Springboks

Matfield: Can Boks marry differing coaching philosophies?

2017-04-07 10:29
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Legendary lock Victor Matfield says it will be interesting to see how differing coaching philosophies are brought together in the Springbok camp.

Matfield was commenting after confirmation earlier in the week that Brendan Venter would join Allister Coetzee’s Springboks on a consultancy basis.

Venter will be the team’s defence and exit strategy specialist.

“I think he (Venter) has been very successful, we’ve seen the success at Saracens. And that’s something he started there,” Matfield said on SuperSport's First XV programme on Wednesday night.

Franco Smith is the Springboks' backline coach and the Cheetahs mentor is known for adopting a free-flowing attacking brand of rugby.

According to Matfield, Venter has a different philosophy and the former Springbok said a balance between the two would need to be found.

“I think for South African fans who all want to see this expansive game plan... if Brendan gets his way, we won’t see that,” Matfield said.

“I think he believes in a very strong kicking game with a very good defensive line, and a very strong line speed as well. And then, off the back of that, he’ll play off turnovers. He won’t go and play out of his own territory, because you can’t defend turnovers and he wouldn’t want to give away turnovers. He likes to put pressure on other teams, get turnovers and then play from that."

Matfield continued: “It will be interesting because Franco Smith’s got a total different way of thinking. He wants to play out of his own half, he wants to have width on attack, he loves long kicks where Brendan is all about contestable kicks, getting to the player, putting the pressure on and try and force turnovers...”

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