Rugby Championship

Coetzee defends Springbok 6-2 split

2016-10-06 19:39
Francois Hougaard (Gallo Images)

Durban - It hurt them against Australia in Pretoria, but the Springboks will go into this Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks in Durban with another 6-2 bench split. 

At Loftus Versfeld a week ago, Jaco Kriel was forced to play on the wing in the second half after injuries forced Rudy Paige, Bryan Habana and Jesse Kriel off the park. 

Despite that, Coetzee has gone for the same ratio against the All Blacks, saying on Thursday that the rewards outweighed the risks. 

Coetzee has spoken in the past about wanting a big forwards impact from the bench. 

That centres around the set piece, and the way the Bok coach explained his decision after announcing his team perhaps gave an insight into how the Boks are approaching this clash. 

"The reward we get from our 6-2 split is what I’m looking at," Coetzee said.

"I think if you look at our set piece - our lineouts, our scrums, our restarts - they really function well. We put teams under pressure ... getting the penalty and being able to knock it over. I’m pleased with the 6-2 split."

Coetzee suggested that having three backline injuries, as happened against Australia, is rare. 

But, were it to happen again, the Boks would be able to adapt.

"Anything can happen on the day," Coetzee said.

"We never plan to get a double injury in the backline division but we’ve got versatile players and we’re still well covered there."

The Boks have lost Paige and Jesse Kriel to injury. They will be replaced by Faf de Klerk and Damian de Allende, respectively. 

The reason that Coetzee is able to get away with just two backline players on the bench is that he has no scrumhalf cover there. 

That role will be filled once again by Francois Hougaard, who takes up his place on the wing once more.


South Africa

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 George Moala


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