Kiwi's take on 'unimaginative' Boks as Rugby Championship looms
OPINION: South Africa may have won the July series against Wales, but they have clearly not silenced all their critics.
Wales gave the World Cup champions, South Africa, a mighty scare – claiming a first away win against the Springboks, before the Boks produced their best performance in winning the decisive third Test 30-14 in Cape Town at the weekend.
The Boks had slipped to third in the rankings after their second Test defeat to Wales in Bloemfontein, but will remain third – despite the win in the decider at the weekend.
Next up is the back-to-back Test against the All Blacks – in Nelspruit on August 6 and Johannesburg a week later.
The All Blacks will arrive on the back of a historic series loss to Ireland in New Zealand.
However, RugbyPass columnist Ben Smith believes South Africa’s national team is not creative enough to challenge the All Blacks as Ireland did.
He admitted that there are many areas of concern for the All Blacks, but suggested they could ‘run riot’ in South Africa.
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However, the “good news” is that when they next play the Springboks in South Africa, they will not have to play the world’s best-structured attack.
“The Boks cannot run anything as Ireland can, so the reads will be easier and the defence will not need to improve to see better results,” Smith said in his column on RugbyPass.
“It will be direct, physical, unimaginative stuff that the All Blacks will just have to man up for.
“The best thing [All Black coach Ian] Foster could hope for would be for the Springboks to get ahead of themselves and copy Ireland’s formula, as they would not doubt implode without the same level of skills and the All Blacks counter-attack game would run riot.
“However, after a historically bad run against France and Ireland, they will travel to South Africa as underdogs.
“The Springboks have to be short favourites at home to sweep them over the two tests purely on this alone.
“Expectations are now terribly low for this All Blacks side that most would expect one, if not two, losses in the Republic.
“But the Springboks are not Ireland, so the script will be written differently.
“All the expectations now weigh on South Africa whose adoring fans are desperate to be crowned the world’s best again.
“Well, here are Foster’s All Blacks who have just lost four of their last five tests. The perfect lamb.”