The Boks Hurt England and Themselves in Victory

Ian TaitCorrespondent INovember 29, 2010

Mvovo on his way to the try line....
Mvovo on his way to the try line....

As a proud South African, nothing made me happier than seeing the Poms being thumped by the Springboks. It was not pretty rugby, but effective, it certainly was. Only the intercept try due to a reckless pass from CJ Van Der Linde gave the English something to cheers about.

I was caught between a rock and a hard place.

If the Boks won, we restore a whole lot of pride for a team missing some top notch players back at home recovering from injury.

If the Boks lose, we get a new coach and the Lord only knows how many prayers have been sent up stairs to the Big Guy asking for Peter De Villiers to be axed. The sad reality is we have CLOWN until the end of the Rugby World Cup next year.

England beat Australia two weeks ago in a display of rugby that rivaled that of the All Blacks. For some reason Martin Johnston thought that taking on the Boks up front would be the answer.

They did not reckon on the fact that a wounded Bok is a dangerous animal. The fact that by halftime three English players had to be substituted due to injury was proof on just how hard the Boks were playing. Do not for one moment think that I enjoy players getting hurt. I don't. As a coach, the wellness of my players are paramount and true rugby fans want to see the best player on the field at all times.

Ruan Pienaar had by far his best game of the tour and showed just why he is one of the best nine's in world rugby. The tight five were very strongly lead by Bismarck Du Plessis and Bakkies Botha. Victor Matfield although strong in the line-out is not an international Captain and certainly not a leader that the South African team would lay their lives down for. John Smit was certainly missed on tour.

Deon Stegmann is not our answer to fetcher flank and, although improving with every game, he certainly is no Ritchie McCaw.

Pierre Spies is finding some form and it is about time, but Juan Smith was my forward of the day. One school of thought is what do you do with Willem Alberts? Three test caps and three tries.

What would happen if he plays for a full 80 minutes? The non Sharks supporting public in South Africa still don't reckon he is a full 80-minute player, but John Plumtree certainly has other ideas and the Currie Champion Coach was not proven wrong.

I would like to see the youngster given a chance for the Baa-Baa game on Saturday. Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel, Alistair Hargreaves, Ryan Kankowski, Bandise Maku, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss and Flip van der Merwe up front with the forwards. In the backs players like Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod and Lwazi Mvovo, need to start and Elton Jantjies on for a run in the second half. Lwazie Mvovo showed his class with a fantastic try and this young man given the chance will become a record holder for the most Bok tries.

The trouble though is that our coach can not adapt to the new style of rugby.

The fact that the Bok pattern of play has not changed from Jake Whites' days is very concerning. Graham Henry and Robbie Deans have adapted to the new interpretations on the existing laws and as with John Plumtree and John Mitchell there are only two teams in South Africa that have tried this and been successful.

It is now adapt or die and I am not confident that if the Boks do not try to change their pattern of play instead of aimless kicking away of possession, we will be lucky to make it to a Semi Final, let alone retain the William Webb Ellis Trophy.

So here's to wishful thinking and Springbok rugby changing for the better.