Visagie cautions Boks
London – England may fall into the potentially deadly trap of trying to play too much rugby against the Springboks on Saturday.
That is the view of former Springbok tighthead prop Cobus Visagie, who is the managing director of the UK Springbok Supporters Club.
“The big danger in the way the game is played these days is to play too much rugby. England will believe in their ability to play expansively and may concede turnover possession,” Visagie told Sport24.
“I believe England have a good team, but still make a lot of mistakes that we can exploit. The important thing is to use the turnover possession well.”
South Africa this week emphasised good execution in the build-up to the game.
Apart from effective use of turnover possession, Visagie would also like to see Morné Steyn get the Boks in better positions on the field and that England’s ball is slowed effectively at the breakdowns.
“It’s a problem that South Africa don’t play for field possession. I don’t know why Morné does not play the same kind of game that he does at the Bulls. Perhaps he’s playing under instructions. The question is whether we will get better field position this weekend,” said Visagie.
“I also think South Africa miss Heinrich Brüssow. You need an openside flank that can slow the opponent’s ball. We have to be able to slow England’s ball so that the defence can be more aggressive. South Africa allow teams to build phases against them too quickly and that is why the defence is struggling.
“Our opponents know that we are quite limited in our approach. It appears as if we don’t believe in the ability of our wide players to recycle the ball. South Africa have lost quite a lot of ball out wide in the recent past.”
Visagie had positive words about the Boks’ scrumming and even believes England are a little over-rated in that area. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers this week described England as the best scrumming side in the world.
“England are very solid on their own ball, but Andrew Sheridan (loosehead prop) has never had a strong game against a top quality tighthead. England are not as good on their opponents’ ball,” said Visagie.
“The Boks’ scrumming on this tour is the best I have seen it over the past eight years. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but the basics are better than in the past.
“There were poor scrumming decisions against South Africa against Scotland. It was clear that Scotland’s loosehead prop (Allan Jacobsen) did not want to bind.”
While initial predictions for snow were yesterday revised to partly cloudy, Visagie does not believe a snowfall will be as disruptive as rain if it transpires.
“The snow will be nothing because the field is covered beforehand. It will just be very cold and the field will be hard.”