1 minute read
12 Nov 2016
5:21 am

Struggling Boks need to find a playing identity

It looks suspiciously like the Boks, having used Plan A to little effect this season, have gone away, thought about it, and decided to use Plan A anyway.

The bulking up of the Springbok team who run out against England at Twickenham this afternoon can hardly have taken anyone by surprise.

Certainly England coach Eddie Jones grasped the space South African rugby currently occupies by labelling the Boks “bullies”.

As an integral member of Jake White’s coaching staff when this country last won the World Cup in 2007 – though shown the arrant discourtesy of not being given a blazer for his efforts – Jones is probably ideally placed to make a judgment like this.

His record of nine wins in nine outings at the England helm only serves to underscore this.

The Boks are struggling to find a playing identity, while Jones has transformed a side who had suffered the ignominy of failing as World Cup hosts to reach the knockout phase, and turned them into winners.

In contrast to Jones, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee seems to have retreated into a laager of bigger is better, depending on the very physicality South African teams have traditionally been renowned for.

It looks suspiciously like the Boks, having used Plan A to little effect this season, have gone away, thought about it, and decided to use Plan A anyway.