Tri-Nations: Are the Boks on the decline?

The Springboks were comprehensively outplayed once again and suffered their third defeat in as many weeks, losing to Australia this morning by 30 points to 13.

Regular sin-binnings are becoming a feature of the South African game, and the penalty count is scuppering their chances of victory. The structured gameplan that made the Boks the best in the world was hardly seen in Brisbane, and their traditional gamebreakers like Bryan Habana and Schalk Burger appear to be some way from their best.

The flawless kicking plan, dominant set piece and impregnable defence has gone out of the window, and it’s not unfair to say that they were never in contention in this Test match.

Australia’s back row was immense, with Rocky Elsom and David Pocock both playing superbly, but the Wallabies certainly didn’t look unbeatable and the All Blacks won’t be too concerned ahead of next week.

Whilst the Kiwis and Wallabies appear to be timing their run nicely for the Rugby World Cup showing signs of improvement week on week, the Boks now return to South Africa with their squad in disarray. They’ve got a couple of weeks off to take a long hard look at themselves and try to figure out where it is all going wrong.

In my view, the lack of structure is their problem – the opposition probably deserves some credit for playing away from the Bok strengths, but the unstructured game does not suit South Africa and they need to find a way to exert control again, to play at their own pace and on their own terms. Easier said than done though, obviously.

5 thoughts on “Tri-Nations: Are the Boks on the decline?

  1. the boks are in real trouble and not sure how they got there. they do have a different team now but there are still players like smit, matfield, burger, spies, fourie, habana etc but the team looks clueless now.

    i’m sure they will sort it out though. they had both super 14 finalists so probably one or twochanges and theyll fix it.

  2. There have been a few calls for Smit to be dropped. He’s another of the Bok stalwarts that haven’t been at their best, and perhaps he’s starting to fit Shaun Edwards’ description of him on the Lions Tour (“that fat b*****d”).

    It will be interesting to see how they respond in a few weeks’ time, but the Kiwis might have wrapped up the Tri-Nations title before the Boks play again.

  3. …The boks will continue a downward spiral …untill they realise that politics has no place in rugby.The obsession with race …having a black coach…and token players will be there own undoing!!Peter De Villiers inherited a star studded jake White side …a primary school coach could have lead that class to win anything they wanted.The senior form plaers were at there top of there game and the “coach” had players of “colour” who deserved there place on merit.Now with the senior players out of form…Smit…Habana…Matfield…Spies…the token appointments are a bigger weakness…Kirschner…..Januarie…..Ralepelli.The funniest thing is that SA have the players to beat everybody…they just have a coach who chooses not to pick them because he feels a certain loyalty to the senior players.It’s a sad state of affairs and I can see why SA looses so much of there talent…..Quota’s have no place in rugby and no place in sport!!

  4. I don’t know enough about the internal politics, but I can see that de Villiers isn’t the ideal coach. He is forever coming out with stupid comments to the detriment of the team, and he makes some very odd selection decisions. Even Bok supporters call him Div.

    Will they replace him before the World Cup? I’d be surprised…

  5. @ Hutch…no DeVilliers will not be replaced because in the eyes of SARU he is a good coach..He just has some problems with communication….:)
    I see some radical knee jerk changes coming for the home leg…to save some face!!He could do no worse if he chose the likes of Gary Botha/Tiaan Libenberg(Bismark DuPLessis may be back)…Frans Steyn…..Peter Grant(Back up)….Hougaad at # 9….JP Pietersen to cover on the wing…Vermeulen at # 8…Juan Smit at # 7….these would at least take into account form players and not those who play on past glories!!

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