Springboks

Welsh Test more than just a season ender

2018-11-21 17:08
Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Johannesburg - For Rassie Erasmus, the psychological value of a win against Wales this coming weekend would be massive, especially in the context of the Rugby World Cup.

READ: Howley - Wales have a lot of self-belief ahead of Bok Test

According to SuperSport.com, Erasmus dubbed Warren Gatland’s side “the silent assassins” for moving confidently under the radar to an eight-game winning streak last week with their fifty point drubbing of Tonga, and he knows all too well how dangerous the Welsh can be.

Under Gatland, the Welsh have transformed themselves into a tough side to beat, based on an exceptional defensive system and a game plan that uses size and speed on the outside to subdue opposition.

It is no wonder that they have had little possession in many of the eight games they’ve won, but have come out on top through sheer ingenuity and determination.

And that’s the point for Erasmus - there will be a lot to prove in terms of character and passion to win another test away from home and all indications are that he will be using the same team as beat Scotland last weekend. This means a chance to gain momentum and finish the tour off on a high, with the only likely change set to be the return of Eben Etzebeth if he passes a fitness test.

Erasmus will have more than an inkling of revenge after losing his first game against the Welsh in Washington - a game that was strange enough to warrant the question why it was played at all? But it was a loss that started off his career as Springbok coach and one he will desperately want to overcome if he is to finish the year off on a high note and conclude the tour as a success.

The fact the Boks haven’t beaten Wales in four Tests is a sword hanging over the side as well, and if Erasmus and co do manage an away victory this weekend, they will have beaten everyone bar Ireland and will enter the shortened 2019 season a lot stronger and happier than they were when the teams last met in Washington earlier this year.

Erasmus has been spreading it thick, praising Wales and talking of this Test to be the toughest. In a way he is right, as normally the last test in terms of fatigue and motivation is the toughest to coach, and Wales will be up for the game, looking for another Southern Hemisphere scalp.

“Although we lost the one against England, in my opinion and I'm not just saying it, I think we are ending with the toughest one of the four this tour," he stressed.

"We are desperate to stay on the winning way so it will be really physical and then, I think a really tactical game

"If we manage to beat Wales this weekend the only team we won't have beaten is Ireland.

"We played Wales in Washington in that June friendly, if you can call a test match friendly, but it was a weird game.

"We travelled over on the Wednesday and gave players a chance while they also played what was like a B side."We don't really want to judge much on that but the way they have been playing, they have been beating proper teams and they are on a great run.

"They gave Scotland a comfortable beating and beat Australia, who we play regularly.

"The way they manage the game is a typical northern hemisphere. Warren Gatland really understands the technical and tactical side,” said Erasmus.

While the Boks may have not been spectacular for long periods of time on this tour, their character, and the way they ground out wins against France and Scotland really showed the intent to win and will be massive allies for them this weekend in Cardiff.

But they will also know they need to crack a tough defensive system, and use the confidence they gained over the last fortnight to reverse a damaging trend in games against the Welsh.

If they do, it will be one step closer to Erasmus’ goal. If not, a 50% return on tour will leave supporters with more questions lingering than answers.

Read the story onSuperSport.com

Read more on:    springboks  |  wales  |  rassie erasmus  |  rugby

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 21 September 2019
New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama International Stadium 11:45
Saturday, 28 September 2019
South Africa v Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium 11:45
Friday, 04 October 2019
South Africa v Italy, Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA 11:45
Tuesday, 08 October 2019
South Africa v TBC, NOEVIR Stadium Kobe 12:15
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Following the conclusion of the various end of year tours to Europe, who is your favourite for the 2019 Rugby World Cup title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.