Bok backline creating new identity for themselves
REACTION: The Springbok backline has been given a little bit more freedom on attack, according to centre Damian De Allende.
South Africa recorded a bonus-point 36-20 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires at the weekend.
They dominated the Los Pumas in the half, racing to a 22-6 lead at the break – despite the turbulent build-up to the game that was filled with off-field scandal and drug allegations.
The win was still structured around the brutal power of the pack, with hooker Malcolm Marx scoring two tries.
However, the backline also showed their attacking instincts with lethal runs and great offloads.
In the last few months, the Boks backline has been under scrutiny for its lack of creativity.
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Speaking to reporters after the match, De Allende, one of the try-scorers, admitted the Boks’ backline is seeking to play less structured rugby and want to add their individuality – as the team build toward the World Cup.
“Not a lot has changed in the backline,” De Allende explained, adding: “Just for us we’ve wanted to play a bit more within ourselves.
“When we played against Wales [in July], we maybe tried to stick to our structures and sometimes when you do that, it’s never enough, especially at international level.
“I feel like we’re playing what’s in front of us at the moment, and that’s the most important thing. Just like that last try we scored – it was a flippin’ great try with some good hands down the touchlines from the forwards.
“It’s what we’ve tried to work on and glad we executed it.”
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He added: “We don’t always execute to the best of our ability and make a lot of mistakes on the field, but we’re also trying to progress going into the World Cup next year and develop our game and improve, as a team and as individuals.”
“So we’ll keep working at it and if the opportunity is there, hopefully, we take it with both hands.”
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When asked about the off-field scandal and drug allegations, De Allende said it was not a distraction and it was not difficult to keep focus.
“We had a great week, we came to Argentina a bit earlier and as a squad, it did us good,” De Allende said.
“Think there are a lot of things that is going on behind the scenes but we know what we want to achieve and we know what our goal is at the moment.
“We got one more game left in the Rugby Championship, we going all out guns blazing and we want to win that trophy next week.”
The Springboks are level with the All Blacks on 14 points on the Rugby Championship table – merely trailing the Kiwis on point difference – NZ on +41 and SA on +28.
Both teams have home games for the final round.
South Africa host Argentina in Durban and New Zealand are at home to Australia in Auckland.
Photo credit: SA Rugby