CAPE TOWN – It was a night to forget for the Springboks when they lost 23-18 to the Wallabies in Brisbane a few weeks ago.
And while their tails are up after the stunning 36-34 win over the All Blacks in Wellington, they still need to exorcise some ghosts from the Suncorp Stadium defeat if they want to win at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Here are six areas they need to fix to beat Australia tomorrow…
1 Make a strong start
The Springboks allowed the Wallabies to take the ball through 10 phases before captain Michael Hooper forced his way over after just one minute and 40 seconds. The Boks have to wake up!
2 No long throws at five-metre lineouts
We all know what happened with Bongi Mbonambi’s floater over the top in the first half at the Suncorp Stadium. No need for that in Port Elizabeth. Just throw it to No 2…
3 Maul more
The Boks scored through Bongi Mbonambi from a well-worked maul from a lineout, and Malcolm Marx did the same against the All Blacks. But the South Africans tend to use this weapon sparingly – why, especially when the Aussies don’t like defending it?
4 Bring Dyantyi and Nkosi into play
In those excruciating last few minutes in Brisbane, the Bok attack was so predictable – bash it up the middle, pick and go, but no sight of the fast men out wide. Aphiwe Dyantyi and Sbu Nkosi are ruthless when they get close to a try-line, so give them the ball.
5 Don’t concede kickable penalties to Matt Toomua
He was a surprise choice at inside centre by Michael Cheika – with Kurtley Beale moving to flyhalf – but Toomua proved his worth under pressure by slotting four out of five goal-kicks in Brisbane. The Boks must show better discipline this time around.
6 Catch the ball…
Yes, it was slippery at the Suncorp Stadium, but it was a never-ending knock-on nightmare for the Boks. The last two moves that could’ve led to a match-winning try were ended by the South Africans being unable to hold on to the ball. We saw against the All Blacks what’s possible when the Boks keep possession.