Rugby Championship

More 'crash and bash' from Boks?

2016-10-06 22:00
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Durban - A combination of selections and pre-match talk suggests that the Springboks are looking to grind out a result against the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday. 

With Jesse Kriel out injured, Bok coach Allister Coetzee has turned once more to Damian de Allende to wear the No 12 jersey as Juan de Jongh moves to 13. 

On Thursday in Durban, Coetzee spoke about De Allende's ability to run hard and straight at defences. 

He also labeled the battle of the gain line as crucial to success, spoke about it being a "game of inches", encouraged Morne Steyn to play his own game and described the set piece battle as one that the Boks simply had to win. 

When one further considers that Coetzee has opted for six forwards on the bench and just two backline players, it seems clear where the emphasis will be on Saturday. 

On the surface, it appears that the Boks will keep it close, looking to dominate the little battles while taking their opportunities through Steyn's boot. 

That was largely the case in last weekend's 18-10 win over Australia at Loftus, though the Boks would like to keep hold of the ball better than they did that day. 

Coetzee did say that he would love his side to have a crack with ball in hand as they did in the first half of their 41-13 loss to New Zealand in Christchurch last month, but the win at all costs mentality remains. 

The worry is that, if the All Blacks get significantly ahead quickly, the Boks won't have enough about them to chase the game. 

But, if all goes according to plan, they will look to stay as close to the world champions as possible for as long as possible while relying on Steyn to keep them ticking over.

"Morne Steyn has done a great job for us against Australia. He is an experienced player," Coetzee said of his flyhalf.

"I’m not going to force Morne Steyn to change his game. He understands what is needed. He understands that at No 10 we need to have sharp, quick decisions without any unforced errors. He’s been doing that."

The set piece, Coetzee said, simply had to function for the Boks to stand any chance. 

The lineout, in particular, has been a shining light of the Coetzee era so far while the scrums have also shown significant improvement.

"It (set piece) is always key to the outcome of any Test match. It starts there," said Coetzee.

"It's not about having the best game plan in the world … there won’t be a game plan if there is no set piece dominance.

"I’m happy with the strides that we’ve made. Our lineout success rate is really high and it's really pleasing."

All Black coach Steve Hansen is also expecting the Boks to look to rely heavily on Steyn's boot. 

But with more Bok kicking comes the increased risk of New Zealand attacks. 

The Boks must be as resilient as ever on defence, like they were for most parts of the win against Australia. 

One area of concern, defensively, could be the inclusion of Faf de Klerk at scrumhalf.

De Klerk was exposed badly in that loss in Christchurch, but Coetzee said on Thursday that he was confident in the abilities of the Lions man. 


South Africa

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 George Moala


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