson. Blowing up Juan for going off his feet when even Ray Charles could see otherwise was the worst of the lot.

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.11.10 10:45:13 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : I’m glad you agree with me on that Kanko penalty. It seemed incredibly harsh… Stuey seemed to blow the whislte the moment Kanks hit the deck

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.11.10 10:50:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    A few of those were bad – same with the one of Juan Smith – but all in all – the Boks should have been way up – so I do not “see” this bad reffing should have been a deciding factor! But ja – he was horrible..

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.11.10 10:54:43 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 (Comment 13) : no, don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming Stu for the loss – far from it.

    In fact, something I said (a little too loudly) on Saturday, when the Boks actually DID win a penalty – got me a look or two from the Scottish journos. “The thing with a lottery is that anyone can win!”

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.11.10 11:03:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :


  • Comment 15, posted at 23.11.10 11:05:09 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • Every time we managed to get that maul going, Hougaard kicked away possession. WTF?, you suck in just about every Scottish forward on the park after marching 30m towards the opposition try line and then kick away the ball. I don’t think there is any better platform to attack from and then they kick away the ball. Bad decision making, bad tactics, bad coaching – I think Morne is right, they need a serious attitude adjustment, when they run the ball they do it with absolutely no confidence that they can break the line and we have 2 really strong solid centres in that backline that should be making at least one decent break every game. They seem lethargic and someone needs to shake them up a bit. On Stu Dickenson – he was pathetic, but no one can really argue that Scotland was the better team on the day, they were pretty average themselves, but still better than the Boks.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.11.10 11:06:01 by MB1810 Reply

    Under 21 player
  • Now you see why I say that stats does not mean much to me when I watch a game or to the outcome of it… :oops:

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.11.10 11:08:41 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • Didn’t kanko perhaps take the wrong running line? He is faster than jdv an fs,ms.. But in the replay I saw aplon on the wing and another player(bissie?).. Should he not have looked to his left wing?re-visit the replay of the play in question.. Imo kanko did wrong by heading infield into a mass of scots degenders who converged on him..he was not gonna sidestep past 2,3 scots in those stepping slows you down (unless you jason robinson!!),so from bout 50m or so out,perhaps he should have chosen a runnikg line BACK towards support players on the inside ,or trief to get the ball in aplon’s hands

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.11.10 12:40:40 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
  • Jikes ,typing terribly on mobile..sorry fellow bloggers

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.11.10 12:42:24 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
  • i think that our 3 biggest problems v the scots were…

    no game plan
    no execution
    kicked away way to much ball

    we camped in their 22 and their half and didnt use the ball wisely…we went side to side but didnt do the number 1 rule in rugby…go forward!!!

    we should never ever lose to the scots (even if they have a cool anthem) and we have only ourselves to blame…

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.11.10 13:28:58 by Barrel Reply

    BarrelUnder 21 player

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