Jones: Don't write off Boks

2010-08-12 07:41

Sydney - Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has warned against writing off the world champion Springboks despite their Tri-Nations form slump.

And Reds coach and former World Cup-winning Wallabies prop Ewen McKenzie says the extent of the Springboks' ills won't be known until after they face New Zealand in Johannesburg next Saturday.

The Springboks lost their first three away Tri-Nations Tests - 32-12 and 31-17 to the All Blacks in New Zealand and 30-13 to Australia in Brisbane on July 24.

Jones believes their decline is temporary and that they are more focused on the World Cup next year.

Jones also says they are trying to use the playing style that's been so successful for the Super 14 champion Bulls. ''They kicked more than any other team, offloaded less than any other team, but scored more tries,'' he said of the Bulls. ''Their lineout and kick-off was excellent. They kicked a lot and well. When they got ball in the opposition half they were able to keep the ball. That is how the Springboks want to play.''

The crux of the Springboks' woes, Jones says, is the absence of Bulls halfback Fourie du Preez for the rest of the season due to a shoulder operation. He is expected back next year. ''They are missing the one bloke who is the best player in the world - Fourie du Preez,'' he said. ''They have not only lost the bloke who kicks the ball best and who, with the ball, attacks the best, but that has put enormous pressure on their No.10 [Morne Steyn] who looked like he was going to be a player of 60 Tests but now looks like a player who will struggle to get to 40 because Fourie is not there. Once they get Fourie back they'll be a much better team.''

The Springboks have recalled fullback Francois Steyn from France, winger JP Pietersen and breakaway Juan Smith for their 29-man squad.

McKenzie said: ''They were dominating. Now they've fallen behind. It will be interesting to see what they do tactically. The next weeks will be pretty important. There's some desperate stuff happening over there. The All Blacks are in the box seat. If they get their bonus point to win the Tri Nations, they can relax and play without much care. That might be a daunting prospect.''

However, McKenzie believes the Springboks must change their game -  by next Saturday's Test.

''They are playing a probably slightly outdated game plan,'' McKenzie said. ''It will be interesting to see if they play the same way … interesting to see who they pick at 10. Will they play Butch James and use the ball more or stick with [Morne] Steyn and play a fairly orthodox game?''

That Test should reveal how great the challenge will be for the Wallabies to win either - or both - Tests at Pretoria and Bloemfontein on the Highveld where they have not won since 1963. Not that McKenzie has ever shied away from taking on history. ''I don't think it's too big an ask,'' he said of the Wallabies' chances of winning there. ''I am sure they are going over there to win two games to solidify that second position - in the world rankings or [Tri-Nations].

Rugby Heaven

  • chap - 2010-08-12 08:10

    Eddie should have been the Bok coach.....under his leadership at the WC the backline looked sharp.

  • Mr B - 2010-08-12 08:20

    Thought this was an article about Jones' opinion... it's not... who the hell cares what McKenzie thinks?

  • Headbutt - 2010-08-12 08:33

    Old Eddie is just kissing @ss, he wants a job again.

  • PDV/Quota-Hater - 2010-08-12 08:36

    ...Go Kiwis..!! ...Go Aussies..!!! ....Bhooooo to the Protea-Quota-Team...

  • nigel - 2010-08-12 08:44

    Out of all the Aussies (or kiwis), Eddie Jones knows & understands the Boks the best, unlike most others down under, who paint all Boks with the same brush that they paint Bakkies (thug) Botha. The Boks have vast talent, they lost focus & form & discipline is a major problem, but if they can sort this out they will be back giving Aus & NZ a good run for their money, with or without biased refs\officails.

  • Justin - 2010-08-12 08:45

    We want the All Black scalp most of all! And as usual they are peaking the year before the WC which suits us just fine! As for the Wallabies, I'm sorry Mr McKenzie, but I'm more scared of the cold evening weather on the highveld than I am of the Wallabies, bring it on bud!

  • Pop Idol - 2010-08-12 08:48

    Not too worry,Peter de Villiers,will sort things out by the next match.Peter is a world class coach,an ice cool person under pressure and excellent tactician.What I want Peter to do,is to get rid of Ruaan Pienaar.Its quite obvious that this guy is trying to throw matches,by missing easily reachable kicking oppertunities.

  • Eddie - 2010-08-12 09:00

    True, if Eddie was not part of the 2007 coaching staff the Springboks would've never won the world cup. Jake was clever to use someone who's got more brains than he.

  • kiwi ross - 2010-08-12 09:04

    Mc kenzie is dead wrong. The two best sides are the boks and the Allblacks most of the time.through history and nothing has changed . ,Man for man there are at least 7 boks that would make the world 15 including both locks the most important position to dominate from. Next week in soweto will be a cliffhanger

  • bok4life - 2010-08-12 09:08

    They are definitely missing something! Watching them in the past few games one can just see they are lacking that X-factor they had over their golden era(or whatever you may call it!) Im not sure what it was but it seemed everyone of the players didnt want to be there. Anyone care to comment...?? BOKKKKKKEEE!!!

  • sylverstar - 2010-08-12 09:13

    Eddy for coach. Snorr for hooker

  • @Pop Idol - 2010-08-12 09:33

    Ruaan Pienaar was ruled out of the tri-nations 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately the only other option Pdivvy seems to want to choose is Januarie, who at the best of times would battle to make my old high school team.

  • Shudus - 2010-08-12 09:36

    Aaaah I see Eddie van Der Jones is at it again. On his knees giving the saffas a nice BJ. He does make some interesting points though. I'm also eager to see how we play on Saturday against the all blacks, I believe that will give us a glimpse of the Divster's master plan. Go bokke!

