Boks in UK

UK press lauds Boks’ grunt

2013-11-18 11:38
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo)

Cape Town – The Springboks’ traditional emphasis on brute force earned them plenty of praise from the UK media after their 28-0 drubbing of Scotland, but there was also acknowledgement of the steps towards a more finesse-based game being engineered by coach Heyneke Meyer.

David Ferguson of local newspaper The Scotsman enthused after Sunday’s Murrayfield encounter: “Not only can they (South Africa) still smash sides up front with big forwards rampaging in the tight and loose, but they are now showing an ability when confronted to move the point and style of attack.

“The Boks flew from the traps to set up one of their most comfortable victories over Scotland in recent times and then put up the barriers to consign the hosts to their first pointless display in this fixture since the 44-0 humiliation in 1951.

“The work of Meyer and his ‘breakdown consultant’ Richie Gray, the Scottish coach from Galashiels, was the key – Meyer spoke of this as being a weakness in the past, but under Gray they are now attacking rucks with a lower body position and in greater numbers, and as a result battered Scottish bodies back off the ball with monotonous, bone-jarring regularity.”

The Guardian’s Mike Averis wrote: “If the Springboks, as Meyer insists, are over here to learn before the 2015 World Cup, then the lessons are going very well indeed.

“On a cheerless and chilly Edinburgh afternoon South Africa exposed the gap Scotland will have to bridge before the two sides meet in Newcastle in 22 months’ time.”

Alasdair Reid noted in the Daily Telegraph: “Scotland have suffered more embarrassment than this on the Murrayfield scoreboard, but rarely has their ignominy been so stark on the Murrayfield pitch.

“Who knows if South Africa decided to ease off in the latter stages, but the tourists had certainly dished out a good old-fashioned hammering long before then ... they had earned the right to freewheel to the finish.

“The South African power game was in good order - running so well, in fact, that they pretty much stuck to it for the first half hour, dishing out a fearful pounding to a Scottish side that made a pig’s ear of any chances of their own to build play through the phases.” 

The Daily Mail said Scotland were “utterly outclassed” at Murrayfield.

“Even with numerical advantage (near the end, following Marcell Coetzee’s yellow card) Scotland struggled to break down their opponents and limped towards the final whistle.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


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