Springboks

Coetzee: Scrap scoreboard in junior rugby

2016-10-21 14:03
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has acknowledged that he got carried away at the start of his tenure in an attempt to play running rugby. 

The Boks looked to move the ball almost immediately as they started out with a three-Test series at home against Ireland back in June, but as the weeks rolled on Coetzee began to encourage more of a traditional style as the Boks struggled.

By the home Rugby Championship clash against Australia on October 1, Morne Steyn was back in the No 10 jersey. 

Now, after two days of reflection in the form on a national coaching indaba, Coetzee has admitted that it was short-sighted to expect the Boks to simply play expansively.

"We’ve been looking at this ball in hand game so much that we actually neglected our defensive structures, in a way," Coetzee said on Thursday.

"That is what we have been before – strong in defence, using the defence to turn the ball over and maybe counter-attack from there.

"But now with this whole hype of having to run the ball ... there needs to be even spread and we need to make sure that we have a good attack and a good defence as well." 

Coetzee is looking for balance and he has encouraged South African rugby to rely on its proven traditional strengths - defence, physicality and strong kicking - as it looks to evolve.

The skills need to be enhanced from a young age, Coetzee says.

As a result, the Bok coach has a rather bold suggestion.

"There is another forum that will meet to address our youth rugby. The first thing that must be taken away from U-13 Craven week is the scoreboard," Coetzee said.

"(Right now) It’s about winning, it’s not about having to showcase a skill set."

Coetzee added that poor tactical kicking had let the Boks down so far.

"The big thing about style of play and what happened in Rugby Championship was that we couldn’t win the territory game," he said.

"Our kicking execution was really poor and because of that we had to kick more and couldn’t get in the right areas to run the ball.

"We made so few passes ... we need to keep the ball in hand more."

Coetzee said that, regardless of philosophy, kicking would always be a crucial part of the game for any rugby side, again pointing to the All Blacks, who he felt kicked more than most sides.

The Boks are off the to northern hemisphere next, where Tests against England, Italy and Wales await next month.

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