Five things the Boks should try and avoid against Wales
There are five things that the Boks should try and avoid when they play Wales on Saturday and they are below.
Five key areas that will impact the Test: 1) Team selection Should he follow his gut with safety first selections in his starting line-up‚ Bok coach Allister Coetzee should at the very least consider giving his bench more time on the playing surface.
With two attack-minded teams and with the Principality Stadium’s roof set to be closed‚ which will make for a dry surface‚ the ball will be in play for much longer than the previous three Tests on tour.
Coetzee’s substitutions have at times been overly premeditated.
Last year his team had fallen behind 6-20 by the 46th minute in the corresponding clash‚ but his first substitutes were only summoned in the 58th minute.
2) Fresh legs only count when they are on the field. Discipline
The Springboks’ discipline will again be under the microscope.
Avoidable penalties tend to invite pressure and they can ill afford it against Wales‚ who always have a well honed kicking game.
Last year Faf de Klerk was sin binned in the Principality Stadium and the Boks conceded a penalty and a try in that period.
It helped put Wales out of sight‚ and as it’s turned out‚ De Klerk too. 3) Tactics
With the roof set to be closed‚ it is anticipated that the game with be contested in dry conditions.
Wales‚ as Bok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot suggested earlier this week‚ play like New Zealand and Australia in their devotion to pass and play with width.
The Boks‚ however‚ should not be lulled into a match and it will be tempting in an early December outing that has a festival atmosphere about it.
They are not playing the Barbarians‚ and Wales who may currently lack a bit of substance will be keen to draw the South Africans from their traditional strengths. 4) Out of hand kicking
The Boks’ tactical kicking has at times let them down on tour.
On a desperately narrow 62m wide surface in Padua‚ Andries Coetzee struggled to find his range last week.
This week on the anticipated drier surface and two teams likely to put the onus on attack‚ the ball is likely to be in play for much longer.
It will require less kicking but it still needs to be judicious as Wales boast sizeable three quarters. 5) Composure
The result may well be in dispute in the closing minutes.
The Boks will then need to show the mettle they did at the Stade de France when they ran the clock down with the hosts breathing down their necks.
This week‚ though‚ the Boks don’t have the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw to show steely resolve.
In that regard‚ Eben Etzebeth will need to cut a commanding presence in every sense of the word.