KSA Shark ©

Juan Smith agrees Boks have it wrong

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 21 Aug 2008 at 22:09

Experienced Springbok flank Juan Smith agrees with the widely held view that the problems at the breakdown in last week’s big defeat to the All Blacks were the result of failure to commit sufficient numbers to the recycle points.

Gavin Rich writes for SuperRugby that with Springbok coach Peter de Villiers committed to a game where he wants the players to remain on their feet and operate as ball carriers, there is a growing perception that this has led to too many players standing off when a movement is held up.

And while many fingers were pointed at Schalk Burger last week, and Luke Watson in the first half of the Argentina match, Smith believes this is unfair.

“Every coach has his particular style and we are playing the way the coach wants us to play, but the breakdowns have been a big problem,” said Smith, who is one of several South African players struggling to produce the form under the new style that he did as a matter of course when Jake White was coaching.

“We run into gaps, and we have shown that we have the capability to score tries, but I feel that if we are going to win matches then we are going to have to commit players to the breakdown a lot more than we are at present.

“We have lost important possession at crucial stages of the past few games, and it has cost us. We just haven’t been at our best at the breakdown, and are going to have to be more direct and get more numbers there.”

Smith, who played his 50th test for his country at Newlands last week, agreed that there is a bit more pressure than usual building up to Saturday’s Tri-Nations showdown with Australia at Absa Stadium in Durban.

The Boks have to win to regain some of the pride lost so far in a season which reads played four and lost three against top opposition, and they have to score four tries if they are to have any chance of winning the Tri-Nations, something that should have been an expectation rather than a hope in this year where they started as world champions and the other teams are rebuilding.

“There is definitely quite a bit more pressure this week, especially after the loss last week. It is not a good experience to get no points in a game and the guys want to make up for that,” he said.

Smith finds himself in the unusual situation on Saturday of having to cover lock, with two loose-forwards finding a place on the bench in the form of Luke Watson and Joe van Niekerk.


  • Oh boy, along with Jean de Villiers, Juan now are critizising PDV’s new style of play. Mind, I have maintained that we will be killed come breakdown points, and that has happened and will continue to happen, unless this latest outbreak of criticism happen to have a positive effect.

    That, however, are not likely to be the case, for all this are happening in the media and are bound to turn ugly. Let’s hope not!! 😮

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.08.08 07:32:15 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • Shut up Juan Smit and just do your part @ the breakdown that seems to be non-existent…. 🙄

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.08.08 07:51:43 by Charlie Reply
  • @Charlie (Comment 2) : agree. Who the f*ck does this dumb hick think he is? Get in there and do your job, you lazy sh*t.

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.08.08 08:13:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I hope these guys have learned that if plan A doesn’t work they need to adapt and come up with another plan. Don’t tell me we have robots who only play according to a pre-determined gameplan and have no ability to adjust to the conditions in the fiels of play.

    Excuses! Cut the unforced errors and then we’ll see if the plan doesn’t come together…

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.08.08 08:16:33 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 4) : dude – did you get my mail re your FL changes?

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.08.08 08:22:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : 😳 Oops…will go and check now…

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.08.08 08:41:48 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Sorted 😎

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.08.08 08:59:24 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!

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