  • Pop Idol - 2010-08-12 09:47

    Put Enrico January in,the team needs more people of colour.The further and wider you look,the more talent you will find,instead of sticking with a mainly white team

  • haha - 2010-08-12 09:53

    Protea team = quotas = AA coach = k@k team.....

  • bok4life - 2010-08-12 10:41

    @ POOP IDOL - Please boet clearly you dont watch rugby and are not over this whole colour thing! Januarie is K@K!! He is overweight and slow!! Hougaard is far better than fat Januarie! Either you are just trying to get a reaction or you really are an idiot! Get over you colour issues! Its about talent and skill and if you are SO concerned about better national teams give Pitso a call and tell that to him about the football team!

  • @Borsch Idol - 2010-08-12 11:08

    Dont come spew what little you actually know about rugby. Pienaar trying to throw matches- are you kidding me, where did you pull that Pearler from? Guess it doesnt matter whether it was the front or the back cause clearly both exude the same useless drab. I would say watch some rugby before you talk but id rather not have ignorant, backward South Africans like you getting involved in our sport!

  • John Do - 2010-08-12 11:38

    Hey POP IDOL. Is j dom ha???? watch idols and leave the rugga to the men who actually know what they talking about. LMOA..... you k@k snaaks!!! (drop pienaar???? lol)

  • Richard Nixon@Kiwi Ross - 2010-08-12 12:48

    An actual rugby fan! I have'nt seen one of you for ages. Instead we get these insulting supporters who all too easly ready to throw their wait around without any knowledege of the game. Welcome mate, The All Blacks are playing really well, even thou the general reffing has been crap we would'nt have won those games anyway. Hopfully the boks have sorted out their issues and the game will be a cracker!

  • DavidC - 2010-08-12 13:56

    I wonder what they will say if we manage to win with "outdated" rugby.Your gameplan is only "outdated" as long as you loose.

  • Vukani - 2010-08-12 14:07

    Running from your own 22 is not a modern tactic that the "All Losers" have been employing. Actually it is just being arrogant. Get a good defensive team playing them and they will be choked everytime in their own half and force to kick. The Wallabies employed the wrong game plan in trying to imitate the All Black's style. This style is nothing but a disguised rugby league format. I appreciate and admire good tactical kicking. The Stormers had a brilliant defensive game, kicked a very good tactical game when it mattered and scored tries by breaking the defensive lines with patience. Please do not play as the All Bores are playing, the Bok's have their own strengths - USE THEM!

  • from a South African - 2010-08-12 14:37

    Eddie for Springbok Coach....Viva Eddie Jones

  • Staalburgher - 2010-08-12 14:50

    Can't we start a fund going to replace Divvy with Eddie? I mean, Eddie isn't white either so the ANC cannot complain about quotas too loudly.

  • Anti - 2010-08-12 16:32

    The Aussies couldn't wait to get rid of Eddie Jones. The only coach with a worse winning record against the All Blacks than Robbie 'Dingo' Deans. Now you plonkers want to hire the man, come on, get real. The important facts in this article is the Aussies haven't won on the highveld since 1968, and just as we haven't won in Brisbane or Auckland for all those years - the Superbru champ knows where to place his bets.

  • Anti - 2010-08-12 16:51

    Did anybody watch the AB's & Wallabies on Sat? There was intensity for the 1st 20 minutes of the match and then the whole affair fizzled out. The pace of the gameplan caught up with the AB's and they slacked off badly. That's how it is in modern rugby. When the Boks travelled to Australasia fresh from super14 final and 4 weeks of head to head internationals, they were out on their feet. Intensity and travel, and bogey grounds, and bad referees can do that to you. You'll see a different Springbok team in the highveld. Even though the All Blacks and the Wallabies don't have as tough a travel schedule as we did, they are in for the high jump on the highveld!

  • Zion Pay - 2010-08-12 18:27

    If the "Bokke" can come up with say 19 or 20 points in the next 2 games then we will not write them off.

  • ImpartialCanuck - 2010-08-12 18:37

    @KIWI ROSS - could not agree more! Some sane insight, instead of the mindless comments by so called fans of the game - give credit where it is due and drop the silly provincial and international bashing! All we want is to see great rugby, unbiased reffing, selection on merit and fresh approaches to the magnificent game!

  • kiwiruz - 2010-08-12 20:25

    I think Jones must still be on the SA payroll, AB's will build and build, They have plenty more to do, and will. Aussie scare me more than SA, they will improve the most before 2011

  • Stellenbosched - 2010-08-13 07:16

    @Kiwiruz I can't agree with you I'm afraid. I think that the two best sides in the world are the AB's and the Boks. It seems to me that the AB's have a better game when all is averaged out, but I still say that when both sides are playing at the peak of their powers it is the Boks who are best. RWC finals are all about pressure and playing a more 'conservative' style, which is why the Boks will always be a massive threat to NZ at the RWC. As for Australia, I am starting to change my mind about how good they really are, or are going to be. I was pencilling them down as one of the favourites next year, but am not so sure anymore. How many games do you have to play before you are no longer 'work in progress'? I think their backline players are too small and have no idea how to score tries. Yes they really missed Cooper last week, but to look so one dimensional on attack is a worry for them. They made the AB defence look even better than it is. It is not rocket science to defend against a side that refuses to change their attack channels at all. Rocococo is known to be suspect under the high ball, yet he didn't get one the whole game. Finally, my litmus test of a coach who no longer has any idea how to fix a problem is when he states that he is building for a RWC and all else comes second. It is just a way of keeping your job a bit longer. Deans has been saying this quite a lot lately.

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