We’ve identified a number of areas that need attention before second Test, says Deon Davids
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CAPE TOWN – Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says there are a number of areas they need to improve in ahead of their second meeting with the British & Irish Lions on Saturday.
The Boks held a 12-3 lead at af half time at Cape Town Stadium but, in a way that almost looked bizarre, we’re completely outplayed in the second half after being well in control in the first.
They just couldn’t adapt. Jacques Nienaber’s side struggled with the Lions’ aerial game after the break, their discipline wasn’t the best, and their scrums took a noticeable dip after the starting front-row of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane were replaced at half time despite a superb collective performance in the first 40. Nche was especially good as he carried well, defended admirably and carried well.
Ultimately, the hosts slipped to a 22-17 defeat.
During a media briefing, Davids said: “As a coaching staff, we looked at both the collective and individuals to see what we need to fix. We did have some good outcomes, especially in the first half when it came to our tactical and technical execution. But we couldn’t keep that going for an 80-minute performance.
“We identified different areas in terms of our kicking game, discipline, and also better execution with the set pieces, and in terms of improving our decision-making. We’ve had thorough discussions among coaches and players, and are looking forward to this week to correct mistakes.”
The Lions made it a point to hit the Boks with contestables and limit their lineout opportunities, and Davids said they are going to have to ‘smarter’ as they prepare for the hugely-important second Test against the tourists.
The defeat certainly put the Boks under pressure, as they now have to win both remaining Tests to clinch the Series.
“The Lions were smart in terms of not giving us lineouts, and ensuring we had to field high balls, and they then put us under pressure. When we did have lineouts, it’s one thing to win it, but you need a solid platform to execute and play towards our plan. When one thing goes wrong from the set piece, it can have a ripple effect.
“The Lions did challenge us in those areas, they were very street smart, and we have to handle it better and come up with solutions. We want to be smarter, and have better execution in order to get into good places on the field and use opportunities more effectively to get the result we want.”