The Boks walked away from the year end test matches with 3 wins and a loss.
But how did they really fare taking a few factors into account.
The Boks walked away with the narrowest of wins but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The team only got together a week before this game so the time to get the combinations to gel wasn’t ideal. Ireland had this same problem and it showed in the performance for three quarters of the game. The biggest factor in the game was the Ireland subs. They took huge gambles and luckily for them their bravery paid off and they got right back into the game and almost won it. However, on another day the ball could have bounced the other way and we would have won by 15pts. So whilst the Boks were not amazing in that game, they were a lot better than they have been given credit for.
The Boks again walked away with a narrow win. Wales are a lot better team than a lot of people give them credit for. They have a lot of quality players but they are not sure how to win games having been on the losing side for so many years.
Both teams flattered to deceive in this game. Both mixed the superb with the very ordinary. Wales were very good in the opening half and the Boks did well to keep the score within touching distance as it could have got ugly. In the second half the Boks just looked they were going to take hold of the game as a result of a clever substitution but then they brought on all their subs and the good work was undone as the combinations were unsure of each other and their roles. At the end of the day the Boks did extremely well to edge out a win as Wales played really well!
This game is pretty easy to sum up. The weather was horrible and the Boks looked like they had not prepared to play in the pouring rain. They had seen the All Blacks run in tries from everywhere and were waiting for the sun to come out so they could do the same. The sun never came out and the Boks never played. Scotland were also garbage too. I thought the ref had an absolute shocker but the Boks cant complain as they were even worse than his reffing! Quite simply the Boks did not pitch up and the Scots were the best of two bad teams on the day. To say this game defined the whole year is a bit harsh as even Superman has bad days, nobody is perfect and we need to remember that. It still hurts that it was Scotland though.
The Boks won quite convincingly and if CJ Van De Linde had passed the ball 10 seconds earlier the score would have been even bigger. Does this result mean that the Boks are now brilliant? England were bad in that game. Their forwards didn’t seem keen to put up much of a fight and the England backs have always been very average unless they have heaps of front foot ball. Just like the Boks were waiting for the sun in Scotland, I think England were waiting for the rain. Of all the games on tour the England game is the one we should be concerned about. The Bok forwards did extremely well but their link play with the backline and the backline in general looked like they had not trained together. Taking a comment from a Rugby365 article…the Bok backline looked like they has not been coached to do anything than just play as they see it which is a trait of Dick Muir. It is all well and good to just let the guys play but there must be a plan.
3 wins out of 4 is a good return from the end of year tests. Yes the All Blacks won all their games, but they did not play 1 game in the pouring rain! The Boks were missing quite a few players that would normally start or at least bench so they did not have their number 1 team as the All Blacks and Australia did. The best thing to come out of this tour would be if the coaching staff learnt from the mistake made. If that isn’t the case then the tour is a failure of epic proportions!