Rugby Championship

5 talking points: Boks v All Blacks

2016-10-10 09:09
TJ Perenara (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points following the Springboks’ embarrassing 57-15 Rugby Championship defeat to the All Blacks in Durban:

1. Perenara ‘try’ in first half

New Zealand scrumhalf TJ Perenara could count himself lucky to have been awarded a try in the 33rd minute.

Replays seemingly showed the All Blacks No 9 had lost the ball forward.

However, somehow referee Jerome Garces and TMO Jim Yuille came to the conclusion that a try was warranted.

They claimed there was never any separation between Perenara and ball and Yuille could be heard telling Garces: “I think he maintained control of the ball.”

You thought wrong Mr TMO, surely he lost control of it!

While at that stage the Springboks were leading 9-5, it must be noted that the decision did not influence the end result. The All Blacks would have won irrespective of what decision was made at that point...

2. Biggest loss ever against New Zealand

The 42-point margin of defeat was South Africa’s biggest against New Zealand in 95 years of rivalry.

It eclipsed the equally embarrassing 52-16 defeat suffered by Rudolf Straeuli’s Boks at Loftus Versfeld in 2003.

The Springboks' biggest margin of victory remains 17 points, when Phil Mostert's 1928 team won 17-0 at Kingsmead in Durban.

In the overall head-to-head stakes, the All Backs now boast a 55-35 win-loss record, with three draws.

Even more alarming from a Springbok perspective is that since rugby turned professional in 1996, the All Blacks have won 37 matches compared to a meagre 14 by South Africa.  

It’s hard to believe that that when Francois Pienaar’s charges won the 1995 Rugby World Cup final by beating the All Blacks 15-12, the Boks held a positive 21-18 win-loss record against the All Blacks!

3. Ugly stats from a Springbok perspective

The statistics of Saturday’s Test make for sorry reading for Springbok fans.

The All Blacks scored nine tries without reply and dominated possession (68%) and territory (71%).

In fact, taking a look at key statistics on the match, the Boks can be lucky not to have lost by more:

Metres made: NZ 754-148 SA
Carries: NZ 162-57 SA
Defenders beaten: NZ 40-3 SA
Clean breaks: NZ 24-3 SA
Passes completed: NZ 220-92 SA
Offloads: NZ 22-7 SA
Turnovers conceded: NZ 17-15 SA
Tackles made: NZ 73-175 SA
Tackles missed: NZ 3-40 SA
Kicks in play: NZ 21-25 SA
Rucks won: NZ 101-44 SA
Rucks lost: NZ 2-0 SA
Mauls won: NZ 7-2 SA
Lineouts won: NZ 16-8 SA
Lineouts lost: NZ 2-1 SA
Scrums won: NZ 3-6 SA
Scrums lost: NZ 0-0 SA
Penalties conceded: NZ 8-10 SA

4. A scary thought…

New Zealand’s 57-15 win saw them equal the Test record of consecutive wins for major Test playing nations (17).

It’s a record they now share with two former All Black teams and the Springbok team of 1997/98.

With their next Test scheduled against the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland on October 22, the record will surely be broken.

Eden Park is a ground the All Blacks haven’t lost at in 22 years and I can’t see anything but a New Zealand win.

It’s scary to think that had Beauden Barrett kicked better at posts on Saturday, the scoreline could have been near the 70-mark.

It’s equally scary to think that this All Black team may not lose anytime soon, which could see them get close to Cyprus, a second tier nation which officially holds the overall record with 24 consecutive Test wins...

5. A fish rots from its head down

The blame for the current woes of the national team should be laid at the door of the South African Rugby Union.

The game in South Africa is not being run for the greater good of the national team.

Former Bok coach Nick Mallett was right when he said SA Rugby should follow the model of central contracting like New Zealand do.

He said on SuperSport over the weekend: "There’s no question that structures in New Zealand rugby is the template South Africa needs to follow. A lot of what we saw today should be squarely blamed on our structures and our administrators because we have not got a professional setup in South Africa that equals the New Zealand system.

“In New Zealand the All Blacks are always placed first. The New Zealand Rugby Union contracts their Super Rugby players and places them in the franchises. Here, the every team signs its own players and coach. What I’m trying to point out is they have a centralised system run for the benefit of New Zealand rugby, we have a system that benefits our provinces and not the national side, which should actually be the main priority.”

I feel South Africa also needs to follow a uniform way of playing the game, as is the case in New Zealand.

All their franchises play the same style of rugby, while here in South Africa it’s easy to distinguish between the way some our Super Rugby teams approach the game.

It’s easy to say we need to play a more expansive game at national level, but if the players haven’t been employing that at franchise and Currie Cup level, you can’t expect them to perform in the Green and Gold.

Some tough decisions need to be made at boardroom level and a tweet from former Bok flank Rob Louw probably best summed up the situation after Saturday night’s fiasco:


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