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5 Ways The Springboks Can Beat The All Blacks

Springboks All Blacks

Rugby’s greatest rivalry will be the focus of the Rugby World Cup semi-final stage, but how exactly can the Springboks combat the mercurial All Blacks side?

The Springboks face a massive challenge come Saturday – taking on the best team on the planet on the biggest stage in rugby, but Heyneke Meyer’s troops have a chance to topple the tournament favourites by focusing on their own strengths and eliminating errors. Here’s five key areas the Boks need to focus on the ensure victory at Twickenham:

Maul

The Springboks have arguably the strongest maul in world rugby. For years, South African rugby has prided itself on its rolling maul off a lineout – a tactical move this current Springbok team have used numerous times to secure tries when defences are holding tight.

The All Blacks themselves have made great strides with their own mauls in recent years, but their defence against them hasn’t been water-tight. The Springboks can target this area of the All Blacks if the team is able to secure a lineout at least 5-10 metres from the New Zealand tryline.

Eliminating uncontested up-and-unders

While South Africa were victorious over Wales, a recurring problem which seemed to creep back into their game was that of aimless kicks. Both Fourie du Preez and Handré Pollard (while strong in other areas of their respective games) tended to put the ball into the air within 10m of the halfway line, with no wings or fullback chasing to contest and win the ball back. As expected, it resulted in a lot of turnover ball and lost possession.

The All Blacks will thrive off of this and won’t need a second invite to counter-attack from these turnover positions. New Zealand tend to run the ball following a possession-swap in open play, and with Ben Smith covering the kicks at fullback, it would be suicidal to opt for that game plan.

Run

Every time the Springboks have beaten or closely threatened the All Blacks was when things opened up and the Boks took on the New Zealanders at their own game. We by no means imply that the Boks must run the ball at every chance they get (a platform and patience is needed to strike at the right time), but when the opportunity presents itself, the likes of Fourie du Preez and Willie le Roux will need to direct the attack to overlaps or gaps in the All Black defence.

Mismatches have appeared in recent encounters as some of the All Blacks’ front and second-rowers tend to hang out wide to attack the breakdown. This is when the Springboks’ speedy outside backs can exploit them as they have done over the past two years.

Make penalties count

An obvious one, but something that has plagued the Springboks decisions in the past. If the Boks are awarded penalties, kicks at goal need to be guaranteed, and Pollard and Patrick Lambie will have to ensure their shots split the uprights. Otherwise the Springboks need to look for field possession using the touchline and the strong driving maul. It’ll come down to the score difference and time on the clock, but the right high-pressure decisions will need to be made by captain Fourie du Preez and vice-captain Schalk Burger.

Suffocate Aaron Smith

While much talk is made about the loose forwards and wingers of the All Blacks, the real danger lies in scrumhalf Aaron Smith and flyhalf Daniel Carter. If they’re closed down and their time is limited, the rest of the team suffers, and by process of procedure, if you stop Smith, you stop Carter.

Aaron Smith was the deciding factor in the All Blacks’ opening World Cup battle against Argentina, and he has a knack to slip through gaps right by the rucks and find the tryline. The Springboks need to keep the defence around the breakdown tight and ensure he has no opportunities to snipe around the fringes.

At scrum time, Fourie du Preez is one of the best candidates to give Smith some grief and slow down the ball whenever he can, and the loose trio of Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, and Francois Louw can make Smith’s life even harder at the breakdown point.

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58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Lions4Life

    October 22, 2015 at 15:44

    keep the scoreboard ticking over. Make every penalty count.

    • GregZA

      October 22, 2015 at 15:46

      Definitely. Who is kicking???

      • Lions Fan 96

        October 22, 2015 at 15:46

        Pollard should be starting

        • Joe Joe

          October 22, 2015 at 16:10

          I back that call

        • Wes

          October 22, 2015 at 16:10

          His line breaks have been heroic

      • jeff

        October 22, 2015 at 15:47

        Lambie is looking way off the pace

        • Nelspruit Bok

          October 22, 2015 at 16:01

          Ja Meyer should have sent him home long ago

        • City Fan

          October 22, 2015 at 16:02

          Nah he’s got BMT

      • HeinRich

        October 22, 2015 at 15:47

        Should start Polly but knowing Heyneke he’ll start Morne

        • XD Champ

          October 22, 2015 at 15:50

          Hehehehehehe he probably will

          • Trap Lord

            October 22, 2015 at 15:50

            Well then that’s like starting the game with 14 men.

          • 6 God

            October 22, 2015 at 15:51

            hehehehehehehehe

    • yoh yoh yoh

      October 22, 2015 at 15:54

      EXACTLY.

  2. Sprinbok fan

    October 22, 2015 at 15:44

    The boks can’t let NZ get ahead at all. We suck at chasing games

    • Sprinbok fan_ JHB

      October 22, 2015 at 15:45

      Yeah man, we really are bad at chasing games. The team looked like they were accepting the loss against Wales. If it wasn’t for Fourie we wouldn’t have made it through.

