South Africa Lucky To Escape

Did you watch the New-Zealand, Wales match? If not, watch it and then quiver in fear! Currently the largest winning margin for New Zealand against South Africa is a 36-point defeat, when the Boks went down 16-52 in Pretoria, that is a record which is soon to be broken.

The South African performance over the last 3-weeks was nothing short of disgraceful. The reality is, South Africa, despite winning the series 2-1 were  lucky to win. One might argue there is no such thing as a lucky win, for those we say watch the matches again, South Africa did not win due to being the better team but rather because Ireland threw both matches away by making crucial mistakes at the wrong time, perhaps overwhelmed by the occasion?

A simple look at the statistics confirms the above, South Africa got outplayed in each and every aspect of the match(es), currently there are major weaknesses in the South African team, something which any semi-smart team can easily exploit.

For those celebrating the Springboks win here is a reality check for you

South Africa vs Ireland Statistics

Tries Meteres Carries Defenders Beaten Clean Breaks Passes Offloads Turnovers Cinceded Missed Tackles
1 154 67 5 1 89 6 6 25
1 405 155 25 9 212 4 14 5

South Africa Offense

On attack there is NOTHING for South Africa, sure you have a talented player in Ruan Combrink, but you have to create something for him to work with. The South African offensive strategy is none existent. More worryingly there is not a single player in the backline, which can be considered a threat, perhaps Combrink being the exception.

South Africa only managed to score a single try, and was unable to penetrate the Irish defensive line,. Ireland is a team who is good on defense but not brilliant – it is hard to see how South Africa will put points on the board during the Rugby Championship.

Strategical Changes & Defense

fafdeklerk heroSouth Africa did make some strategical changes, in match 3 which did work slightly better, however it was far from perfect. One only needs to look at the statistics to see how Coetzee changed things around in match 3.

South Africa were forced to make 101 more tackles than Ireland, who for most of the game controlled the ball enjoying a whopping 68% possession compared to the Boks 32%. Sure, you could give credit to South Africa for only conceding 1 try despite wave upon wave of Irish attack. With that being said, had it not been for some individual brilliance by Faf De Klerk who saved 2 certain tries, Ireland could easily have added 2-more tries to their tellie. Furthermore South Africa missed an unacceptable 26 tackles compared to 5 by Ireland.

How Good Are The Boks Really?

Jake White once said, to determine how good a team is, consider how many players within the team will be selected for a “World 15”. Being brutally honest South Africa may not have a single player who is good enough to make such a team. You could throw Eben Etzebeth into the mix, but he is currently underperforming, Pieter-Steph Du Toit makes for a solid argument, but there are better locks with more allround skills.

This is worrying, since not only is South Africa playing poor rugby, but there are no real standout players in the team

Conclusion

The Springboks and their coaching staff bursted out in jubilation after their series victory, are we the only ones who feel South Africa has nothing to celebrate about…? They should rather have walked of the field, perhaps hanging their heads in shame, since well…over the course of 3-weeks we were treated to some of the worst performances EVER from a South African team! Do you agree with our sentiment or do you feel there is reason for optimism in the Springbok camp? As always drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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