The All Out Rugby team debate whether Bok coach Allister Coetzee should attack Ireland with the five uncapped players in the Springbok squad or trust his more seasoned troopers with the invasion plans.
Tank Lanning – New faces
It’s the age old coaching conundrum: Go with the incumbent combinations to grow that partnership, or see what else you have in order to grow squad depth and give them an opportunity to fight for a spot in the side.
Jake White reckons the All Blacks can be more experimental because they’ve got more answers than questions, but because the Boks have got more questions, and given the pressure on Allister Coetzee to win, they can’t afford to experiment as much.
I’m not convinced the two are mutually exclusive, and that’s what the Kiwis have got right. You don’t need to swop out a full X and V team to experiment, you can do it gradually. In fact it’s fairer to look at new combinations and players in an existing (and hopefully successful) unit rather than in a new unit. Also they don’t seem to obsess with only winning every four years like most other coaches, hence the continuity.
What is undeniable, though, is the pressure on Coetzee to win, and given his selections thus far, the fact that the Boks have more questions than answers. So it’s unlikely, but now is exactly the time for him to be brave, break out of the mould, and try and act for the greater good of Springbok rugby.
Steven Kitshoff and Wilco Louw must start, continue the Pieter-Steph du Toit experiment at 7, give Rudy Paige and Handre Pollard a run, trial a few new centre combinations – Francois Venter and Lucky Am would get my vote, give Kriel a trot on the wing and fullback, and without doubt, give Warrick Gelant a start at fullback.
If there is a time to lose a Test, it’s now. But try telling that to a coach who’s job is on the line.
CLICK HERE to see what Zelim Nel had to say.