With 3 locks in the pack and Willem Alberts at 6, Saturday’s Springbok lineout was a veritable forest of tall timber, yet their contesting of the England feed was virtually non-existent!
#StatAttack by Tank Lanning
Hence England winning not only every one of their 18 lineouts, but also poaching one from the Boks, who ended up winning only 8 lineouts on their way to a comprehensive 37-21 loss to and England side who did not quite hit their straps.
Giving up the back of the lineout is one of the biggest sins in the game, and doing exactly that lead to the 10th minute Johnny May try – after a fantastic double decoy move that sucked in Francois Venter. It was a strange tactic by the Boks and set the tone for the day – a tone sadly, that lacked any sort of creativity.
While making 4 fewer than the visitors, the kicking out of hand was again lacking in accuracy and strategic intent. Willie le Roux put one directly into touch, while all of Warren Whiteley, Adriaan Strauss and even Alberts made it onto the list of kickers.
England made three fewer carries than the Boks, yet led the Clean breaks 9-4, Defenders beaten 17-12, Metres run 451-395, and Offloads 5-3. They were just so much more adventurous on attack than the visitors, who’s sole piece of invention was a long lineout feed to centre Damien de Allende in midfield.
Defensively frail again – especially at pillar next to the breakdown where Pieter-Steph du Toit really was exposed, South Africa missed 5 more tackles then England. Together with the dominance in possession, territory and at the breakdown, England were good for a win that was perhaps more comprehensive than the score line suggests.