Jean defends his tactics

2014-11-10 13:02
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has defended his decision not to opt for kicks at goal in the first half of their 29-15 defeat to Ireland in Dublin at the weekend.

With the Boks trailing 6-0 in the 25th minute, they won a penalty after completely demolishing the Ireland scrum. However, instead of taking three points, De Villiers opted for an attacking lineout five metres from the Irish tryline. From the ensuing maul, Ireland won a turnover and a scrum.

The Springboks won another penalty from the subsequent scrum, but again opted for a lineout. A superb counter-drive from Ireland then led to a knock-on from Bok scrumhalf Francois Hougaard. Ireland escaped from that period of concerted Bok pressure without conceding points.

Marcell Coetzee's try in the second half did come after the Boks had again turned down three points, but at that stage they were chasing the game at 13-3 down.

De Villiers, in an interview with Netwerk24, explained his decision to not opt for posts.

"We believed in our ability to execute driving mauls. On three occasions we opted to not kick for posts, which could have given us 9 points. We scored a try from one, which gave us 7 seven points. The difference is only 2 points. Would it really have made a difference? I'm not sure," said De Villiers.

However, one man who feels it did made a difference was Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

"We took a lot of confidence from the fact that we successfully defended our line when the Boks opted against taking 3 points and go for 5 or 7 instead by kicking for the corner. It allowed us to stop the Boks for the entire first half. They probably had a good platform to attack from on five occasions," said Schmidt.

Read more on:    springboks  |  jean de villiers  |  joe schmidt  |  rugby

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