Springboks to brush themselves off and turn focus to Australia

It was a bitterly disappointing performance from the Springboks that saw them practically hand a 35-23 win to the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship clash at Ellis Park over the past weekend.

But with competition just two games in and all four teams separated by just one point on the log, the Boks will have to dust themselves off and turn their focus to a tough three match away run, the next two being away in Australia.

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It has not been a happy hunting ground away from home for the Boks, with them having not won in Australia since 2013, although they came close in 2017 when they drew in Perth.

Last year the Boks went over as favourites and were beaten twice, just edged 28-26 in the first game before being dominated 30-17 in the second and they will need to put in a much better effort on this tour if they want to overturn those results.

“I think the Wallabies are a different kettle of fish from what we got against New Zealand and Wales. We will have to change quite a bit going to them. They have a completely different style of attack and defence and how they do things,” admitted Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“We will have to do a nice review of these two games (against the All Blacks). See where our game is at. Where are we building, where do we have growth, where are we slow in growth, and then we will have to focus on Australia.

“We haven’t had results against them for quite some time, so it is going to be a challenge for us there.”

Great chance

After beating the All Blacks 26-10 in the Rugby Championship opener, the Boks had a great chance to stamp their authority on the competition at Ellis Park, but instead took two steps back and they will need to take a hard look at their game plan.

Particularly their over reliance on the kicking game, which saw them kick possession away with three minutes to go in the match, on attack in the All Blacks half while chasing the game, which ended with the visitors breaking up the other end and scoring themselves.

“It is up to the players in those situations. We have a certain game plan, but within that the players must use their experience and talent,” explained Nienaber.

“If the player felt in that situation it was the right thing to do then I will back him, because we selected him. But that’s probably one of the things we will have to assess. Could we have done something different there, yes we could have I think. I thought we did well taking the ball wide (in the match).

“But let’s say we won the ball and scored a try we would have said great decision. So we must be careful that we are not only outcome based. Just because we got a negative outcome doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision, maybe it was poor execution.”

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