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VIDEO: Can Pollard play the Tony Brown game?

The Handre Pollard debate refuses to die down and the Boks Office crew – host Hanyani Shimange, with Springbok legends Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger – is less worried about his erratic goalkicking than his general play.

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The two-time World Cup winner, who slotted match-winners with ease under pressure in Paris last October, appeared a bit ring rusty in the first Test against Ireland last Saturday.

Despite a 27-20 win at Loftus Versfeld, the focus was very much on a Pollard performance that was not up to his usual standards.

He kicked just four from seven – a 57 percent strike rate for a kicker that almost always kicks above 80 percent.

However, Burger – in the latest episode of the Boks Office podcast – wondered if Pollard can master the Tony Brown attacking formula.

Burger said a flyhalf – based on the Tony Brown game plan – has to be ‘dominant’ on the gainline.

(WATCH as the Boks Office crew – host Hanyani Shimange, with Springbok legends Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger – analyse the 2024 version of Handre Pollard….)

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“Forget about Handre Pollard’s boot,” he said about the two-time World Cup-winning No.10’s uncharacteristically poor goalkicking – slotting just two of his five penalty attempts at goal, which kept Ireland in the game even when the Boks were dominating proceedings.

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“That happens to everyone,” the 86-times capped Bok legend added.

“His [Pollard’s] biggest question from Tony Brown will be: ‘How effective can he be on the gainline?’

“That is something he did when he was younger – Under-20, Under-19 or the Boks in 2014-14..

“He was dominant on the gainline as a flyhalf.

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“He needs to be an attacking threat.

“That is where Tony Brown would like to take Handre back to.

“For a player who is a little bit further on in his career [30-years-old and 70 Tests] that is a great challenge to have.

“He has the skill set to play on the gainline.”

Burger added that Pollard should always be a threat and not play lateral.

“In the past, we have seen – with Handre Pollard – it is long passes and lateral passes,” added that Pollard must “play straight” and be a “direct option”.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

* To watch the entire Boks Office episode, CLICK HERE, or visit RugbyPass TV!

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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