Springboks

Coetzee: Boks are moving in right direction

2017-11-28 14:35
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks are showing steady improvement and are moving in the right direction. 

That is the view of under-fire national coach Allister Coetzee, who now has back-to-back wins after the Boks beat France 18-17 and then Italy 35-6 over the last two weekends of his side's end-of-year tour. 

The curtain comes down on the northern hemisphere trip this weekend when the Boks take on Wales in Cardiff. 

There are many who believe that this will be Coetzee's last game at the helm, but when probed on the matter on Monday, the coach laughed off suggestions that he was on his way out. 

Instead, Coetzee believes that his charges are starting to find their feet.

"I don't think people realise how tough it was. Particularly our set piece ... we were strong and the guys who came off the bench maintained that standard," he said of the win against Italy. 

"This time around we could put in a nice scrumming performance and our mauling was superb.

"The big thing for me was the work ethic in the team that showed in what was a massive defensive effort."

For Coetzee, the key areas of improvement have been discipline, the side's kicking game and their work on the ground. 

"I think we're getting better and it starts with our discipline," he said.

"In the northern hemisphere conceding those silly, soft penalties will hurt you because you're giving freebies to the opposition. They will kick for touch and they're immediately on attack or they get points, so you will feel the scoreboard pressure and territorial pressure immediately if you don't work at that and you're not accurate.

"The way we want to play in the right areas has also been a massive improvement. We do get a lot of lineouts on the right side of the field which shows that the kicking plan is getting better.

"Those are the little things that will give you the consistency ... also the combinations in the team.

"It was one of our best forward performances. We did little things right. We were good at breakdown time and an awareness of the detail at breakdown time is improving."

Turning his attention to Wales, Coetzee had a special word for coach Warren Gatland.

"There are work-ons every week and there will be work-ons for Wales too," he said.

"We're playing against a very good Welsh team with a fantastic coaching staff. Warren Gatland is the British and Irish Lions coach and he's an astute coach.

"They played well against New Zealand ... they're a quality side and we'll have to be at our best this weekend again."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:30 (SA time)

Read more on:    springboks  |  allister coetzee  |  rugby
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