'Old' Bok tactics still work

2011-09-02 18:43

Johannesburg - The conservative tactics that landed the 2007 World Cup and 2009 Tri-Nations for the Springboks would still be effective at this year's global showcase in New Zealand, scrumhalf Fourie du Preez has told Reuters.

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"In 2009, it was more about your kicking game and your defence. There's more of a contest now, especially on the ground, but they've cut the advantage for the attacking side a bit from last year," the 2007 World Cup winner said.

"We need to find the balance in our game, we've focused a bit more on attack and we're always trying to improve.

"It's not as if all our plans have changed since 2009, however our kicking has not been up to scratch, we need a lot more accuracy there".

Du Preez's performance in steering South Africa to the World Cup title in France four years ago showcased his blend of skill, vision and rugby nous, and even the Springboks' greatest foes, New Zealand and Australia, have acknowledged his talent.

"In my opinion, is probably the best halfback I have seen play," said Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia, who is nipping at the South African's heels as the pre-eminent player in the position.

"He's someone I've always tried to learn things off and tried to model some of my game on."

"He makes a massive difference to their side. He controls the game, the tempo of the game and he adds a lot to their group."

Such was the influence of the 29-year-old, his absence in 2010 was sorely missed as he spent virtually the entire year out recovering from a shoulder injury.

Du Preez returned to test action against Australia in Durban on Aug. 13 and was less than comfortable with the extreme pressure placed on his shoulders to right the Springbok ship.

"To heap that sort of expectation on me is unfair. I want to concentrate on my form and getting back into international rugby," the Bulls player said.

"Hopefully I can help the team perform a little better, but it won't be because I am back ... it will be because every one of the players wants the team to be on top again," he said.

Du Preez made a satisfactory return against the Wallabies, but said there was still a way to go before reaching the top-class form he showed from 2007 to 2009.

"I'm just happy to be back, it was a long layoff. It went pretty well, I was tired at the end, but I knew I would be a bit rusty."

Du Preez was part of the controversial camp attended by 21 frontline Springboks during their away leg of the Tri-Nations, and he said the technical and defensive advice offered by Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber should bear fruit at the World Cup.

"The rehab camp was very crucial," he added of the input from the two specialist consultants.

"It was different before the 2007 World Cup because we had two or three months to prepare. This time we had two weeks before the Tri-Nations and one week after.

"So it was important to get our planning right and we got what we wanted out of the camp. We hope to see the benefits at the World Cup."


  • Netherlander - 2011-09-02 20:06

    SO.... the old "GAME PLAN" can still be read from outer SPACE.... Lets hope they have CLOSED THE HOLES IN DEFENCE and are NOT VISABLE FROM SPACE ANYMORE!!!!!

      smarti - 2011-09-05 10:54

      Fourie must stop playing the ref and get the ball out to the backs.

  • René Müller - 2011-09-02 20:15

    Fourie, I hope you are right, I suppose only time will tell! The Bokke fans have faith and let's hope all of you guys peak at the right times and have a SUPER RWC 2011. We need some good news in SA, make us proud!! GO BOKKE!!

      BardofAvon - 2011-09-02 20:26

      Yes, Rene, but remember that this same Bulls, sorry, er, "old" rugby, also won a number of recent Super Rugby titles. But for the Bulls bad start in 2011, it may well have won another one.

  • Jamie - 2011-09-02 22:06

    But Fourie if you just kick all the hard fought for possession straight back to the opposition, when you get back here I'll kick you back to the opposition.

  • Frans Smith - 2011-09-02 22:45

    no disrespect to fourie - he is a great player and a gentlemen, but we dont really have the players for any other, it is "old tactics again...whether we like it or not? this time, i am sorry to say i think we will come short. i am supportive and optimistic (being a boksupporter)...but i have to be realistic as well.

      BardofAvon - 2011-09-03 01:34

      Frans, I don't believe there is old rugby and new rugby, any more than there is old mathematics and new mathematics. Fitness levels and the speed of the game have changed, but basics are basics. If the forwards play well, for the backs, the world is their oyster. That will never change. When the Bulls (with their "old" rugby) were doing badly in the first half of the 2011 Super 15, everybody (well, almost everybody) was saying how the game had "changed" and that they had been left behind. Then, when they woke up and started demolishing everybody in sight (a mighty Sharks effort finally bringing their run to an end), the comments dried up. There is no old rugby and new rugby. There is just rugby rugby.

      Frans Smith - 2011-09-03 13:31

      @Bardofavan, so.. if the game has not changed...(old rugby and new rugby), then the same type of player of yesterday will be able to excel in the "modern" game and would have been selected today? Personally i think the game has changed i.e. The backs are bigger than yesterday, becuase the defence patterns are better organised and the backs need to take more ball into contact to break down the defence; the forwards are more mobile (that inludes props locks) and must have more skills with ball in hand - in the past, you would never find a lock receiveing the ball at 10 after a few phases and a prop on wing?

  • munchkin.ross - 2011-09-02 23:46

    Fourie Du Preez is my favourite bok!!!!

      nzbro - 2011-09-04 07:22

      yeah munch.... mine too. I like the way he obediently gives the ball back & even steyn too. welcome to NZ boys, nice to know nothing's gonna change.hope its not too cold here for you.

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