WATCH: Kiwi solution to a Bok problem

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:30

REACTION: The Springboks are 'too prescriptive' and they should start chancing their arm.

That is the blunt assessment of the Blue Bulls' New Zealand coach John Mitchell, following South Africa's humiliating and record 0-57 loss to New Zealand at the weekend.

Mitchell, who took the All Blacks to a World Cup semifinal and finished his New Zealand coaching career with 82 percent success rate, is busy resurrecting the Blue Bulls - having taken over the coaching reins from Nollis Marais last month.

Speaking after the Bulls' 33-36 loss to the Golden Lions in a 10-try thriller at Ellis Park at the weekend, Mitchell said it would be a waste to send any creative players into the current Bok set-up.

Asked if he thought star Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant could solve some of the Boks' problems, the Kiwi said he has the talent.

However, he felt the Bok environment may not be conducive to creative play.

"[He is] a very special player," Mitchell said of Gelant, who score on of his team's four tries and was a constant threat with ball in hand.

"He has the gift to be able to create. He can certainly turn a two-on-two into a two-on-one. [And] he is learning to become a better defensive player.

"He can exit kick and he also has an attacking kick."

However, he cautioned against rushing him into the Bok setup.

"Someone like Warrick will be stifled somewhat in the current Boks exit play, because they don't run the ball.

"If you select him and don't allow him to run the ball, then his creativity is actually useless."

Asked if one of the current problems in the Bok set-up is a lack of creativity, Mitchell said the Boks need to be bolder.

The All Blacks taught us a rugby lesson. But. We have 2 options. Give up or get up and fight.Thatis exactly what we will do. Fight back.

— Brendan Venter (@BrendanVenter) September 17, 2017

"[Their current exit plan] is one pass or an immediate kick," the Kiwi said, adding: "The No.9 [Francois Hougaard] kicked early [in the Test against New Zealand] and got a benefit off a Damian McKenzie [error] - which was quite well drilled.

"For me, you need to chance your arm.

"When you are 0-31 down and [continue to] exit kick like that - you have to play rugby and build pressure from anywhere on the field.

"They [the Boks] are too prescriptive on exit.

"It might get you to a [World Cup] semifinal, but it won't win you a championship."


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