All Black coach's subtle dig at Boks and their 'disco lights'
REACTION: The All Blacks will not be following in the Springboks’ footsteps anytime soon when it comes to innovative ideas to get messages across to players during games.
During their World Cup opener against Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, the Springboks were spotted using coloured lights to send signals down to the field.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus originally used those innovations during his coaching days with the Cheetahs, from 2004 to 2007.
Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber explained that the signals were used to counter the loud noise in the stadium, which made it difficult for normal communication.
He suggested they use it to find out the extent of knocks and injuries and it was not tactics related.
However, All Black scrum coach Greg Feek admitted he was not a fan of the method and suggested the Bok coaching team were doing all the thinking for the players on the field.
“We back our players to make the decisions on the field,” said Feek.
“My only concern using that would be the lamp blowing or running out of battery and if they are relying on it, you know… We back our senior players, the boys to do the job.
“But hey, if it works for them, and that’s been the system for a while, it’s innovative and we’ve got our methods.”
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Meanwhile, the All Blacks started their World Cup campaign with a 13-27 defeat to hosts France in the opener last Friday.
There were a few areas of concern for the New Zealanders, but they are not panicking ahead of their upcoming group games.
“We’ve certainly put the microscope on a few things but certainly not reinventing the wheel and pushing the panic buttons,” said Feek.
“There is still a great energy amongst the group. There’s a willingness to getting us up to where we need to be.
“Scrummaging now with the power that we have and the timing, I suppose you could compare it to a goal-kicker; if he [a front-row player] is a centimetre or an inch off, that could be three or four by the time he engages and that could be the difference at international level and particularly at World Cups when the referees and the game want it to be as much game time as possible.”
On confidence levels remaining high, Feek added: “There’s always a confidence when you look around at the talent we have. Just a couple of things need to click and get our game going, like we did at Mount Smart [when they beat South Africa 35-20 in early July] where we just hit the ball and we go, play our game.
“Going into the French, I always look back at preparation, and maybe there were a few things we didn’t quite nail off. So, really we are trying to get that the best we can.”