Rugby Championship

Mehrtens: Teams to work out Pollard

2014-10-08 13:31
Andrew Mehrtens (AFP)
Cape Town - Former All Black flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens says Springbok flyhalf sensation Handre Pollard can expect teams to "quickly work him out".

The 20-year-old Pollard was instrumental in South Africa's 27-25 Rugby Championship win over New Zealand at Ellis Park last Saturday.

Pollard scored two tries as the Springboks employed an attacking approach to beat their old rivals for the first time in three years.

Mehrtens, via a column on the Stuff.co.nz website, said Pollard likes to run hard at the defensive lines which was not the case when Morne Steyn was the Springbok pivot.

He said this caused the All Blacks more problems than usual.

"Handre Pollard stands flatter and obviously likes to run hard at the defence. Gone are the days when defenders know they can drift off the likes of Morne Steyn and not worry about defending the tricky seam near the scrum," wrote Mehrtens.

However, Mehrtens noted that Pollard is still young and said he might find the going tougher in future as teams start to work him out.

"Pollard is still only a pup, so when comparisons are made with former Boks first-five Henry Honiball I'm going to hold fire on that until I see more of him.

"Maybe Pollard is more fluid than Honiball, but I doubt he would be as tough as the farmer who used to travel enormous distances to get to Sharks trainings and tackle like a 'Blade', which was his nickname.

"Pollard can expect teams to quickly work him out; the second-season syndrome rarely applies now because all the analysis these days means you're worked out even quicker. He can expect defenders to adjust their mentality very quickly and be ready for him," continued Mehrtens.

CLICK HERE to read Mehrtens's full column on the Stuff.co.nz website.

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