Kiwi broadcaster: 25% possession won't crack it for Boks

Tony Johnson (Getty Images)
Tony Johnson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Renowned New Zealand rugby commentator Tony Johnson says the Springboks cannot again live off scraps and expect to beat the All Blacks in Pretoria on Saturday.

This comes after South Africa produced an heroic defensive effort to stun New Zealand 36-34 in Wellington last month.

The Boks only had 25% possession in a game in which they were forced to make a whopping 235 tackles, compared to the meagre 61 of the Kiwis.

Johnson spoke exclusive to Sport24 ahead of this weekend’s Test and predicted the home would struggle their replicate their heroics of Wellington.

“The Boks have to be very careful what they do with the ball and it will come down to their ability to defend well. If they can frustrate the All Blacks, little errors may come into play and they can cash in on them. However, they simply cannot expect to win the Test with 25% ball possession - it’s just not going to happen again,” Johnson stressed.

Johnson added that for the Springboks to have a chance, they “have to win the physical battle and gain ascendancy on the advantage line.”

He added: “They also can’t afford to kick the ball back to the All Blacks because, in those playing conditions, their counter-attack will prove dangerous.”

When asked to make a prediction Johnson said: “In spite of the fact that the All Blacks are not completely at full strength at the moment, I will still pick them for the win.

Kick-off is scheduled for 17:05 on Saturday.

READ Tony Johnson's full Q&A interview with Sport24


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Ryan Crotty

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