The Springboks beat the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, finally getting a victory after three straight losses in the Tri Nations tournament so far. The Springboks will still remain rooted to the bottom of the Tri Nations log, and still a disappointing campaign after all.
So the Springboks managed to beat a B team of All Blacks, and the win will do them the world of good going into a World Cup campaign starting in three weeks’ time, but should we really get excited about what transpired yesterday.
Lets look at the facts other than the win achieved yesterday. In 160 minutes of rugby in South Africa, the Boks could not manage to cross the tryline. And to be quite honest, there were very few moments where the Springboks actually looked like scoring a try.
Now we all know that tries do not necessarily win you the World Cup, but it sure as hell helps to get there. Consider this, in the 2007 World Cup victory, South Africa scored 33 tries in seven matches, with an in form Bryan Habana bagging 8 of those.
Peter de Villiers was quoted as saying that Morné Steyn will be his first choice flyhalf for the World Cup, and that he had no doubt about this. It’s a shame that he did not put faith in his flyhalf all along, as the chopping and changing in this important position hampered the backline throughout the competition. His accurate kicking boot does not hurt the team’s chances either.
So what can we take from this victory, and what can be expected from the Springboks at the World Cup. If they can play at the same level as we saw yesterday, they will easily finish top of their pool and qualify for the quarter finals, after which it will become a little more difficult. They will have to step up a few levels as the tournament gets on, ask the All Blacks and Wallabies who both missed out on semi final spots in 2007.
At the end of the day, a victory over the men from New Zealand is a sweet one, whichever team is played, be it A, B or F, and the players needed this win more than anything else before the World Cup. We can only hope that the positives from this game be taken, the negatives worked on, and a well rounded performance be the end result at the World Cup. Go Bokke!Tweet