Sun Sep 24 05:15:29 CAT 2017

Five things we've learnt about the Springboks over the past two weeks

By Khanyiso Tshwaku | 2017-09-17 12:26:37.0

The Springboks had a chastening tour even though they came back with two points.

However‚ the 57-0 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks was the shock the Boks needed to realise they are still far from the finished product.

Here's what we've learnt over the past two weeks and what the Boks need to do to retrieve their year‚ which will be judged on how they cope with the All Blacks.

1) Elton Jantjies is the number one flyhalf

Jantjies probably strung together his best Australasian tour in a Bok jersey.

He needs to rid himself of the early kicking jitters but his game management and composure were never in doubt.

It was a crying shame he saved his best tour performance for when the Boks were soundly and roundly beaten.

He showed flashes of brilliance that scared the All Blacks‚ who reverted to the time-worn concept of cutting off the supply at the forwards.

He should be given the chance to see out the Rugby Championship.

2) Handre Pollard needs Currie Cup game time
The ease in which Anton Lienert-Brown bumped off Pollard in the build up to Lima Sopoaga's 75th minute try was a reminder of how much game time Pollard needs before he's considered to be match-fit.

The wrong game was chosen for him to ease himself back into international rugby after two-year injury enforced absence.

Pollard's class is not in doubt but he's in no shape or form to be playing international rugby.

3) Francois Hougaard is not the answer at nine
There was one thing Hougaard couldn't do and that was to pass.

That is the basic of any functional international scrumhalf and that basic departed him in the biggest way.

Aaron Smith and Perenara showed him how international scrumhalves operate‚ with crisp service and attention to space detail being their fortes before trying to snipe at rucks.

It's clear Hougaard is better used at wing but he needs to play there for Worcester Warriors before he impedes the progress of other players who deserve to be in the position.

4) Raymond Rhule's himself out
You can't miss nine tackles and still expect to call yourself a test class player.

That was Rhule's problem and his channel was ruthlessly exploited by the All Blacks.

Rhule will have to miss out on his home test.

It's that simple and he has to pay the price for his underwhelming performance.

5) Set-piece failures are inexcusable
Against Australia‚ the set-pieces laid the platform for the draw that should have been a win.

What the All Blacks did was just an example of their street-smarts and intelligence to pick apart the Bok lineout and own the scrums later in the game.

The Bok scrum and lineout came in with a reputation that was shredded quickly.

It's an area that can be fixed but was badly exposed by Steven Hansen's side.

The All Blacks did their homework on a perceived threat and it showed. - SowetanLIVE