Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
2 minute read
18 Nov 2014
3:35 pm

Coach disects Bok improvement

Rudolph Jacobs

Springbok breakdown specialist Richie Grey said today in Padova, Italy, why the Bok breakdown play made such big strides between the Irish and England Test matches was not rocket science.

FILE PICTURE: Jannie du Plessis of South Africa with Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa and Beast Mtawarira of South Africa during the International match between South Africa and World XV from DHL Newlands Stadium on June 07, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

Grey believed while the Boks probably lacked the intensity in the Ireland loss, it all returned to normal in the decisive win over England last Saturday.

“If you look back at the last year or two, we have become more and more consistant, but first and foremost the weather was a big difference from week one to week two. Against Ireland our breakdown wasn’t dominant and it wasn’t accurate and not up to our required standards,” said Grey.

“We just had to go back to our systems and do what we have been doing so well, over the last couple of years, we worked really hard, and I think we got it right last weekend and back to the way we were.”

Grey said they did have a brainstorming session – a “koppestamp” as he called it – to ensure their priorities are in the right place.

“The intensity was back, the accuracy returned, the good thing is we have a honest group, they’ve listened to what the captain said that we didn’t pitch up the previous week,” he said. “There was only one thing to sort out, and that was ourselves.

“It was just about getting on with the job, and we made huge improvements in this area, so I was very proud of the boys’ performance.”

But Grey warned he made a study of Italy in their domestic competitions and cautioned they won’t be a soft target when it comes to the collisions.

“As far as Italy are concerned, I’ve watched a lot of Guinness rugby… difficult teams to play against, they are real intense at the breakdown and you’ll get proper competition there… some world-class players and over the years they have really developed as a nation.

“So I expect a real intense battle as every Test match is.”