Jake White. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)
- Jake White says the Springboks’ real test on their European tour at the end of the year will come when they take on Ireland, France and England.
- According to White, Les Bleus are currently the best team in the world.
- White believes South Africa’s ‘rigid’ game plan will be tested by France.
Jake White has commented on the Springboks’ “rather rigid” structure and suggests they may need to tweak their game plan when they face France, whom he ranks as “the No. 1 team in the world”.
The Bulls mentor shared his views on a column for the Rugby Pass website. He praised the Springboks after their 2-1 win over Wales in a row but warned that the real test of their tour at the end of the year will come when they take on France, Ireland and England.
Ireland, fresh off a historic run of wins in New Zealand, currently top the Rugby World Rankings but White thinks second-placed France are the best team in the world.
“Right now I would say that France are number 1 in the world, even if they are not officially number 1. They’ve won their last 10 Tests in a row, which is pretty impressive, and they have a massive pack, meaning they can play it both ways; with natural flair and raw power.
“It makes you think Les Bleus have the tools to stop the Springboks’ jab and set play, which is predictable but effective.” white wrote.
White suggested that Bok’s game plan was too predictable.
“Look at the third test. It was an image of the Boks playing in a microcosm. Wales would attack in the 22. If they lost an alley, it would be a scrum [to] South Africa.
“They would then invariably win a penalty, hoof the ball to the halfway line and then win a mole before kicking the ball into the 22 where they would go into attacking mode without doing too much. That’s a gain of 60 meters.
“Well, if a team can stop them from doing that – and there are teams that can – I’m not sure that will be enough if the Boks don’t have other options to win the game.
“Linked to that is the conversation about the Boks’ creative play and if they can do more. I’d say the structure is pretty rigid. They kick the ball and when they get it back you tune in to see if they do something can do.” . This is where players like Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi come into play. The duo thrive in broken field play when a defense is disorganized but we don’t see too much of them as all sides have massively improved in the air.”
White added “The way South Africa plays keeps other teams in the game”.
“You rarely see them running away on the scoreboard. They push, push and push until you can’t withstand the physical attack anymore, whereas when Ireland went 22-3 by half-time I knew they were never going to lose that game, which was a stunning series of wins.”
According to White, the year-end tour to Europe will be the true benchmark of where the Springboks are a year after the Worlds.
“The Boks will play France, Ireland and England for the last time before the World Cup. France are now one of the favorites for the World Cup, Ireland can now fight back, while England under Eddie Jones have always said ‘measure us against ourselves’. The end of the year tour is huge because it will be a strong indication of what group of players he (Bok coach Jacques Nienaber) will go to France with.”
On their year-end tour, the world champions will play four Tests – against Ireland, France, Italy and England – while there will also be a midweek match which will see an SA Select XV take on English club Bristol Bears.
said SA Rugby in a previous statement that negotiations were also underway to arrange two more midweek games for the SA Select XV team.
The Ireland Test is scheduled for Saturday November 5 at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. The Boks will play France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille (Saturday 12 November), Italy at a venue to be determined (Saturday 19 November) and England in Twickenham (Saturday 26 November).
The Bristol Bears game will be played at the 27,000 capacity Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol two days before the England test (Thursday 17 November).
Jake suggests changes to ‘rigid’ Bok game plan: ‘The way SA plays keeps other sides in the game’
Source link Jake suggests changes to ‘rigid’ Bok game plan: ‘The way SA plays keeps other sides in the game’