Cape Town - The Springboks have no intention of adopting a more conservative style for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks at Newlands, coach Allister Coetzee said on Monday.
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The Springbok class of 2017 has adopted an attacking mindset and it was on full display in last Saturday’s 27-all draw with the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.
A quick glance through the official statistics from last Saturday’s match suggests as much.
The Boks bossed the metres made (619m-438m), carries (141-95), defenders beaten (27-20), clean breaks (23-12), passes completed (198-116), offloads (22-15) and rucks won (83-58) categories.
But Saturday’s Test against the world champions will no doubt be much tougher and there have been calls for the Springboks to adopt a more conservative approach.
The Boks’ ball in hand strategy backfired in last month’s Test against New Zealand in Albany, when South Africa suffered the worst defeat (57-0) in Springbok history.
Coetzee addressed reporters at the team’s hotel in Cape Town on Monday afternoon and when probed on whether there was a need to tighten up against the All Blacks, the coach responded:
“No, I don’t necessarily think so. I think this game has moved on. You cannot just give the All Blacks ball on a platter. They’re a quality side. There’s not one way of beating the All Blacks. You’ve got to be unbelievably accurate, you’ve got to make sure that there’s not just one plan. We’ve got to make good decisions. You won’t beat them by just getting penalties, you have to score tries to beat any New Zealand team. We saw that in Super Rugby as well, so the decision making is the biggest thing.”
According to Coetzee, adopting a ball in hand approach has become part and parcel of the current crop of Springboks.
“Our game managers have spoken about that, there’s a ball in hand approach and one or two other things that we’d like to have a look at but our DNA with this team - that has been together for three months - is that you can see they’re comfortable with ball in hand.”
Meanwhile, the Boks also reported only one injury concern after the Wallabies clash.
Team doctor Konrad von Hagen confirmed that No 8 Uzair Cassiem had broken his ribs and will be sidelined for an extended period.
“It should not take longer than six weeks to recover. The rest of the guys have their normal bumps and bruises. But I’m glad to say the rest of them are ready to train this afternoon, so from a medical and conditioning point of view, we’re in a very good space,” Von Hagen said.