Boks need a little help

2014-09-22 00:00

WITH a helping hand, the Springboks could lift the Rugby Championship trophy in two weeks time but it all starts this week in Cape Town.

That helping hand would have to come from Argentina who host the All Blacks this weekend in La Plata. If they can beat the world champions and the Springboks pip Australia, it would make the Boks versus All Blacks game the following week the tournament decider.

Unfortunately you cannot bank on such scenarios and the Boks will be focusing on their clash with the Wallabies this weekend. Revenge will be in the air after losing to the visitors in Perth three weeks ago.

It is a shame that the Boks are now in a position to win the Championship but have to rely on a result they have no control over. However, their performance in their narrow loss to the All Blacks two weeks ago was much improved and they now have the advantage of playing at home for the last two matches of the tournament.

Selection will be a major talking point this week with scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar and flank Francois Louw out injured. Both players have been important figures in the side and their replacements will have big shoes to fill.

These injuries have seen the likes of Schalk Burger return to the side this week. He will be a welcome addition and could leapfrog into the starting line-up.

That leaves a hole at scrumhalf. Meyer will likely give the starting berth to Francois Hougaard. There will be a lot of focus on his kicking game which has been found wanting in the past.

It also means that Cobus Reinach is likely to sit on the bench and could earn his first Springbok cap. The livewire Sharks scrummy will be anxious to play some rugby and a home Test would be ideal to blood him.

Handré Pollard looks set to wear the flyhalf jersey for a while to come. It would be good to see him start the last two matches of the Championship to really test his talents. Two Test matches is not enough to say if he is the future of Bok rugby.

Many supporters will be hoping the Boks will play more running rugby and glimpses of it have come out during the tournament. With talent like Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks and Willie le Roux out wide, the Boks really can play more dynamic rugby.

Pollard might just be the key in unlocking that potential. The youngster knows when to run, pass and kick and given the chance, the Boks could start scoring a lot more tries — much to the joy of the expectant South African rugby fanatics.

The Boks take on Australia 5.05 pm at Newlands, Cape Town this Saturday.

P W D L PD Pts

NZ 4 3 1 0 54 16

SA 4 2 0 2 4 10

Aus 4 2 1 1 -23 10

Arg 4 0 0 4 -35 3

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