Winning at all costs

2014-09-17 00:00

WE often hear a coach saying “a win is a win” even if it had been a close win.

It obviously means you have at least succeeded in your aim. But, in the same vein, a loss is also a loss.

And that is precisely what the Springboks did against the All Blacks last Saturday and that is why — like last year’s defeat of 27-38 at Ellis Park — it is of great concern to hear from all quarters how well they have played.

The All Blacks tactically ruled the game and were the best team under critical circumstances. They won the battle for possession and were unlucky to have trailed 6-7 at half time.

South Africa owed their lead to a touch of inspiration on attack and massive tackling — a recipe that only works up to a point.

With their third attempt towards the end of the match, the Boks could not win their line-out possession in a position from which they could have launched the rolling maul and it ended when Lood de Jager was eventually forced over the touchline.

In New Zealand they believe “the touchline is your enemy”. It proved to have been exactly that for South Africa under those circumstances.

It must be said the Boks’ salvation probably lay in the touchline because they put pressure on the All Blacks at their own throw-ins at the lineouts.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer probably made a judgment error by replacing Adriaan Strauss with Bismarck du Plessis in the 55th minute, because that was the start of the Springboks’ line-out problems.

While Meyer found an answer to his flyhalf problem and probably will persist with Handré Pollard, other questions remain.

South Africa are still looking for a scrumhalf who can stand stamp his authority on the game as a substitute for Fourie du Preez during his absence.

He should also consider using Marcel van der Merwe and Trevor Nyakane as props in place of Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira during next Saturday’s Test at Newlands against Australia.

It is a pity Frans Malherbe is unfit, because with him the Boks would not lose much scrum power and probably gain more work performance from their tight head prop.

A worrying statistic prior to next year’s World Cup tournament is that South Africa have lost their last five matches against New Zealand and nine out of their past 10 matches.

Should the World Cup go the expected way, the Springboks could meet the All Blacks in the semi-finals.

And despite not having beaten the Boks convincingly on their own territory, the All Blacks have the ability to dig deep and empower their coach with the words: “a win is a win”.

It is an aura difficult to nurture and even more difficult to overcome when you face such an opponent.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.