Coetzee responds to Pollard's kicking woes

2017-11-20 08:52
Handre Pollard (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee acknowledges that Handre Pollard's goal-kicking was problematic against France on Saturday.

The 23-year-old flyhalf made his first start in a Bok jersey since the 2015 World Cup and, while the Boks emerged with a hard-fought 18-17 win, it could have been a lot more comfortable had Pollard not been so erratic off the kicking tee. 

READ: Bok ratings ... France were worse!

By the time he was done, Pollard had finished with three from seven on his return. More concerning, though, was how easy a couple of the kicks he missed were. 

"Handre Pollard has been training with us for a very long time and he hasn't had a lot of game time," Coetzee explained after the match.

"Despite the poor goal kicking, which was below his standard and not his best at all, he slotted a kick at the right time and you could see how his confidence came back from that."

Coetzee was pleased with Pollard's work in general play, but he still wants to see his flyhalves bossing the game more by getting the Boks into good places on the field.

"His general play normally is good, I've got no problems with that," the coach explained.

"He's a big, physical 10 and he can take the ball to the line. What was pleasing to see was that his goal kicking didn't affect his play.

"Both Elton (Jantjies) and Handre are still really getting to grips with getting the territorial battle won for us. We did overplay a bit at some stages but it's a step in the right direction."

The Boks now take on Italy in Padova on Saturday.


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