Kicking won't win the World Cup

2015-07-15 12:07
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Rain and England go hand in hand, and when one applies that logic to rugby it is easy to think of sodden fields and poor handling. 

But Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that the days of winning a World Cup with shrewd tactical kicking and keeping the ball close to the pack are over, and he expects an open, free-flowing and attacking approach when the tournament kicks off in London on September 18. 

"There’s a perception out there that it will be slow and sluggish in muddy conditions, but visiting all the venues, most of the (them) have brilliant surfaces," Meyer said in Brisbane this week.

"They are mostly soccer fields which is very thin grass and quite fast. Gone are the days when the World Cup is just a short ball in play, mostly scrummaging and kicking for points.

"Guys will attack and take each other on so you can’t just rely on the kicking game and you have to be fit and have guys who can play at a high pace.

"I think that’s where rugby has changed the most in the last two years – it’s an unbelievable pace. Suddenly there are smaller 9s coming back into the game because everybody wants quick ball. I think the World Cup is going to be played at more or less the same pace at Super Rugby."

Meyer, who is preparing his side for battle against Australia on Saturday, added that there were a number of sides who possessed the ability to challenge for honours at the tournament. 

"I especially think the northern hemisphere teams are moving the ball as well," he said.

"It’s going to be a spectacle, probably the toughest World Cup ever, because even the minor unions have improved. They’ve all got quality coaches and they’re all well prepared, probably more than the southern hemisphere."

Read more on:    springboks  |  rwc 2015  |  heyneke meyer  |  rugby

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