Handre Pollard (Gallo Images)
Handre Pollard (Gallo Images).

Pollard: Why try fix what isn't broken?

25 October 2019 09:59

Cape Town - Flyhalf Handre Pollard says the Springboks will look to dominate Wales through their forwards on Sunday.

The Boks will take on the Welsh in Yokohama in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final for a spot in the final against either New Zealand or England. 

Given the style South Africa have employed at the tournament so far, there is likely to once again be a huge emphasis on their kicking game on Sunday and that is where Pollard and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk will be key to a Springbok victory. 

That tactic has come in for some criticism from South African fans who would like to see a more expansive gameplan, with De Klerk coming in for particular heat over the past couple of weeks, but Pollard has backed his No 9 general.

"It's massive," the 25-year-old playmaker said of his on-field relationship with De Klerk. 

"We've played a lot together over the last couple of years, and really gelled together pretty nicely.

"He is an unbelievable rugby player. I've got a lot of respect for him on and off the field.

"He takes a lot of criticism in the media, but he just plays what we believe in, and he does it unbelievably well.

"I'm sure he will be brilliant again on Sunday. It’s great playing with him. I really enjoy it, and I hope we can do it for a long time to come."

Pollard added that the Boks did possess the ability to run the ball through their backs, but that things were working with the current plans. 

"We've got that threat (attacking backs) loaded, but if your boys are mauling and handling the set piece like our boys are at the moment, you are not going to stop," he said.

"You are not going to fix something that’s not broken, or change anything.

"It's no secret, the set-piece battle is coming on Sunday. I'm sure it will be much tougher handling it this week compared to last week.

"But as a flyhalf, you just let the boys go. It's my responsibility to keep our big boys going forward for the majority of the game. When you start turning around, it takes a lot out of your forwards, and you use a lot of energy.

"I try to keep them on the front foot for as long as possible, and when we get the opportunity to get our maul or set piece going, I must make sure they are ready to go."

Kick-off on Sunday is at 11:00 (SA time). 

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

Wales

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin

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