Rugby World Cup 2011

Zondagh backs Bok blueprint

2011-08-25 22:05
Deon Davids, Alan Zondagh and Chester Williams

Cape Town - Former WP and Saracens coach Alan Zondagh says the Springboks should stick with the game plan they employed against the All Blacks in order to successfully defend their World Cup crown in New Zealand.

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The Boks beat the New Zealanders 18-5 in their Tri-Nations Test at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Despite being labeled by many as a "rugby-romanticist" due his willingness to follow an attractive, attack-oriented style, Zondagh feels the Boks' conservative approach of kick, chase and defend will stand them in good stead during the tournament.

"The question is just whether the Springboks can maintain the same intensity consecutively during the quarter-final, semi-final and final," Zondagh told Die Burger newspaper.

"I have through the years always been talked about as being a romanticist about the game, but that's not what the World Cup is about. You are going there to win and it doesn't matter how. Will anyone talk about your style of play if you win the tournament?"

Zondagh feels no team would have beaten South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

"The Boks had to win to go into the World Cup in a positive frame of mind and it showed they can do it on the day. They did not want to lose.

"That's one thing about South Africans - if you force them with their backs to the wall, they will put up a fierce battle. It's in our rugby's DNA," said Zondagh.

Zondagh has run a rugby academy, the Rugby Performance Centre (RPC), for the last seven years.

It's focus was to develop talented players, who failed to break into representative teams at an early stage, into top professionals.

However, financial difficulties have forced Zondagh to shift the focus of the centre for next year. From 2012 the centre will be a base for coaching clinics and camps.

The RPC has produced top players like WP scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage, SA Sevens captain Kyle Brown, Lions captain Josh Strauss and EP Kings fullback, SP Marais.


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