Boks to draw on franchise positives

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 17:28
Large springboks group training 800

NEWS: The Springboks will draw on various positives from each of the country's Super Rugby franchises as they prepare for the 2016 edition of the Rugby Championship.

They get their campaign underway against Argentina on August 20 in Nelspruit and will draw confidence from their previous two victories over the South Americans.

"You have to take positives from all the franchises and the players, then build the plan around that. The coach [Allister Coetzee] has his four-year plan and vision. That's what we are all excited about," assistant coach Johan van Graan said.

"The overseas-based players bring something special, the Lions guys brings excitement and momentum, the Stormers' guys had a fantastic scrum and their broken field attacks were brilliant but we can only control the next game.

"We beat them [Argentina] well in Buenos Aires and I thought we were fantastic in the first 60 minutes of the World Cup's third/fourth playoff. So we have taken lessons from those games and our focus has completely shifted onto ourselves," Van Graan added.

There was plenty of questions left unanswered after the June International Series against Ireland but van Graan stated that those lessons have been learnt and the changes will be implemented ahead of the Championship.

"We have a way we want to play, which is a well-balanced game but we need to take the opportunities to attack when it presents itself because the Championship is a different animal.

"We need to learn from the things that never worked against Ireland - we never dominated the territory at Newlands, we were brilliant in the second half at Ellis Park when we got over the advantage line and the third Test was a combination of some excellent defending and a moment of magic that swung the game our way.

"We had more than enough chances in June but we just never scored enough tries in the opening 20 minutes and that is something we will focus on. Obviously, it will help to play together more. We have three days to prepare, so hopefully, everything is fit and well rested," he added.

The assistant coach also expressed that everyone was excited about the upcoming competition.

"The springbok environment is fantastic and you can feel the excitement. Everyone is ready to get going and you have to back yourself when you are a Springbok, simply because a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this jersey," he stated.

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