Fatigue, rust blamed for Pollard’s off day with the boot

Handre Pollard. | BackpagePix

Handre Pollard. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 9, 2024


Mike Greenaway

Springbok attack coach Tony Brown has explained the uncharacteristically poor kicking performance of flyhalf Handre Pollard in last week’s first Test against Ireland in Pretoria.

Brown, who was a fine goal-kicker himself in 18 Tests for the All Blacks, says rustiness and fatigue were the reasons for Pollard’s sloppy kicking in the second half of the match.

“Handre last played a game two months ago. I know from experience that when you play a game when you haven’t played in a while, fatigue sets in,” said Brown head of Saturday’s second Test at Kings Park.

Brown understands that the dual role of game-driver and goal-kicker can take its toll when the player is still building to full match fitness.

“When you are tired, then the quality of the goal-kicking goes down. So I am not concerned at all about Handre and his kicking. All he needs is another game under his belt. We all know Handre and his ability to kick well and go again.

“He kicked well in training all of last week. But that is when you are fresh. A game is different. You do get tired in a game and that sometimes makes it more difficult. Handre will be better this week in Durban.”

Brown was speaking from the team hotel in uMhlanga Rocks and said he was enjoying being back in the city that was his home in 2006, the year he played for the Sharks under coach Dick Muir.

“I loved my time here in Durban,” he said. “I also enjoyed Cape Town (he played for the Stormers in 2007). It is 100% percent true that my positive experiences of playing in South Africa contributed to my decision to come back here to coach.”

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