Pollard: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa won’t change their game plan just to appease critics.
That is the view of seasoned Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard, who said ‘winning’ is all that matters.
The narrative that the Springboks’ game plan is boring, has been the refrain since the intense two-one series win over the British and Irish Lions.
Not only has South Africa’s tactics under Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus been criticized by the Northern Hemisphere, but their Southern Hemisphere counterparts, especially New Zealand, have also been very vocal about their dislike for the game plan.
Last month, All Blacks coach Ian Foster said the Boks’ style of play “put me to sleep” – a remark he made after the Boks’ 27-9 win in the second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
Many Kiwi pundits said the Boks lacked creativity and has called on the All Blacks to ‘save’ rugby from the Springboks’ intimidating and rugged approach.
The scribes have even gone as far as to question South Africa’s No.1 status on the World Rankings.
However, speaking to reporters ahead of the second Rugby Championship match against Argentina, Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard stated the side will not change their style of play in an effort to please detractors.
Instead, the 27-year-old said it’s winning rugby and therefore it needs no revisions.
“Everyone has their own style of playing rugby,” Pollard said.
“For us, it is not about entertaining, it is about winning.
He added: “Test match rugby is about winning and at the moment we are doing pretty well in that regard.
“For now, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. We will just keep doing what we are doing.
“People can criticise as much as they want, we believe in it and that’s the only thing that matters”
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Quizzed about the new 50/22 kicking adaptations law, Pollard said it will not disrupt their game plan.
World Rugby has introduced five law trials which include the so-called “50/22” kicking adaptation.
The 50/22 change allows a team to gain a throw-in inside the opposition’s 22-metre area by kicking the ball to touch with at least one bounce from their own half.
The rule’s primary intention is to “encourage the defensive team to put more players in the backfield, thereby creating more attacking space and reducing defensive line speed”, according to the sport’s governing body.
“We had a discussion about it but it is not something we are going to look for,” Pollard said.
“If it happens it is great, but nothing that will disrupt our kicking game.
“We are going to stick to what we believe and if the opportunity presents itself we will take it.
“But we are certainly not focussing on it.”