Wed 14 Sep 2022 | 12:12

Boks battling to 'tick boxes' ahead of World Cup

Boks battling to 'tick boxes' ahead of World Cup
Wed 14 Sep 2022 | 12:12
Boks battling to 'tick boxes' ahead of World Cup

SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber admitted that a lack of consistency in selection this year may have resulted in his team not hitting specific targets.


South Africa’s current record for the season stands at four wins and three defeats from their seven matches, which is not something to write home about for a team of their pedigree.

Although it is not a major train smash, one area of concern for Nienaber has been his side’s defence.

The Springboks haven’t been as secure in that area as in previous years and they have already conceded nine tries in their four Rugby Championship matches.

The missed tackle count has been eye-catching over the last few weeks with Nienaber’s side way ahead in that stat in their matches against New Zealand.

Although the tackling has improved against Australia, it is still not up to Nienaber’s lofty standards.

“To be honest I don’t know what the stats are currently,” said Nienaber.

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“If you ask me what our tackle completion is, I will not be able to tell you and it is not something I follow.

“If you concede four maul tries and you convert them the score will be 28-0 and you won’t miss a tackle.

“From my perspective, are we where we should be in terms of winning a World Cup? Probably not.

“There is a couple of reasons for that. If you look at team selection, I don’t think we got a massive focus on continuity.


“Although we want to win every single Test match, I don’t think our mindset is currently there in terms of getting consistent team selections.

“We are maybe thinking a little bit broader – giving a guy like Elrigh [Louw] an opportunity.

“Consistency in selection always leads to consistency in performance and I am not covering up for the defence.

“We are not where we want to be.

“There are certain stats that we look at, but it is not about tackle completion and stuff like that.

“There are other KPIs [key performance indicators] that I look at.

“Are we ticking them? [We are] not where we should be if you want to win a World Cup.”

The story continues below…

Play-off mode

Meanwhile, the Boks are currently in Buenos Aires preparing for their penultimate Rugby Championship match against Argentina.

With all four teams in contention for the title, Nienaber said they are treating their next two matches like play-offs.

“We will treat it like a semifinal and final,” the coach added.

“If we want to be successful and win the Rugby Championship we have to do that.

“Every Test match for us is winning at all costs.”




PV: 16