Kurt-Lee Arendse: Tony Brown added a few things to Springboks’ attack ... and it worked

Springbok speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse is tackled by Ireland's Robbie Henshaw during their Test match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Springbok speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse is tackled by Ireland's Robbie Henshaw during their Test match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Published Jul 8, 2024


Speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse highlighted Tony Brown’s influence on the Springboks’ attack following their 27-20 win over Ireland in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Springboks showed a lot of intent from the start at Loftus Versfeld, keeping the ball in hand a lot more and finding space and width with a few out-of-the-back passes.

Brown’s influence was visible as early as the second minute when Arendse spectacularly rounded off a great team move, which included some sharp passing and great movement off the ball.

Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks attacked the wide channels with loose forwards Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who made a lot of metres on the night.

However, it’s still early days, as the Springboks still struggled to get maximum value from their raids into the Ireland 22. But the signs are certainly there that Brown can definitely add an attacking edge to the Springboks’ famous power game - sooner rather than later.

“It’s always nice to contribute to the team,” said Arendse after his try. “Tony introduced few things to our attack and it worked.”

Arendse was also also very good on defence, as Ireland threw everything at the Springboks in the last quarter of the match.

The one blot on his copy book was the yellow card in the last 10 minutes of the match, although that was more for repeated infringements by the whole team.

“My focus is not only on attack, I’ve also been focussing on my defence because you need to make a contribution in both departments if you want to be effective and play well,” said Arendse, who has now scored 14 tries in 16 Tests.

“I don’t think we’ll be selected if we can’t do both.”

Meanwhile, Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit expects Ireland to come out firing in the second Test at Durban’s Kings Park after the epic clash in Pretoria.

“It’s always tough facing Ireland,” said Du Toit.

“They are a good team and facing them is always a good challenge. Fortunately, we had a lot of experience in the team, and I think that helped us a lot.”

The match marked the first outing between the sides in South Africa since 2016 – which was also the last time the Springboks registered a victory against Ireland – and while Du Toit said they enjoyed the occasion, he added they would immediately turn their attention to next week’s outing in Durban.

“It was nice to play against them in South Africa and there was a great vibe within the team and at the stadium, but we now need to turn our focus to next week because our goal is to win both matches against them,” said Du Toit.

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“We made a lot of mistakes, and we must correct that going into the next match. We’ll have a good look at this match on Sunday and start working hard again on Monday, so we are ready for the next game.”

With the breakdowns indeed proving to be a massive battle in the match, Du Toit said it was one of the areas they had to improve on next week.

“That battle was big,” said Du Toit. “There were times that they had the upper hand in that area, so it’s definitely one of the areas we’ll focus on this week.”