Springboks

Boks: Don't expect fireworks yet

2016-05-30 08:37
Allister Coetzee (Getty)

Cape Town - Follwing the 2015 Rugby World Cup, there was a general acceptance that the Springboks needed to evolve. 

Under the tutelage of the passionate Heyneke Meyer, South Africa bashed and kicked their way to a third-place finish at the tournament and came close - on the scoreboard, anyway - to knocking over the All Blacks in the semi-final. 

But the reality is that the All Blacks and the Springboks were in different leagues at that competition, and with the rest of the world (even Scotland) having demonstrated a willingness to play more ball-in-hand rugby, the Boks looked somewhat prehistoric. 

Allister Coetzee is aware of that, and he has spent the past weeks meeting with all six of South Africa's Super Rugby franchises in an attempt to get everyone on the same page in terms of what the new philosophy will be. 

Attack, says Coetzee, is the area where the Boks need to evolve.

"There is nothing wrong with our defence in South Africa."

New Zealand remains the benchmark.

"Some other countries are probably a bit ahead – I’m referring to New Zealand – because they’ve got one style and that style is determined from the top.

"Those franchises are playing very similar rugby."

The former Stormers mentor knows that spectators are growing increasingly adamant in their desire to see attractive rugby. 

"For me it is the start of things to come where we can add our own spices. We also want to play an attractive brand of rugby, but when it is on," said Coetzee.

"We also want to play a brilliant kicking and a defence game, when it is on.

"We want to have a balanced game of rugby and we want our players to make good decisions and make sure that we don’t neglect what is working for South African rugby."

Coetzee was hardly known for an enterprising approach while in charge of the Stormers, but he does see the Boks evolving into a more attacking unit under his leadership.

"We would like to evolve but it doesn’t happen overnight," he warned.

"You’ve got to make sure that the personnel matches the philosophy. I think with what we have we’re getting there already.

"I don’t promise any fireworks against Ireland in terms of the way we’re going to play but I can tell you this much: there will be a massive emphasis and an awareness of having a go when it’s on. The big thing is going to be decision-making."

The first Test against Ireland takes place on June 11 at Newlands. 

Read more on:    springboks  |  allister coetzee  |  cape town  |  rugby
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