White: Habana a weak link
Canberra - Jake White has expressed misgivings about the Springbok defence, highlighting Bryan Habana’s wing as a potential Achilles heel.
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Speaking from his RugbyXV website, White said he did not agree with the perception that the Springbok defence had shown an improvement.
“Much was talked about the Bok defence and the improvement we'd see, but I thought it was essentially the same standard as last year.”
White expressed the belief that although the Springboks had conceded only one try, he didn’t feel the Springboks were properly tested on the day.
“The Wallabies dropped many balls in contact on the first phase, which meant they didn't put much pressure on the Bok defence. Once that happens, then we'll see how the structure looks, once sides put a few phases together against them. In essence, they weren't tested.”
“When the game loosened up just before half-time when the Wallabies knocked on with the line beckoning, and during periods of the second half, the Boks were exposed badly. And it could've been worse, which is even more disconcerting,” White opined.
White said that the same errors were being repeated and pinpointed Habana as a leading culprit.
“Bryan Habana's wing has again been targeted. It's a lingering problem that has still not been solved. The Wallabies' try on Saturday again came on Habana's flank, and the Boks should be asking why most of the tries against them in recent times are on his side.”
“For Pat McCabe's score, simple hands to Habana's flank gave them the try, where the winger was absent,” White noted.
White gravely expressed the view that if the Springbok management continued to ignore the side's defensive deficiencies and failed to correct them, the World Cup outlook appeared bleak.
“Peter de Villiers said we won the game everywhere but on the scoreboard, and no wonder he's still optimistic and 90% sure we'll win the World Cup,” White said.