Bok engine in dire need of a 'service'
OPINION: I got a sense of deja vu in the wake of the South African ‘A’ side’s defeat to an under-strength Munster side in Cork on Thursday.
We saw yet another team in Green and Gold dominate for the most part up front, but fail to fire a shot in another department.
There’s always this talk about the physical dominance of South African teams – be it in the United Rugby Championship, the SA ‘A’ side or the Springboks.
However, the frustration amongst fans is the lack of innovation – which was again evident at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, in Cork.
In the URC South African sides also often dominate up front.
The difference between the domestic sides and the national sides is a little thing called ‘innovation’.
The SA ‘A’ side, much like the Springbok team this entire year, was very much like a car with a strong engine, but with many other parts malfunctioning.
The likes of Aphelele Fassi, Suleiman Hartzenberg and Henco van Wyk had little to no opportunity to show their off talents – as they are when playing for their domestic sides.
The national team management’s obsession and mindset of ‘everything will be okay if we dominate up front’ caught up with them yet again.
There were glimpses of promise when the substitutions came on in the second half in Cork, but they also failed to pull the trigger when it mattered.
Credit should go to Munster for their staunch defensive efforts.
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However, one does have to question if the national side has made any significant growth in their game following that glorious World Cup Final in Yokohama on 2 November 2019.
If we’ve learnt anything this season, you need more than a shotgun to hunt.
You need the skills and tactics to bring the prize home, otherwise, you’ll be wasting bullets and end up going home hungry.
Less than a year from the World Cup, it’s time to fix and/or replace those broken parts.
If the national team players are not able to fire shots and hit those targets, it could be a short trip in France 2023 – given the defending champions are in the proverbial pool of death.
* Picture credit: @Springboks