The Springboks were heavily criticised for kicking too much ball away and adopting conservative tactics in their 12-11 defeat to England, but they are not changing their approach against France on Saturday night.
That was the clear message from captain Siya Kolisi on Friday on the eve of the second Test of the end-of-year tour to Europe.
The Boks were guilty of being unable to turn possession and territory dominance into points at Twickenham last week, with just a try to Sbu Nkosi and two penalties from Handré Pollard to show for their efforts.
A mix of lineout lapses from Malcolm Marx and poor execution on attack saw the Boks wasting a number of chances inside the English half.
In addition, scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl – playing to instructions – kicked way too much good possession away, while the South African attack just lacked that spark to finish off better.
But skipper Kolisi was adamant that, come rain or shine at the Stade de France (10.05pm SA time kickoff), Rassie Erasmus was not going to change tactics against Les Bleus.
“It’s probably going to rain, but it doesn’t really matter. Our game plan won’t change, whether it’s wet or dry,” the loose forward said.
“We wouldn’t really have to say it to each other – we know, we can feel it amongst the boys. It was tough last week, really tough talking after the game, seeing the guys – because it could’ve gone either way.
“We’ve been working really hard this week, and the chat is that we want to get our tour back on track. We are desperate, and we know that France are also desperate. But we can only do what we can do tomorrow.
“We understand that sometimes we are not going to win, but if we lose by not trying or doing (what we want to do), that makes it tough.
“We are not going to change our plan now because of the two losses we’ve had (against the All Blacks and England). We can see what we are doing is working, but we just need to execute it better to get the wins.”
French coach Jacques Brunel has some serious strike-power at the back, including Maxime Medard at fullback, Teddy Thomas at right wing, Mathieu Bastareaud at No 13 and the nippy scrumhalf Baptiste Serin.
But Kolisi can also call on a dangerous back-three of Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi, while Cheslin Kolbe will come off the bench.
“I’m looking forward to a tough challenge, especially with their big pack. They scrum really well, and maul very well. So, we are going to have to make sure our set-piece is very good,” Kolisi said.
“Then they’ve got game-breakers – guys who can start something out of nothing – so we know it’s going to be a pretty tough challenge tomorrow.
“We lost the game ourselves, and we’ve got no one else to blame but ourselves for that. That is what has been bugging us the most.
“Moving forward, we want to make sure that if we create so many opportunities, at least take more than half of them this weekend.”@ashfakmohamed