Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Elton Jantjies vs AB

Boks taught a lesson

Out played and out thought, the Boks were taught a rugby lesson by the world’s best says TANK LANNING, who takes a gander at the match stats on his #StatAttack piece for All Out Rugby.

Tank Lanning

Ladies and gents, the jury is back, and we have a verdict …

My word, what a hammering. As gut wrenching and ulcer inducing as it was, though, at least we now know where the current Boks stand. Wins against a weak touring French side, Argentina and a floundering Australia had perhaps lulled into a false sense of security.

The best in the world have now taught us a lesson. And best we heed that lesson.

Raymond Rhule missed 9 tackles to take the most heat on Twitter, perhaps unfairly, but as an easy target, fans found a simple way to vent their frustration at perplexing selections. Quite simply, he is not international standard, and just looking at his Super Rugby defence stats would have told you that. Yet there he was, facing the best in the world.

Francois Hougaard made 8 handling errors, Jesse Kriel 7 and Elton Jantjies 6 as the Bok backline simply disintegrated in the face of the pace as which the hosts play the game. The Boks just could not live that speed. Despite enjoying more possession and equal territory, and only making 9 less carries than the All Blacks, the visitors made 283 less metres with ball in hand, suffering from the 37 handling errors they made.

Fifty seven points and eight tries from 110 carries that delivered 875 metres with ball in hand and included 6 line breaks and 8 tackle breaks might suggest a “Harlem Globe Trotters” exhibition type game from the World Champions.

But it was built on the most solid of foundations. The All Blacks won 13 lineouts to the 9 from South Africa, who completely imploded in this department, losing 5 of them on their own throw.  Come scrum time, the hosts won 7 to the 3 from SA, who gave up 3 tightheads and gave away 4 penalties in this department. Owned!

But it’s the kicking stats from the game that are perhaps the most enlightening. The All Blacks notched up 28 kicks from hand, 12 more than the Boks. And from those kicks they carved of 865 metres to the 473 enjoyed by the visitors. Who says New Zealand sides don’t kick?

Throw in the 31 missed tackles for a success rate of 80% to complete one of Springbok rugby’s darkest days.

My word, but those All Blacks were good, though!

CLICK HERE to see all the match stats.

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...

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