Boks head on mission impossible?
Johannesburg - If history is anything to go by, the Springboks are heading off on a mission impossible as they head to Australia and New Zealand at the end of this week. According to the supersport.com website, the Boks already have a magnitude of tasks to fulfil to get their game back on track after the poor showing in Mendoza last weekend, but coach Heyneke Meyer will face an unenviable task of playing at two of the most inhospitable venues for Springbok rugby in history and will have to overcome that as well as determined opposition if the Boks are to beat both sides for the first time since 2009 away from home. If you had to look on it purely from a historical perspective, the Boks might as well hand over the flight tickets and concede the games as they haven’t won any of their nine previous games at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane while their last victory at the World Cup final venue of Eden Park was way back in 1937 - a startling 76 years ago.
The Wallabies are likely to change their squad and approach somewhat for the Boks, but as always, the South African team simply need to concentrate on their own failings in Mendoza, particularly at the breakdown if they are to gain any success in the away leg of this year’s competition. While it may be a bit unfair that the Boks are the only side who will face three consecutive away matches, these are odds that Heyneke Meyer and his coaching team will have to overcome.
But while the Mendoza result may have caused unnecessary unhappiness among Bok supporters, it could simply be the case of a bad day at the office, with a referee who allowed too much leeway at the breakdown, a stop-start game and a Bok side who seem to struggle in Argentina at the moment. There is no doubt the Bok performance wasn’t anywhere near the standard needed for the Antipodes, but last year the Boks did a whole lot worse in Mendoza, then went on to narrow defeats in Australasia shortly afterwards.
They led Australia at halftimes but couldn’t hold on while a goalkicker worth his salt in Dunedin would have ensured a famous victory for the Boks there. So perhaps the glass isn’t as empty as supporters believe at the moment.
It is true the expectation was probably too high after the annihilation of FNB Stadium and perhaps that affected the Boks as well. A sober look at the stats sees the Boks winning all their ball at setpiece – they never lost one of their nine scrums and nine lineouts on the day.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at SPORT24Similar Stories