Rassie aiming high with Boks

Sun, 04 Mar 2018 11:10

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Newly appointed Springbok coach Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus has highlighted the Boks lack of accuracy under the high ball as the main area of improvement under his reign.

Erasmus, who is also the Director of Rugby at SA Rugby, has less than three months to change the Boks' woes.

Their first Test challenge is against Wales in Washington on June 2 and the coach has identified Springboks' lack of aerial prowess as the side's crucial problem area.

South Africa were horribly exposed under the high ball in their two November Test Series defeat to Ireland [3-38] and Wales [22-24], respectively.

"It’s a well-known fact all over the world that we struggle aerially, all teams target us there," Erasmus told reporters in Randburg after being named Springbok coach.

"It was a fact that Ireland were going to play against us like that in that specific game [38-3 defeat in Dublin, November 2017] and you can’t fix that in a week heading into the Wales Test-match,"

Erasmus added that he has analysed all the South African Super Rugby teams- Lions, Bulls, Sharks and Stormers’ as well as the South African Pro 14 teams - Southern Kings and the Cheetahs - and he has already come up with a plan to solve the Springboks' general faults in their game plan.

Erasmus plans to implement a game plan which takes into account a playing style which is focused on taking the game plan from club level and simply executing it to perfection in the national team.

"We’ve watched every single game, we analyse every single player that’s of national interest.

"If we don’t have alignment in the way we [as the national team and different unions] see things, practice things and coach things it's going to troublesome.

"That’s not to say the franchise must coach like we coach, maybe we should adopt the franchise's style. For example, if you going to have the [scrumhalf and flyhalf] from the same team, maybe it will be best if you adapt to that specific franchise's halfback pairing style,"

After the trip to Washington, the Boks face England, ranked No.2 behind New Zealand, in a three-Test series - June 9 (Johannesburg), June 16 (Bloemfontein) and June 23 (Cape Town).

By Josh Isaacson