The 'shift' at the breakdown

2015-09-29 14:22
Johan van Graan and Heyneke Meyer (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan says teams have had to adjust to the refereeing policies that are being implemented at the breakdown during Rugby World Cup 2015.

Van Graan was talking to media ahead of Saturday’s crucial Pool B clash against Scotland in Newcastle, and when asked about how the Boks had improved at the breakdown since their opening loss to Japan he was frank.

“I think if you look at the whole tournament there’s been a shift in the breakdown,” said Van Graan.

“The referees want the tackler out of there and I think all 20 teams have adapted quite well. To be fair to all the teams, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to steal. Everybody is keeping the ball really well.

“I think you’ve got to back your defence and pick your times. Discipline at the breakdown is of utmost importance. If you keep the ball at some stage the opposition can’t role away.”

Van Graan said he was happy with the Boks’ decision making at the breakdown and in open play in their 46-6 win over Samoa in Round 2.

“I think we assessed after a few minutes exactly what was going on (on Saturday)... and especially in the second half I thought we handled it to perfection in the times that we kicked and the times that we played,” he said.

The Springboks will announce their side for the Scotland clash on Wednesday.

Saturday's clash at St James' Park is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).

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