Monday, 28 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
The very conservative style of play the Springboks are employing is awash in the rugby fraternity that is the media, it has spilt over into the living room and now everyone is debating it, did the Boks not play like this throughout the previous century, didn't this style of play gain England its first world cup trophy, didn't the Mighty All Blacks attempt the same strategy with lesser success against Australia in Sydney on August 2009 and win. Some experts say it is not the true form of the game, that it is stifling creativity and alienating rugby fans.
Lets not forget the outpouring of anger from Australia and New Zealand over the style of play or the lack of it from their teams following the respective maulings they have received from the South Africans.
"Suicidal" I think was the most frequently used word by the New Zealand and Australian media to describe their approach.
Everyone has an opinion and loyal fans are ever divided.
There is one point of interest though, The Boks are a very formidable unit, strong defensively and incredibly skilful in the forwards and the backs, not to mention very pacy from the lock forwards to the props these guys can run the ball from anywhere, they did it last year against Australia at Ellis (Coca-Cola) Park with a 53-8 drubbing and then thrashed England at Twickenham soon after. The question is this, so why don't they do it now?
My analysis points in this direction, the Boks Tri-nations opponents recognise the very present danger the Boks now pose and have come up with a frenetic and and berserker style gameplan to combat them, namely, "kill the ball"
In all three tests played against the South Africans thus far much has been made of the very suicidal nature of the All Black and Wallaby gameplan, which is to run the ball from everywhere, and when the Boks have possession, to kill it on the ground, slow down ball recycling and the inevitable going offside to stem the flow of the attack, hence the outpouring of penalties.
Once the All Blacks And the Wallabies have possession they are then hellbent on claiming 7 points at all costs and at times have been very successful.
That shows me that they are attempting to win on a 7-3 points trade, i.e. they stunt a Bok try scoring opportunity at all costs which normally translates into 3 points and they then respond with a 7 pointer that keeps them in the lead.
This smells of desperation as it was quite clear that at times during the South African tests the tourists could not live with the "Green Meanies" on the pitch.
Well, the Boks take the three points on offer and why wouldn't they and they win the test match by a much closer points margin than the game on the field would suggest.
The referrees were also quick to pounce on any cynical play and quite rightly went to their pockets to hand out some well deserved yellow cards like candy.
Something that is very clear is once the All Blacks and the Wallabies faced each other, they reverted back to their typical styles of play with no sign of these crazed tactics, which they seem to reserve only for the Boks.
It is quite apparent that the All Blacks and the Wallabies are playing a game of damage limitation and in this regard it has worked, were they not so comprehensively outplayed in every facet of the game and so severly starved of possession I could quite easily see the tests being much closer.