Wales v Boks: 5 talking points

2014-12-01 12:12
Springboks (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks ended their year-end tour with a disappointing 12-6 defeat against Wales in Cardiff at the weekend.

As it happened: Wales v Springboks

It was a forgettable performance from the error-prone Boks, who seemed lacklustre and tired after a long year.

The victory in Cardiff was also only Wales' second ever over South Africa in 30 matches, the first coming in 1999, with one match drawn in 1970.

Sport24 has highlighted FIVE talking points from the weekend's match:

1. Bumbling Boks

Sport24's match report on the game had a fitting headline: Wales beat bumbling Boks.

The word bumbling is defined as acting in a confused or ineffectual way or simply being incompetent.

It was a sound description for the way the Springboks performed. They simply made too many basic errors. Pat Lambie had an indifferent day at flyhalf, dropping balls and miss-directing his kicks, while his understudy Handre Pollard came on and also made errors out of hand. Not to mention several howlers from fullback Willie le Roux and replacement scrumhalf Francois Hougaard's inexplicable kick out on the full just after he had taken a quick tap following a penalty.

Former coach Nick Mallett afterwards said the Boks made schoolboy errors. He was right. It was a performance they would like to forget.

2. Penalty before half-time

Shortly before half-time, the Springboks won a penalty well within kicking range but skipper Jean de Villiers opted for a lineout instead of taking three points on offer. The Boks knocked on from the ensuing lineout and went into the break with the score level at 3-all. The South Africans were second best for much of the first period and taking a three point lead at half-time would have given them a significant psychological boost, especially against a team not in the best of states mentally, given their poor record against the three southern hemisphere giants. De Villiers's decision to turn down three points cost the Boks big time against Ireland in Dublin and almost proved critical in the game against England at Twickenham. Hopefully, at some stage someone will realise not taking points on offer in close games is vital...

3. Jean de Villiers injury

De Villiers's horrific knee injury was no doubt a key point in the match. The Bok captain could be heard screaming in agony when he dislocated his knee at a ruck in the 57th minute. At the time of writing, the extent of De Villiers's injury was still unsure but all indications are that he would be out for several months, and could even miss next year's Rugby World Cup in England and Wales. Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez would be the two most likely candidates to take over the captain's armband. At the time of De Villiers's in jury, the Boks trailed 12-6, but coach Meyer was right when he said it disrupted them in their charge to haul in the home side in the final quarter of the game.

4. Another dubious refereeing decision

Irish referee John Lacey's decision to sin-bin Bok wing Cornal Hendricks in the 62nd minute was nothing short of ridiculous. Hendricks contested a high ball with Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny. Both players had their eyes firmly on the ball, but Lacey somehow came to the conclusion that Hendricks deserved to see yellow. It was a very debatable call and the second time the Boks were on the receiving end of harsh yellow cards on this tour. It meant they had to largely defend at the tail-end of the game and were never really able to mount a sustained period of attack.

5. Bok scrum

The Springbok scrum remains a talking point after another seesawing display this past weekend. Some scrums were terrific, while on other occasions the Boks went backwards at an alarming rate. The jury is still out on whether Coenie Oosthuizen is a Test-standard tighthead. Tendai Mtawarira had one of his better games though, while Julian Redelinghuys did well when he came off the bench late in the game.

Read more on:    springboks  |  herman mostert  |  rugby


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