World XV: SA gameplan at the ready
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 09:42
You don't want to play a Barbarian-type game
The World XV will have a very good idea of the Springbok gameplan and set-piece calls, when they face South African at Newlands on Saturday.
Heyneke Meyer admitted that the World XV's Bok lock Juandré Kruger has an 'intimate' knowledge of all the SA team's calls.
However, the Bok mentor felt it would be counter-productive to change those for this week's outing, only to have to change it back for the first Test against Wales a week later.
The Boks start their 2014 campaign against the Nick Mallet-coached World XV in Cape Town on Saturday, before facing Wales in Durban (June 14) and Nelspruit (June 21), before completing the mid-year campaign against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on June 28.
Meyer admitted the South Africans in the team will be a huge asset to the World XV, especially since some of them would have had communications from the Bok coach in regards to the gameplan and calls.
"Every now and then we send out emails of all our line-outs and all our plays and Juandre [Kruger] was very close to the squad," Meyer said of the lock, who played the last of his 17 Tests against New Zealand at Ellispark in October last year.
"He has run our line-outs and he will know exactly what we are going to do," he said, adding: "That is a concern.
"There are one or two other players as well that were close to the squad."
However, the Bok mentor felt it would not be to their benefit to go and change everything.
"The reason we are playing this game [against the World XV] is to give us a chance to put things in place.
"It will be stupid to focus just on winning this game, change everything and then change back for the first Test against Wales.
"It is going to put more pressure on the line-outs and the way we play.
"However, this is an opportunity to see where we stand.
"Obviously they will know the gameplan, more or less. I still believe we should use this as an opportunity to be much better prepared for the first Test [against Wales]."
Meyer also said the Boks will not enter into a Barbarians type game, and will treat it like a proper Test match.
"It is a bit of a lose-lose [catch-22] situation," he said, adding: "It is a friendly, but people expect the Boks to win and smash guys by 50 points every time we go onto the field.
"On the other hand you want to try things.
"The great thing for me is that it is a tough World XV, probably one of the toughest I have seen. Obviously they have nothing to lose and they will come out to play.
"What is important for us is to stick to our structure.
"You don't want to go out there and play a Barbarian-type game, that is the type of game you play at the end of the year.
"Yes, we want to play great rugby. I am very proud that we scored the most tries per Test last year, 3.9, which is amazing.
"Although you want to use this game and try certain combinations, you also want to players to get together as a squad and get a game under their belt.
"Wales is a quality side, with big backs, physical forwards. I believe they [Wales] are better on dry fields, as they showed in Australia.
"They are a quality side and this gives us an opportunity. We have one week together [ahead of the World XV game] and this gives us an opportunity to prepare.
"Although it is a friendly, it is still an important game for us."
By Jan de Koning
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