  3. Stormers 4 lyf

    October 22, 2015 at 15:49

    Our Maul is looking strong but we need to be aware that the All Blacks aren’t stupid. They knw what we are doing, I reckon they won’t go in to contact when we have a lineout

  4. Stefan

    October 22, 2015 at 15:49

    Rush Aaron Smith and don’t kick

    • bokke

      October 22, 2015 at 15:53

      Shut. Him. Down.

    • Nelspruit Bok

      October 22, 2015 at 16:01

      Give him no room to move but also don’t create gaps in our defense.

  5. NZ NZ NZ

    October 22, 2015 at 15:49

    Wing and a prayer. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    • HeinRich

      October 22, 2015 at 15:53

      hahahahahahahahahaha

    • GregZA

      October 22, 2015 at 16:09

      We’ll see come saturday!

  6. GregZA

    October 22, 2015 at 15:51

    Don’t do any up and unders. NZ will punsh us with ball in hand.

  7. cliff

    October 22, 2015 at 15:52

    Make every tackle – sorry Jesse that means you too!

    • bokke

      October 22, 2015 at 15:52

      Harsh but he has had a shitty RWC

      • yoh yoh yoh

        October 22, 2015 at 16:00

        Fair to say that about most of our team

    • Kabs

      October 22, 2015 at 15:53

      Yeah he’s been a disappointment but I think he’ll step up

      • Nelspruit Bok

        October 22, 2015 at 16:00

        This will be the game he steps up

        • bokke bokke bokke

          October 22, 2015 at 16:09

          Ja!!!!! Back our boys!!!!

        • Ellis Park Pride

          October 22, 2015 at 16:11

          Ja i think he’s going to dominate

    • Lions4Life

      October 22, 2015 at 16:04

      First time tackles

      • GregZA

        October 22, 2015 at 16:05

        Be ready for some big hits in the first half

    • There Will Be Only One

      October 22, 2015 at 16:07

      Don’t worry, he’s going to step up this game and prove all the haters wrong!

  8. Sprinbok fan_ CT

    October 22, 2015 at 15:55

    DROP WLR!

    • bokke

      October 22, 2015 at 15:55

      Willie also hasn’t had a great world cup but I think he’s definitely up for it.

      • Boks 2015

        October 22, 2015 at 15:57

        You just never know which Willie will run on to the field. The confident play maker or the unconfident guy who tries to hard

    • fourie

      October 22, 2015 at 16:03

      Very HARSH!!!!!!!!

    • reynolds_9

      October 22, 2015 at 16:08

      YES!!!!

    • Bach

      October 22, 2015 at 16:08

      For who??????

      • =)

        October 22, 2015 at 16:09

        EXACTLY>>

  9. Sprinbok fan_ CT

    October 22, 2015 at 15:58

    I can guarantee that the All Blacks will be using our maul against us. We need to learn how to defend against things that we are good at.

  10. Nelspruit Bok

    October 22, 2015 at 15:59

    I think we should focus on scrums. Force penalties out of the ABs in kickable positions.

    • XD Champ

      October 22, 2015 at 15:59

      Show dominance from the beginning of the game and show the kiwis that we wont be bossed around.

  11. Picture Me Rollin'

    October 22, 2015 at 16:02

    Don’t do what France did and we should be fine

  12. Liam_N

    October 22, 2015 at 16:03

    When will the squad be released?

    • Matty_D

      October 22, 2015 at 16:04

      Team sheet should be released later today or tomorrow.

    • cliff

      October 22, 2015 at 16:04

      Squad was released before the RWC.

      • Kabs

        October 22, 2015 at 16:08

        hehehehehehehehe

  13. 6 God

    October 22, 2015 at 16:06

    We need to make the Ref aware of Richie McCaw’s position and his antics off the ball.

    • jhb_boet

      October 22, 2015 at 16:07

      I’m sure he’ll play as cleanly as possible so as not to give away penalties.

  14. BoKs

    October 22, 2015 at 16:12

    BOKKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im so excited (and very nervous)

  15. Stellies Bok

    October 22, 2015 at 16:12

    Heyneke don’t fuck this up.

    • Call me Big Poppa

      October 22, 2015 at 16:13

      He mustn’t hesitate to make early changes if okes havent stepped up

  16. Stellies Bok

    October 22, 2015 at 16:14

    Two hands on the ball EBEN!!!!

    • Kabs

      October 22, 2015 at 16:14

      We need to avoid handling errors

    • Tru_ant

      October 22, 2015 at 16:15

      Y he had a shocker against Wales

  17. Sandton BOK fan

    October 22, 2015 at 16:17

    The Boks need to avoid becoming spectators in the game. France allowed the AB’s to play the game the way they wanted to. We need to be stuck in from the first second.

    • cliff

      October 22, 2015 at 16:18

      Take the game to them

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