Rugby Championship

Bench cost Boks, says All Black

2015-07-20 15:34
Justin Marshall (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – The Springboks paid a heavy price for a “swathe of changes” off the bench after looking well set to beat Australia in Brisbane on Saturday, says New Zealand pundit and former All Blacks scrumhalf Justin Marshall.

Writing in his New Zealand Herald ( column on Monday, Marshall said the Boks “were very impressive and looked like they were going to annihilate Australia once they got into a lead”.

The Boks were eventually pipped 24-20 at the death after once commanding a 13-point advantage.

“Two things happened (to change the course of the match),” contended Marshall. “First they made a swathe of changes and, all of a sudden, their set-piece started to wobble and that was the start of their downfall.

“I thought the Beast (Tendai Mtawarira) was playing well, Jannie du Plessis was having one of his better games and Bismarck du Plessis was outstanding – why Heyneke Meyer replaced them, I have no idea.

“None of those players looked so fatigued that they couldn’t continue exerting the dominance they had been. So why sub them? Did the coaches not have a feel for the game? Are they premeditating that a certain guy can only play 60 minutes?

“When you take a player off, a substitute has to come off the bench and get into the game, which takes time ... those changes ultimately cost South Africa the game.

“Before those subs, (the Boks) were looking strong with ball in hand and had built a good lead, but then they reverted to their stereotypical kicking game: I think they probably would have kicked a dozen times to Israel Folau, and he kept catching it and Australia just kept attacking.”

Marshall said the Boks have some “really good” ball-players, like Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Handre Pollard, and that when they play “the way modern rugby is being played, they look unstoppable”.

But they drifted from that game-plan and allowed the Wallabies back: “Australia did not win that Test – the Springboks lost it.

“I really fear for South Africa if they continue to kick so much at Ellis Park (on Saturday) because the All Blacks will cut them apart.”


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Is Allister Coetzee the right man to coach the Springboks?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.