Coetzee, Boks need serious rescuing

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 06:48
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REACTION: Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee said the national coaching indaba this month will be vital to help get the national team out of the gutter.

The Springboks have endured a torrid international season so far, which has seen them lose five of their nine matches.

They suffered their first-ever home defeat to Ireland in June before losing four of their six matches in this year's Rugby Championship. Their only wins in the tournament were both at home against Argentina (Nelspruit) and the Wallabies (Pretoria) and those victories were not convincing.

The Boks suffered their biggest humiliation of the season was when they went down 15-57 to the All Blacks last Saturday - a record defeat at home and their worst-ever against the All Blacks.

The Boks are struggling in a number of areas at the moment and Coetzee believes the indaba will be an ideal opportunity to address a number of issues, particularly certain skills.

"It [Indaba] is absolutely important," said Coetzee.

"We tried to play a distance kicking game and then field contestable kicks coming back, but the aerial skills are not good enough - they [All Blacks] keep winning the possession. 

"Surely we have a problem with our aerial skills and it is not a Springbok thing, it is something we will all have to look at. That is why the indaba is important - to address those focus areas we feel we are lacking."

Scoring tries have also been a major problem for the Boks this year, especially in the Rugby Championship.

The Boks failed to score a try in their last two matches (against All Blacks and Australia) and they have relied on Morne Steyn's boot for all their points.

Despite this, Coetzee believes he knows where the problem lies. 

"I know what we need to fix, but I would also like to know from other top coaches in the country if they agree or concur that these are the skill sets that we are lacking or need to improve on as a country," he added.

The Boks begin their end-of-year tour with a match against the Barbarians on November 5 followed by Tests against England, Italy and Wales.

By Warren Fortune

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