Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Elton Jantjies vs Aus

Intent a plenty, but no finishing

Conceding 13 turnovers and making 33 handling errors (14 more than the Aussies), speaks to a lack of finishing. As it stands, the Boks just do not have the game to take other sides on using all-out attack.

Tank Lanning

In their 27-27 draw against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein on Saturday, the Boks made 280 more meters with ball in hand via 138 carries – 45 more than the Aussies. Using their 60% possession dominance, the Boks the made 4 more line breaks, 10 more tackle busts, 85 more passes, and 5 more offloads. They also won 26 more rucks than the Aussies and dominated the maul contest 7-1.

Yet drew the match!

Hugely inaccurate come the pass that mattered – the final one, and playing much of their rugby either behind the gain line, or easing out sideways given that no one was prepared to take the ball flat while running straight, saw the Boks a bit toothless on attack and unable to make use of the plethora of possession.

This despite the visitors missing 32 tackles for an ordinary success rate of just 84%.

Conceding 13 turnovers and making 33 handling errors (14 more than the Aussies), speaks to a lack of finishing. As it stands, the Boks just do not have the game to take other sides on using all-out attack. Especially from far out.

Which begs the question – why try it? Via the boot, the Boks were making 4 more meters per kick, yet only kicked 13 times – 5 less than the Aussies. Would it not have made more sense to use the boot to try and improve on the 47% territory they ended up with, and then attack from closer to the opposition try line?

The Boks were not helped by a misfiring scrum where tighthead prop Ruan Dreyer did exactly as he did in Super Rugby – cut grass with his teeth as his primary defence – with the result being the same as the one in Super Rugby – a penalty fest.

Do the Bok coaches not get the Super Rugby stats? I know a great South African rugby website that provides them free of charge …

CLICK HERE for all the match stats

Author: Tank

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

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