8.3 C
London
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

‘Revved up’ Springbok pack must set up backs party on attack against Argentina

- Advertisement -

There will be a pair of wild cards in the middle of the backs and forwards when the Springboks face Argentina this afternoon.

And whether they come out as aces or are to be ridiculed as jokers will rely on those around them as much as their personal performances.

The Boks go into their final Rugby Championship clash of the season a hopeful bunch.

They will hope that the Wallabies can comfortably beat the All Blacks.

They will hope to then beat the Pumas at Ellis Park (5.05pm kick-off) in equal measure.

They will hope that the inexperienced halfback pairing of Grant Williams and Manie Libbok aids them in achieving the latter goal.

Williams and Libbok have eight Test caps between them. Moreover, it will be 27-year-old Williams’s first start in the green and gold.

As admitted by the assistant coach Mzwandile Stick and captain Duane Vermeulen, one of their big failures against the All Blacks in their most recent loss was their inability to protect their No 9 and first receiver.

They were also unable to compete, especially in the first 20 minutes of that 35-20 defeat, at the breakdowns and lacked the required physicality to slow down the opposition.

!function(e,t,r){let n;if(e.getElementById(r))return;const o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];n=e.createElement(“script”),n.id=r,n.defer=!0,n.type=”module”,n.src=”https://playback.oovvuu.media/player/v2/index.js”,o.parentNode.insertBefore(n,o)}(document,0,”oovvuu-player-sdk-v2″);

The Pumas will surely attempt similar disruptions, and both coach and skipper expressed a willingness to correct this aspect of play on the highveld.

“We looked back at our game against the All Blacks in Auckland,” said Vermeulen at the captain’s media briefing yesterday, “and obviously Faf (de Klerk) didn’t get clear ball,” he admitted.

“We have worked hard on it, and all the forwards are pretty revved up for this game. We really want to give Grant a proper opportunity to showcase what he has got. We must give him that ball on a platter so that he can show his skills and distribute it to Manie as well.

“If we can give them ball on the front foot, then they can play their game and they can bring their party tricks to the table.”

It was a sentiment shared by Stick, who added that the centre pairing of Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel would also be important to give the scrumhalf and flyhalf time, space and creative licence.

!function(e,t,r){let n;if(e.getElementById(r))return;const o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];n=e.createElement(“script”),n.id=r,n.defer=!0,n.type=”module”,n.src=”https://playback.oovvuu.media/player/v2/index.js”,o.parentNode.insertBefore(n,o)}(document,0,”oovvuu-player-sdk-v2″);

Stick said of Williams and Libbok: “They are two players with a bit of an X factor. If you look around them, the secret is not in the two of them, but what is around them.

“Having a loose trio like Duane, who has been around, Pieter-Steph who has been around, Marco van Staden, who is very physical and playing very good rugby now; and having a guy like Damian de Allende, who is very experienced outside them – that is going to be the key thing for them because of the foundation the forwards will give them.

!function(e,t,r){let n;if(e.getElementById(r))return;const o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];n=e.createElement(“script”),n.id=r,n.defer=!0,n.type=”module”,n.src=”https://playback.oovvuu.media/player/v2/index.js”,o.parentNode.insertBefore(n,o)}(document,0,”oovvuu-player-sdk-v2″);

“We know Grant Williams off the bench always brings some impact,” Stick continued.

“He will probably have to control the game more, and later on when there are opportunities for him to do what he does best, then maybe he can do that.

“Manie Libbok is probably one of the in-form flyhalves in South Africa over the last two seasons, and he now has that trust from us as coaches – we support him 100%.”

This will be the last Test in South Africa for coach Jacques Nienaber and possibly 37-year-old Vermeulen, who remains unattached to a team ahead of the United Rugby Championship season starting in October.*

@FreemanZAR

Latest news
Related news