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Thursday Aug 19, 2021

Entertaining is not what we're here for, says Springbok Handre Pollard

Winning is the priority for South Africa, not playing entertaining rugby, flyhalf Handre Pollard said in response to continued criticism of the Springboks’ style of play.

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The world champions, who defeated the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in their recent series, have been roundly criticised for what is perceived as a boring style that focuses on kicking to win territory over expansive backline play.

However, with South Africa preparing to face Argentina in their second Rugby Championship fixture in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday, Pollard said getting the right results was all that mattered

“Everyone has got their way of playing rugby that they think is the right way,” Pollard told reporters.

“For us, it is not about entertaining. Test match rugby is about winning. At the moment, we are doing pretty well, so for now, if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it.

“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and people can criticise as much as they want. We believe in it and that’s the only thing that matters.”

The Springboks pride themselves on their set-piece and while the lineout is a particular strength Pollard said they were not focusing on the new trial ’50/22′ rule from World Rugby.

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The rule allows attacking teams to get the lineout throw-in if a kick from their own half bounces once before going out in the opposition 22-metre area.

“We’ve had a discussion about it, but it’s not something that we’re going to go looking for,” Pollard said.

“If it happens, then it’s great because it’ll be a bonus, but we’re not going to change our kicking game.

“We’re going to stick to what we know and what we believe in. If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll go for it and possibly take it.”

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South Africa beat Argentina 32-12 in their Rugby Championship opener at the same venue last weekend.

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