Former Springbok coaches Nick Mallet and Swys de Bruin have offered a fantastic insight into the Boks current attacking woes.
Mallet who was an incredibly successful head coach for the Springboks and de Bruin who orchestrated a fantastic attacking game with the Emirates Lions before moving up the national side were in full agreement with the issues facing the current Boks et up.
Speaking on the popular “Final Whistle” show, de Bruin led the way in exposing just how predictable the Bok’s mindset has been under Jacques Nienaber.
Starting with a turnover by number eight Duane Vermeulen, the Boks were presented with a fantastic counter attacking opportunity as de Buin notes.
“Look at what their two wingers are doing, they know we are going to kick, they turn around and they are running back.”
Bearing in mind the Wallabies wingers turned as soon as the Boks turned the ball over as they correctly assumed the visitors would not attempt an attack from inside their own 22.
As de Bruin argued, this would have been a perfect opportunity to attack as the Wallabies had no defensive line set.
“We can argue that there is no defensive line set, so to say no we are in our 22 so we’ve got to kick. We kick out and they play again, and they suffocated us the whole game.”
Focusing on the excellent rip from Vermeulen, de Bruin pointed out that it was not the players who were at fault but rather the game plan.
“Dwayne did it well, he didn’t even pass to the scrumhalf, he got it back and wide so that he can attack but this is the plan and this is what concerns me.”
“It’s not a case that Damian gets and see’s that it’s on and Faf is back there and its hands on and we run or pass kick and score.”
“I don’t want the thinking of we have got the turnover, let’s get rid of it.”
Mallet was in full agreement with his co-host as he said, “There is no doubt, every time we are in a bit of trouble the plan for every player is, we go to kick it, not to play it, not to hold onto the ball.”
Focusing the Springbok players, Mallet pointed out that it was not just the Wallabies who turned and prepared for a kick but the Bok players just stood still.
“When we win the turnover, look at the players how they just stand in front of Damien Willemse, there is no thought that he will not kick.”
Looking to offer balance to the conversation and offer some support to the Boks decision making, host Owen Nkumane suggested that the time on the clock would’ve affected the Boks thought process.
“Immediately in your 22, most other Top 10 tier nations would look to kick.”
Mallett immediately fired back by saying that assessment was not true and that in fact the first instinct would be to attack knowing that they can kick later.
“Most top 10 nations off a turnover will instinctively look to have a go, knowing they can kick later. It’s not an initial kick and it’s not slowed down once we get a turnover, it’s have a look and move two passes.” Mallett said.
“There is a great philosophy in rugby, don’t even look just give two passes away from that breakdown and let the second person who gets the ball then looks up and sees the space.”
Building on Mallett’s point, de Bruin said “Your kicking strategy all depends on who is back and if you can get the wingers up and play first. That’s why my policy of run, pass and then look for kick or score comes in.”
“Their wingers almost cheated, they said ok he is definitely not going to run so we turn around and start chasing back and now we still kick it right down their throats.”
Looking towards their great rivals, Mallett said that this would not even be in the All-Blacks psyche to kick the ball away immediately in that situation “New Zealand would never ever kick”.