Richard Ferguson

Thanks for listening, Scotland

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 18 Jun 2013 at 08:40
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Last week I wrote a preview on the Springbok clash with Scotland where I mentioned a few things that I would have liked to see in the match. It seems only Scotland saw the memo and truly gave us a run for our money.

I asked for a competitive match instead of a one-sided whipping, and we sure got that. Scotland seemed hell bent on beating us on Saturday, and we were lucky to walk away with the win in the end. If the Scottish finishing was a bit better, they could well have ruined a perfect Saturday afternoon.

As for the requests put to the Springboks, we were left disappointed. There was no domination up front, where our front row took a hammering. They seemed to lack the bite that their opposition had, putting the rest of the pack and the backline on the back foot from the start.

This was not specifically mentioned but rather assumed, a dominant line-out performance. Again, the communication between Strauss and his locks was woeful, counting at least two throws that were lost. Not a good sign if this is a preparation series for more serious matters to come later in the year.

It is a shame that Arno Botha went off so early in the match, but what a performance from Siya Kolisi. One has to wonder whether we would have seen that from the young Botha had he not left the field. Something of a blessing in disguise, as Kolisi shone while Marcell Coetzee got lost. Coetzee, who got a chance to prove he should start, only gave coach Heyneke Meyer more reason to start Francois Louw again next week.

I really thought Ruan Pienaar would listen, not only to us here on Sharksworld, but surely it would have been a clear instruction as well, to give speedy service. He struggled, in no small part thanks to a lack of loose forwards at the breakdown. Even with good coverage and protection to get the ball away, he seemed unsure and got himself tangled up. Piet van Zyl, although on for a short period, got decent ball away, but that could well be attributed to both Bismarck du Plessis and Coenie Oosthuizen being on the field.

With everything mentioned so far, one would not expect our backline to function at all. Simply put, they didn’t. The Boks struggled to get over the advantage line, partly due to a lot of the ball getting kicked away. When we did get the ball down the line, the Scottish defence was on us and we were often caught behind the advantage line. This was clear as Willie le Roux struggled to stamp his authority on the match, simply as he had no front foot ball to work with whatsoever.

The Springboks won the match with a thirteen point margin, which is a deceiving score. The Boks played in a similar fashion to how the Scots played in their first match against Samoa, looking undercooked and unsure of a game plan.

One thing that we can be thankful for is that the Boks got an early warning. It would have been much worse had we beaten each of these three teams convincingly only to realise what we are doing is not working against the All Blacks, Argentinians or the Wallabies. Meyer now has another match and a further month to get back to the drawing board and iron out the inconsistencies in the team.


  • Yup, agree fully!

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.06.13 08:53:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Next up: Samoa!
    Its going to be another hard matchup by the look of things. Very physical.

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.06.13 08:58:23 by SteelShark Reply
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  • Bismarck was quite the busy fellow, he did more in his few minutes than some in the entire game.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.06.13 08:59:53 by SteelShark Reply
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  • The forwards never did their work. that was the biggest problem, when Bissie and Coenie came on they made the hard yards upfront and that essentially made the difference between we winning or losing.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.06.13 09:01:38 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Etzebeth for all his aggression ,size and strength does sweet f’all in terms of cleaning at the rucks. Spies had one of his better games but he was anonymous at the breakdown and one would have thought if not Kruger then surely he could have taken charge of the line-outs. Don’t even get me started on Kruger ,whoever opts for his name week in and out deserves an axing.

    I worry for when we meet the Kiwis .We should always strive to set the pace in world rugby and ever since Meyer was appointed im not sure we are any better than England ,Wales or Ireland…

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.06.13 09:49:12 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 5) : Well we all know how many years of permanently working with the Bulls it took HM to turn that ship around.

    We thought JW’s 4 year plan was painful, welcome to HM’s 8-10 year plan. Worst of all, he’s trying to implement his 2001 Bulls blueprint with the Springboks, which means that by 2023 we’ll be playing 2001 rugby. 🙄

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.06.13 10:15:01 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 5) : I think Eben is under instruction to stand off and then carry the ball on the next phase.

    Also think Piet wasn’t all that, looked like he was trying a bit too hard

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.06.13 10:16:43 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : The worrying thing is the damage being done is also being done at u20 level; seeing our baby Boks are being introduced to this rubbish.

    @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 7) : Piet? I hope that is the case…

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.06.13 11:24:17 by Talent Reply
  • Boks are heading for an annus horribilis with the way we are playing.

    The real concern for me is that our coach has publicly stated before that he doesn’t believe in a Plan B; just executing Plan A very well.

    So what happens if you don’t execute Plan A well?

    You become pickings for Scotland C’s…

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.06.13 11:58:31 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • That line “The Boks struggled to get over the advantage line, partly due to a lot of the ball getting kicked away” pretty much sums up why I don’t watch Bok rugby anymore.

    If I wanted to watch a sport where the object was to put foot to ball I’d watch football. That way I’d get my fill of primadonnas as well.

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.06.13 12:56:05 by Butchie34 Reply

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