Tri-Nations

Jake bemoans Bok fitness

2011-08-15 13:15
Jake White (File)

Canberra - Jake White has expressed concern about the Springbok coaching staffs’ management of players after their Tri-Nations loss to the Wallabies in Durban.

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Writing on his RugbyXV website, White said he had misgivings about the level of fitness of the Springboks.

“Their match fitness could've been excused in not playing in a while - which was the coach's choice - but their general fitness also isn't good enough.”

White, who was often criticised during his tenure for picking players on the basis of size and athleticism, said that fitness was vital to the Boks’ Rugby World Cup cause.

“The fittest teams have historically won the World Cup, and that's not a good omen for these Boks. You just have to look at footage of these players in 2007 and compare that to now. You can just look at the body types of the players to notice the difference,”

White also criticised the Bok management’s use of the bench.

“The substitutions were poor. It was unfair to move John Smit to tighthead late in the game.”

“With Gurthro Steenkamp on the bench and Jannie du Plessis's fitness not being backed, it was always the plan to move Smit there,” White suggested.

“It was surprising the Boks didn't realise beforehand what an impact that would have, as Smit has previously struggled against Australian scrums,” White noted.

White said that the Bok management were in denial about the extent of their team's shortcomings.

“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 observed.

White’s personal outlook was far less optimistic.

“It's the first time in 40 years the Boks have lost back to back home Tests against Australia, and they could for the first time lose all four Tri-Nations Tests. They now play a weakened New Zealand side without their two best players in Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, and there's lots of pressure on the Boks,” White said.

Read more on:    tri-nations  |  rwc  |  jake white  |  boks  |  wallabies
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