PRETORIA – The Springboks will know very well what they need to rectify in their game against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday for there not to be a repeat performance of the one saw them defeated by Argentina in Mendoza.
But in strengthening their weaknesses the Boks must not stray away from exposing the soft underbelly of the Wallabies which was evident in their two defeats against the All Blacks.
The first bit of probing that the Boks will need to do in exposing the Wallabies’ soft underbelly is to make sure that their frontrow packs put in their biggest and best scrumming performance so far. The Australians are technically challenged when it comes to the scrums, but have gotten away with some crafty tactics at the set-piece in the past which the Boks must counter with the intelligence and brute strength of their frontrow.
The feeling is that the Boks have not employed this part of the game with the same consistency and accuracy on attack as in the past. The Lions showed in Super Rugby how lethal and effective the rolling maul can be when they bulldozed their way to a 29-0 victory over the Waratahs in Sydney earlier this year and the Boks will have to do the same if they are to get the scoreboard ticking with the five pointers.
With their lack of bulk among the forwards, the Wallabies are sometimes found wanting at the breakdown especially when David Pocock and Michael Hooper are not in close proximity. Keep Pocock and Hopper away from the points of breakdown and the Boks will definitely have the opportunity to retain their own possession and also steal some from the Australians’.
The South Africans will need to use their physicality in gaining dominance over the Wallabies and it will also be key to unlocking the flair and expansive game that the Boks have added to their arsenal.
Under the mentorship of Rassie Erasmus and with the pace out wide of wings Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi, and fullback Willie le Roux, there is reason why the ball should go beyond the flyhalf. As much as the Wallabies have equally good running backs with their architect-in-chief being Kurtley Beale, the Boks also boast the same elusiveness and speed.