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Unlikely star emerges to solve Springbok goal kicking dilemma ahead of Ireland clash

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Sep 19, 2023

Reigning Rugby World Cup champions South Africa are gearing up for their biggest challenge of the tournament to date as they tackle the only side above them on the world rankings.

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Ireland who are on a historic run of 15 consecutive victories, which includes wins over every tier-one nation, a Six Nations Grand Slam and a series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand.

The Boks, on the other hand, have found an extra gear throughout the season, having got their build-up to the World Cup underway with several strong outings in the Rugby Championship. Since arriving in Europe, the Boks have thumped Wales in Cardiff before handing the All Blacks a record defeat at Twickenham.

Whilst things have been by and large rosey for the South Africans, one area of concern has been their rather erratic goal kicking, with regular sharp shooter Handre Pollard missing several fixtures through injury.

In his place, Stormers’ playmaker Manie Libbok has been a revelation as an all-encompassing attacking threat but has struggled from the kicking tee. These struggles have led to the Boks experimenting with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and utility back Damian Willemse as goal kickers.

Such is the concern with goal-kicking; the Boks have looked in all areas for goal-kicking options as Pollard, who was called into the squad on Monday, is reportedly not being considered for this weekend’s match with Ireland.

Having scoured the earth for a viable goal Springbok-eligible goal kicker, the South African Director of Rugby left no stone unturned.

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Yet, as has been the case for quite some time, the grand poobah knew there was only ever going to be one man for the job.

Of course, he turned to himself as the man with all of the skills and answers to the great challenges posed by World Cup Rugby; Rassie put forward an audition tape to his great mate Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber.

Clearly rubbing his highly tuned kicking skills in the face of the Bok kickers, Rassie cooly slotted kicks from awkward angles as the Boks warmed up for their recent clash with Romania.

Such was his accuracy, he knew then, and there only he could save South Africa.

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Long live the king, all hail Sir Rassie!

Rassie Casually Slotting a Kick Before The South Africa Romania Game
byu/lynch311 inrugbyunion

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