Boks look for checkmate in the rain

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 07:49
Play the chess game better than the opposition
The weather looks set to play a big part in the Perth Test on Saturday with the Springboks already planning to revert to the centuries old physical game plan that they are famous for.
The rain has caused some interesting results in the Rugby Championship thus far, Australia and the All Blacks fought out a tense 12 all draw in a rainy Sydney in the first match of the tournament.
At the same time, the Boks were pushed close in a torrential thunderstorm over Loftus Versfeld against Argentina.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers knows that Perth will be a wet Test and has hinted that the Springboks will be ready to play those conditions better this time around.
"The weather tomorrow [Saturday] will probably prohibit them [the Wallabies] from playing the way that they want to and I think the same for us," the captain said from Perth.
"It seems like it will be very wet - probably not as wet as Pretoria a couple weeks ago but it will still make the conditions difficult to throw the ball around.
"You need to be able to adapt to it, and the Wallabies do have the players to adapt to it."
While de Villiers seems happy to play a centuries old Springbok game plan, he insists the team is evolving, but not at the expense of a tried and tested methodology.
"We are trying to evolve as a team, but in saying that we are always going to rely on what made us a good team, and what Springbok rugby is all about," he said.
"That will always be there for us, and it is a non-negotiable - if we can add to that and try and evolve around that, then we can only become a better team.
"I think we have done that in a way, but we need to stay strong in the areas that we have generally been strong in for a centaury or so.
In saying that, it is clear that the Springboks feel that a physical, forward dominated game will be the best option against an opposition who are traditionally not the strongest in the pack.
It will be a game of chess for the Springboks who will feel that they have the tactics and experience, especially in the forecasted weather, to squeeze out a win against the flashy Wallabies.
"Tomorrow will probably be an occasion where we will need that [the traditional style of Springbok rugby], where the forwards will have to be at their best," De Villiers explained.
"It will be a great Test match tomorrow, sometimes you get the flashy games where you score plenty of tries and sometimes it is just brute strength and teams tying to out think each other and play the chess game better than the opposition.
"Tomorrow will be an ideal situation for that."