Rugby 22.6.2018 09:56 am

Four questions the Springboks need to answer at Newlands

Elton Jantjies. Photo: Gallo Images.

Elton Jantjies. Photo: Gallo Images.

An early series win over England doesn’t mean everything is suddenly hunky dory with the national team under Rassie Erasmus.

The Springboks have achieved their overall objective by claiming an early series victory over England.

But coach Rassie Erasmus is very much aware that it only represents a step in the right direction and that tougher tests await.
Even in Saturday’s dead rubber at Newlands, there are a few questions that need answering before the return to Super Rugby action.
What exactly can Elton Jantjies show?
Over the past two years, the Lions flyhalf has actually had quite a substantial amount of game-time at international level.
To an extent then, the national setup are familiar with what Jantjies offers at this level.
Moments of brilliance have been mixed with casual evidence of limitation.
One Test, in a less pressurised environment, might not tell one much but Jantjies can keep critics at bay with a good performance.
He has a former teammate and halfback partner in Faf de Klerk to support him.
Will Siya Kolisi play with a bit more freedom?
Except for maybe becoming a bit too eager to intervene in the scuffles in Bloemfontein, Kolisi has been a calm, assured leader in this series.
However, his new responsibility has meant that the 27-year-old flanker has had to curb the some of the flair we’ve become accustomed to.
Kolisi has done all his primary duties well but it would be fun to see him deliver a truly compelling performance.
That said, Saturday’s expected wet conditions could put a damper on that…
Will the rookie wingers show their gritty side?
When there’s rain around, you can pretty much expect there won’t be too much attacking opportunities for the wings.
S’bu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi have many excited about their attacking talents but they’ve also shown in some bursts that they’re willing to look for work too.
That will put then in good stead as damp conditions will probably mean the only things the duo can do is, well, the unfashionable donkey work.
It’s the reality of the modern international winger and Nkosi and Dyantyi would benefit greatly from a “boring” day at the office.
Are the Springboks adaptable overall?
Tying in with Nkosi and Dyantyi’s expected challenge with a wet ball is the Boks’ ability to play a tighter game.
They’ve played some fine attacking rugby in this series but Newlands’ weather might demand something less ambitious.
There was some evidence of decent tactical awareness in the second half in Bloemfontein but the jury is still out on whether Erasmus’ vintage can adapt to all conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

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