Coetzee finds 'balance' in loose trio

2017-11-10 14:00
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee believes that he has the right balance in his loose forward trio for Saturday's clash against Ireland in Dublin. 

Against the All Blacks in Cape Town last month, Coetzee raised eyebrows when he selected Francois Louw at No 8 and Pieter-Steph du Toit at No 7 while the in-form Siya Kolisi was the most natural fit of the three at No 6. 

The result was a dominant Springbok forwards performance and, despite going down 25-24, Coetzee's loose forward experiment was considered a success. 

As a result, Coetzee has backed the same combination for Saturday's Test in Dublin, and that decision was largely down to what he saw from them against the All Blacks. 

"Our back row has got everything that we need to have in our back row," Coetzee explained.

"We've got our lineout option in Pieter-Steph du Toit and he's also an explosive runner with the ball.

"We've got Siya Kolisi, who has been in outstanding form throughout the season.

"I'm happy with the combination and after our Test against New Zealand you could see there was a good balance going."

Louw, who has played 53 of his 54 Tests at flank, was a natural fit at No 8, according to Coetzee.

"Francois Louw suits No 8 ... playing towards the ball and making sure that we secure ball at the first breakdown," he said.

"It's an added bonus to have his skill set on the ground in stealing ball."

The loose forward cover on the bench comes in the form of Uzair Cassiem. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30 (SA time).



15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 James Ryan, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Darren Sweetnam

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi , 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Francois Venter


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